Taking Steps to Reduce Edema or Lymphedema [also known as Fluid Retention] – “Naturally” is important for Healthy Function of your Lymphatic System: In this article you will learn the known causes, the function and effect of your lymphatic system and how to you can support a reduction in fluid retention/lymphedema that will help to prevent further health problems.
What is Fluid Retention: Lymphedema & the Importance of Managing it!
Fluid retention occurs due to a blockage to the flow of lymph, by improving the flow of lymph you will improve your immune function, heart and lungs.
Lymph Nodes, along with Lymph Vessels and other Organs make up Your Lymphatic System. The Efficiency of Your Immune System, Removal of Excess Unwanted Fluids is Essential for your Optimal Health & Detoxification of your Body’s Organs.
Lymphedema, edema and unwanted fluid retention occurs when the lymphatic fluid can’t be adequately drained from the limb region because of the damage caused due to surgery, infection or radiation treatment for cancer. It can be characterised by mild to severe swelling in the limbs. Treatment aims at reducing the swelling and easing the pain by using various techniques like wrapping the limb, massage, pneumatic compression, complete decongestive therapy or exercising regularly.
By Learning the – How your lymphatic system works and How you can improve the functioning it “Naturally” , following the steps below will help to reduce unhealthy fluid retention/edema/lymphedema.
Symptoms can range from mild, hardly noticeable swelling to severe form that affects movement depending on the cause of the fluid retention.
- Swelling of a part of or the entire arm, including fingers
- Swelling of a part of or the entire leg, including toes
- Feeling of heaviness or tightness in arms and legs
- Reduced ability to move the hands and legs
- Aching or discomfort in the affected limbs
- Increased frequency of infections
- Hardening and thickening of the skin (fibrosis)
Primary lymphoedema may be the result of:
- Poor or inadequate diet: A diet high in salt, chemicals and additives found in packaged and processed foods.
- Inactive lifestyle: lack of movement due to paralysis, poor motor skills or sedentary due to ill-health.
- Milroy’s disease/congenital lymphoedema: Abnormally formed lymph nodes
- Meige’s disease/lymphoedema praecox: Causes lymphoedema during puberty or pregnancy
Late- onset lymphoedema/lymphoedema tarda: Affects people older than 35 years. Secondary lymphoedema is caused by the blockage of lymphatic system, due to:
- Cancer or tumour, either growing in or near the lymph nodes
Infection of the lymph nodes
- Cancer treatment, including radiation treatment
- Removal of lymph nodes as in case of cancer biopsies
Damage to lymph nodes, for example, surgery of blood vessels
- Obesity or over weight
- Toxicity and inflammation: Arthritic conditions such as Rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis
- Liver or Kidney problems: Due to unhealthy lifestyle habits, lack of adequate fluid intake in the form of filtered water and inadequate healthy dietary foods such as fruit and vegetables.
How your Lymphatic System Functions
Your Lymphatic system performs the important tasks of transporting a fluid known as lymph from the tissues as it returns to the bloodstream.
The Lymphatic tissue and it’s related organs filters and cleans the lymph debris, chemicals, toxins, abnormal cells, or pathogens.
Supporting Optimal functioning of your immune system.
Drainage of your Lymph nodes is Vital for Protection against Disease, Fluid Retention, Edema
Swelling of your Joints, Ankles and Extremities
Lymph nodes accumulate all the toxic substances that are taken into our body. They do not drain on their own they need help from us.
Lymph nodes are not glands, but the accumulation of contaminated lymph fluids.
These fluids if not able to drain from your body will lead to numerous, serious health complications.
Indications of Risk – Inefficient Draining of Lymph Nodes
You will have noticed people who have a sedentary lifestyle tend to suffer from bloatedness, edema – swelling of hands and feet: Skin problems, ulcers etc. This is all due to the fact that the lymph system isn’t being activated and therefore toxic build-up isn’t being removed from the body.
Those who are using underarm deodorants, eating of junk and packaged foods, soft drink, processed fruit juices, drinking of alcohol and those taking medications.
6 Steps to a Healthy Lymphatic System
This will help support the elimination of fluid, improving the flow of lymph, therefore reducing inflammation and reducing lymphedema.
1. Exercise brisk walking and jumping on a mini trampoline are great things to do exercise wise to support drainage of our lymph nodes.
2. Improve Your Diet: including Lots of vegetables, salads and fruits
3. Keep alcohol to a minimum & avoid mixed alcoholic drinks such as scotch and coke.
4. Water ensure you drink a minimum of 2 litres of filtered water per day. Adding freshly squeezed lemon to this has even more benefits
5. Bathing: yes baths, include 2 – 3 baths per week with a cup of Epsom salts
6. The Benefits of doing all of this is that you will have more Energy, you will get sick less often, you will suffer less pain, you will look good, that is your skin will glow: Plus you are protecting yourself against harmful diseases