Lymphedema is the progressive enlargement of tissue due to inadequate lymphatic function. Obesity-induced lymphedema of the lower extremities can occur once a patient’s body mass index (BMI) exceeds 50.
How does obesity cause lymphedema?
She added that, “Obesity causes lymphedema because the sheer additional weight puts too much pressure on the lymph nodes in the groin area, compromising the system. This causes a fluid backup like a clogged drain. Skin can thicken, harden and become red, dry and warm to touch.”
Can losing weight help lymphedema?
Some studies have shown that losing weight can significantly improve lymphedema symptoms in people who are overweight. Talk to your doctor or lymphedema therapist about creating a diet and safe exercise plan for bringing your weight down to a healthy range.
What is the life expectancy of someone with lymphedema?
When the duration of illness is prolonged, the lymphedema may develop into lymphangiosarcoma. The life expectancy of a patient with this condition is limited to a few months to 2 years , .
How does obesity affect the lymphatic system?
Studies have also illustrated that obesity promotes lymphatic abnormalities, such as decreased initial lymphatic density, heightened lymphatic leakiness, impaired collecting lymphatic pumping, and diminished macromolecule transport; but those phenotypic and functional changes are reversible in response to dietary …
Can lymphedema fluid be drained?
Massage. To begin with, you may receive specialised massages called manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) – usually carried out by a specialist therapist – to move fluid from the swollen areas into working lymph nodes, where it can be drained.
How do I get rid of lymphedema in my legs?
Lymphedema treatments include:
- Exercises. Light exercises in which you move your affected limb may encourage lymph fluid drainage and help prepare you for everyday tasks, such as carrying groceries. …
- Wrapping your arm or leg. …
- Massage. …
- Pneumatic compression. …
- Compression garments. …
- Complete decongestive therapy (CDT).
Does drinking water help lymphedema?
Does drinking water help with lymphedema? Absolutely! Because the body is more prone to hold onto excess liquid when it feels dehydrated, drinking enough water is especially important for those with lymphedema so they can maintain a healthy fluid and chemical balance.
What triggers lymphedema?
Lymphedema is most commonly caused by the removal of or damage to your lymph nodes as a part of cancer treatment. It results from a blockage in your lymphatic system, which is part of your immune system. The blockage prevents lymph fluid from draining well, and the fluid buildup leads to swelling.
What foods are bad for lymphedema?
Restrict or avoid fatty foods or those with high cholesterol. Increase low sodium or high fiber foods. Replaced processed (canned or frozen) foods with fresh and raw potassium-rich foods, such as fruits and veggies.
Does lymphedema ever go away?
Lymphedema can’t be cured, but you can control the swelling and keep it from getting worse. Getting to and staying at a healthy weight may make it better, but “water pills” usually won’t. Specialized lymphedema therapists can also help you manage the condition.
What are the four stages of lymphedema?
- Stage 1: Abnormal flow in the lymphatic system. No signs or symptoms.
- Stage 2: Accumulation of fluid with swelling. …
- Stage 3: Permanent swelling that does not resolve with elevation. …
- Stage 4: Elephantiasis (large deformed limb), skin thickening with “wart-like” growth and extensive scarring.
What does Lymphedema in the legs look like?
The most common symptom of lymphedema is swelling in one or both arms or legs. This swelling, which can extend into the fingers or toes, usually develops gradually over time. At first, the swelling is soft and fluid. In time, it can become more dense and fibrous, and it may make your skin look grainy.
Will losing weight reduce leg swelling?
Lose weight if you’re overweight
Losing weight can help ease the strain on your feet and possibly reduce foot swelling as well. Talk with your doctor about whether you need to lose weight and healthy ways to go about doing so.
Does obesity cause leg swelling?
In most cases, swelling occurs as a result of certain lifestyle factors, such as: Being overweight. Excess body mass can decrease blood circulation, causing fluid to build up in the feet, legs, and ankles.
Can fat block lymph nodes?
More recent clinical and experimental studies have shown that obesity also has harmful effects on the lymphatic system, resulting in decreased macromolecule clearance, impaired trafficking of antigen presenting cells and abnormal lymph node architecture (Weitman et al.