Lymphedema is a medical condition that causes your arms and legs to swell and can affect one limb or multiple limbs, but it generally occurs in one of your arms or legs. Lymphedema commonly occurs after cancer treatment. Some people who have one of their lymph nodes removed develop lymphedema.
The lymphatic system is a component of the body’s defense system and if this system is blocked at some point, you will develop lymphedema. This is because the lymph fluid will fail to drain properly. Although there is no permanent cure, for treatment of Lymphedema, Tobin Hill doctors are ready to help you manage your symptoms to enable you to live comfortably.
The symptoms of lymphedema include swelling of the affected limb. This swelling can extend to involve the toes or fingers. The swelling in the limb can give you pain or discomfort. The affected limb feels heavy and tight and this may make you unable to move the limb. Sometimes lymphedema can make your skin become hard and thick.
The swelling of the affected limb varies in size and can be small or large. The severity of the symptoms of lymphedema varies between different people and some people may have mild symptoms that are hard to notice. You should consult your doctor if you get any of these symptoms or if you have sudden changes in lymphedema which has already been diagnosed.
Your lymphatic system plays an important role in the prevention of diseases. This system allows the lymphatic fluid which has many proteins to circulate in the entire body. The lymphatic fluid prevents diseases by removing disease-causing microorganisms like bacteria and viruses from the body. This fluid also helps to remove waste products that are harmful to the body.
The waste products and microorganisms are taken to the lymph nodes which contain disease-fighting cells called lymphocytes. Any condition that blocks this process causes lymphedema. Two types of lymphedema are primary and secondary lymphedema. Primary lymphedema has no underlying cause but secondary lymphedema is triggered by another condition and is the commonest type.
Primary lymphedema occurs in disease syndromes like Milroy’s lymphedema which occurs in infancy due to abnormal formation of the lymphatic system. Meige’s syndrome is a form of primary lymphedema that occurs in females during puberty and pregnancy. Lymphedema tarda occurs in old age and is another type of primary lymphedema.
Triggers of secondary lymphedema include surgery after cancer or radiotherapy that injures the lymphatic system, Parasites can also cause secondary lymphedema by accumulating in the lymphatic system. blocking it. This is a condition that is more common in the developing world.
How Can You Prevent Lymphedema?
To prevent lymphedema, you should avoid strenuous exercise after a major surgery or radiation therapy. It is advisable to allow your legs to get enough rest as you recover from a medical condition. You should also protect your legs from injuries, infections, and burns. Elevating your limbs helps to reduce lymphedema.
Keep your legs clean and avoid walking barefoot as it puts you at risk of parasite infestation which can cause lymphedema. Avoid wearing clothes that are too tight and compressing your legs. If you have a leg with lymphedema, avoid exposing it to heat or extreme cold.
Lymphedema is a condition that occurs due to obstruction of the lymphatic system. Primary lymphedema occurs due to disease syndromes like meige’s and Milroy’s syndrome while secondary lymphedema is triggered by surgery, infections, and radiation therapy. Consult your doctor if you develop any symptoms of lymphedema.