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Monday, May 24, 2010

Lymphedema Relief

The symptoms of Edema and Lymphedema appear to be the same: swelling in a limb due to retaining fluid.

In the first case, it is excessive fluid building up, due to leakage of tiny blood vessels which prompts the kidneys to retain as much sodium and water as possible to compensate for the loss from the blood vessels.

Serious cases of Edema can be caused by Congestive heart failure, Cirrhosis, damage or weakness of kidneys or veins in the legs, a side effect of certain medications or an inadequate lymphatic system also called Lymphedema.

The latter is caused by lymph fluid building up, due to a blockage in the lymphatic system. This can be related to conditions like Milroy's disease and Meige's disease, but can also occur as a result of surgery, cancer, radiation treatments for cancer or infections.

There is no cure for Lymphedema, but that does not mean that nothing can be done about the swelling, the pain and the limitations this condition causes. On the contrary; lymphedema garments are especially designed to make life easier and keep the patient as mobile as possible.

To move the fluid out of the affected area and prevent it from swelling in the future, usage of compression garments and lymphedema bandages are extremely helpful. In severe cases, surgery may be a solution.

Other options and treatments to relief Lymphedema symptoms are:
- Specific, light exercises which are usually given by either the physician or physical therapist.
- Manual lymph drainage massages.
- Bandaging the affected limb as shown by a specialist.
- Pneumatic or other compression garments like a custom made lymphedema arm sleeve or compression socks.

All this or a combination thereof make daily life a whole lot easier!


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