The Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system is a grouping of organs and tissue which assists the human body in ridding itself of toxins and waste, as well as other harmful substances. This system transports lymph and lymph is a fluid which contains white blood cells that fight infection. When these white blood cells move through the body, they help us to stay healthy.

What is the Role of the Lymphatic System

Fighting infection is the role of this body system. When the lymphatic system runs at its best, it helps to kill infections and restore good health.

Description of the Lymphatic System

This system is made up mostly of lymphatic vessels, which are a lot like the capillaries and veins of the circulatory system. The vessels connect to lymph nodes, where the lymph fluid goes through a filtering process. Many different parts of the body, including the spleen, tonsils and adenoids, as well as the thymus, are parts of this body system.

What is a Lymph Node & What Does It Do?

Every body has hundreds of lymph nodes and they are found deep within the human body. You’ll find them near the heart and the lungs. These nodes are shaped like small beans and they are glands. They are parts of the lymphatic system.

These nodes filter the bad stuff and help to fight infections. They are filled with immune cells which fight off infection by killing germs which are present in lymph fluid.

How Does the Lymph Node Drain?

The lymph system is sort of like a sewer for the body. It helps to remove toxins and waste by draining them out. The lymph system drains when the muscles are tightened. This makes the lymph vessels squeeze. When they do squeeze, their vessels push lymph fluid along. It gets filtered via the nodes as it moves back towards the heart and the veins.

Exercise helps this body system to work more efficiently. Certain types of massage may also stimulate optimal drainage.

Lymphatic System Disorders

There are a few lympathic system disorders and these are Lymphoedema, Lympahadenopathy and cancer. Lymphoedema happens when fluid retention which is localized, as well as the swelling of tissue, cause the entire lymph system to become compromised.

Lymphadenopathy is a disorder which afflicts the lymph nodes. They grow to unusual sizes and in greater numbers. This is an inflammatory disease which leads to lymph nodes which are swollen.

Lymph node cancer happens in one of two ways. It may start out within the lymph nodes or it may spread from another part of parts of the body. Cancer which has its origins in the lymph nodes is known as lymphoma. This is rarer than cancer which spreads from elsewhere.

Usually, cancer of the lymph nodes is detectable due to swollen lymph nodes. While enlarged lymph nodes do not signal cancer in all cases, it’s important to seek out medical care when lymph nodes are enlarged. It’s best to see a doctor right away. Any form of lymph system disease or disorder will be easier to treat when it is detected early.

How to Keep the Lympathic System Healthy

If you want a healthy lymphatic system, you should make a point of getting enough hydration. It’s best to drink at least six 8-oz. glasses of pure water each day. Getting enough fluid is important. As well, exercise and lymphatic massage will help your lymphatic system to function effectively.

Understanding the role and importance of this vital body system is empowering. If you suspect that you have enlarged lymph nodes, please see your family physician today. Proper medical care is your best defense against problems.

What’s the Difference Between Lymphoedema and Lipodema?

Lympheodema and Lipodema are diseases of the lymphatic system. They are different from one another and we’d like to define each one of these health disorders today, with a mind to educating you. Once you do understand the differences, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of these health issues. Our guide is not designed to be a substitute for proper medical care. If you have concerns about your health, please see your doctor.

What is Lymphoedema?

Lymphoedema is also known as lymphatic obstruction and it’s a health issue whereby extra fluid, known as lymph, pools in tissues. This pooling of fluid causes a form of swelling which is referred to as edema. This disorder is triggered by blockages within the lympathic system. Usually, it is present in one arm or one (or both) legs.

Signs & Symptoms of Lymphoedema

This disorder is typically signaled by swelling in a section of, or all of, one arm or one leg. It may be present in both legs. People who suffer from this condition tends to feel sensations of tightness and heaviness in afflicted body parts. As well, they may notice that their range of mobility is not as good as it used to be. Aching is also common, in affected body parts, and recurring infections may happen also. As well, most people notice that this skin covering the affected areas is harder and thicker than it should be. This hardening/thickening is known as Fibrosis.

Summary of Lymphoedema Symptoms

  • Tightness
  • Heaviness
  • Swelling in one arm, one leg or both legs
  • Thickening/hardening of skin
  • Recurring infections
  • Decreased range of mobility

What is Lipoedema?

Liopedema may also be referred to as “painful fat” syndrome and it’s a chronic affliction which is more common in women. When this disease happen, excess fatty tissue in the hips, upper legs and lower legs grows in a symmetrical fashion. Swelling is usually pronounced in affected areas and this swelling may get worse when a person is standing up.

Signs & Symptoms of Lipoedema

Most people who have this disorder notice larger lower halves and their legs may have a column-like appearance. As well, affected areas may be quite tender and bruising may happen more readily than it does in non-affected areas. This disorder causes some major asymmetry. For example, a woman may have a top half which is a size 6 and a bottom half which is a size 12.

When the condition gets worse, fat build-up escalates and the lower half of the body gets heavier. As the disorder progresses, fat of the lipoedemic type may collect within each arm.

Eventually, this condition may lead to lymph vessels which are blocked by fat cells. This means that the lympathic system can’t function properly and fight infections as effectively as it should. Lymph fluid will build up and then trigger swelling.

Summary of Lipodema Symptoms

  • Larger lower half
  • Easier bruising in affected areas
  • Fat build-up in lower half and possibly the arms, too
  • Swelling
  • Fibrosis
  • Impaired lymph system

See Your Doctor Today

Now that you know more about these conditions, be sure to visit your doctor if you have any symptoms. It’s important to access proper medical care. Both conditions may be serious and only a licensed and trained physician will know how to help. It’s best to seek out treatment early, as soon as swelling or excess fat storage becomes noticeable. As well, to prevent disorders of the lymphatic system, be sure to drink a lot of pure water every day and get regular exercise. As well, you may want to consider lymphatic massage and other treatments which help to boost lymphatic system function

What You Need to Know about Lymphoedema

Today, we’d like to share all of the hard facts about Lymphoedema. Our guide will define this health condition and it will also discuss the most common causes of the condition, as well as its signs and symptoms. As well, we’ll let you know what the most common and successful treatment options are.

What is Lymphoedema?

This is a health condition which is characterized by swelling of one arm or the legs. In some cases, both legs or both arms are affected.

Unfortunately, at this point, there is no cure for this disorder. However, managing the condition is possible and it’s easier to manage it when you catch it early. This is why seeing a doctor when swelling becomes noticeable is important.

If you are experiencing swelling of an arm, both arms or both legs, it’s important to seek out medical attention right away. Our guide to Lymphoedema isn’t designed to be a substitute for proper medical care from a licensed physician.

Now, let’s share some more important information about Lymphoedema…

Causes of Lymphoedema

Usually, this health problem begins due to lymph node damage or removal. It may also be triggered by treatment for cancer.

It happens because the lymphatic system is blocked. The lymphatic system is an element of the body’s immune system. When it gets blocked, lymph fluid doesn’t drain and the build-up of fluid causes swelling.

Signs & Symptoms of Lymphoedema

If you experience swelling in the areas that we discussed (one arm, both arms or both legs), this swelling may be a symptom of Lymphoedema. Swelling in the arm or arms usually extends to the fingers. Swelling in the legs generally extends to the toes. As well, you may feel a sense of tightness or heaviness in the afflicted area.

Another possible sign of this health issue is trouble moving. Your range of motion may become restricted. As well, you may experience aches in the affected area(s), as well as general discomfort. Some people experience infections which recur while they have this health problem.

Lastly, you may notice that your skin is harder and thicker. This symptom is known as fibrosis.

Treating Lymphoedema

There are four stages of this health problem. Stage 0 is the latency phase and swelling is not visible. During Stage 1, symptoms are experienced which may be reversed spontaneously. Stage 2 also features spontaneously reversible symptoms. The Stage 3 type of Lymphoedema will cause Elephantiasis which is Lymphostatic. Elephantiasis causes extreme swelling.

Since this health issue occurs on a spectrum, it’s best to get help as soon as you can, rather than seeking out help when Stage 3 is present or seems to be developing. When this condition is advanced, swelling is very pronounced and the color of the skin may change. As well, hyperplasia which is wart-like may occur, and papillomatosis and hyperkeratosis may occur.

With this in mind, let’s talk about treatment options…

In general, the first recommended treatment for this condition is physical therapy of the complex variety. This typically involves lymphatic drainage which is manual, along with exercise and massage. This type of combination therapy is usually quite effective.

Also, most people who get this type of treatment are advised to wear compression socks (compression stockings) with compression levels of at least 40mm Hg. It’s possible to find high-quality compression stockings with this level of compression online, via Web-based suppliers and they should also be available in your community.

Other options include pneumatic pumps and multi-layer bandages. It’s important to keep legs elevated frequently if the legs are swollen.

Talk to Your Doctor Today

Now that you know more about this health issue and its causes, symptoms and treatment options, you’ll be ready to move forward and get the medical assistance that you need. This disorder isn’t curable. However, it is treatable and this is why visiting your doctor will help you to reduce the swelling, pain and loss of mobility.

Again, we can’t overstress the importance of seeing a doctor as soon as the swelling begins. It’s the best way to access effective treatment which will help you to avoid the more severe aspects of advanced Lymphoedema.

Hopefully, our quick guide has given you the information that you need. This condition may occasionally affect the head and neck. When it does, it’s usually due to radiation therapy. This is a rarer form of the condition. Most people only experience swelling in one limb or two limbs.

Lymphedema is quite common, except for the rarest forms, and it may be debilitating. Thankfully, there are useful treatments which help people to feel better and to enjoy better quality of life. When you receive the right treatment plan from your doctor, you’ll be ready to get the help that you need. It all starts with dropping by your doctor’s office today.

What You Need to Know about Lipoedema

Today, we’d like to share information about the health condition known as Lipoedema. It’s something that a lot of people suffer from and we want to define the condition, talk about its causes and symptoms and discuss some of the best treatment options.

We want you to empower you by sharing all of the hard facts about this condition.

What is Lipoedema?

Lipoedema is a chronic health issue which is characterized by dysfunction of the lymphatic vessels and swollen, fatty deposits along the hips and the legs. These fatty deposits resemble the breeches that horse riders wear and the swelling and fatty deposits usually end near the ankles.

When people suffer from this condition, their legs look much bigger than they should. Generally, both legs are affected, as well as the hips, which will also typically be swollen and misshapen. Since the feet aren’t affected, there is usually a “band” appearance right over the ankles. This band might also be described as looking like a bracelet or anklet.

Causes of Lipoedema

The cause of this condition is a bit mysterious. However, some medical experts believe that female hormones trigger the deposition of adipose tissue, as well as the swelling. In general, women suffer from Lipoedema more than men do and it tends to start during puberty or become worse at this stage of life.

As well, it may happen when a woman is pregnant and this is a time when hormone shifts are quite extreme.

Another example of a time when this health disorder may crop up is after an operation which is gynecological. Also, women may suffer from Lipoedema when they are going through menopause.

Some scientists think that genetics plays a role. The condition seems to run in families.

Signs & Symptoms of Lipoedema

We’ve already talked about the swelling and fatty deposits which affect the body from the hips to the ankles. This condition varies in terms of severity, so symptoms may be mild, moderate or severe. Some people experience swelling in their arms. However, most women (men rarely get this condition, although it does affect them sometimes) experience swelling in the hips and legs, down to the ankles. This is the primary symptom of Lipoedema.

In addition to swelling and unusual fatty deposits in particular areas, symptoms of this health issue include feelings of softness and coldness in affected areas. Tissue which is impacted by the condition may seem dough-like and it may also be tender when touched. People with this condition tend to bruise more easily than others and they may feel aching and pain in affected areas. As well, they may notice broken veins under the epidermis. These broken veins will be small.

In addition, when this health problem gets worse, fluid retention may become an issue in affected areas. The combination of all of these symptoms may lead to loss of mobility and it may also trigger mental health issues. Women with Lipoedema may experience problems with self-esteem and/or feel depressed.

Treating Lipoedema

Those who suffer from this condition are advised to follow healthy lifestyles which include the right foods in correct portions and regular exercise. While a healthy lifestyle is not enough to stop the condition, it may lead to weight loss and help to control swelling and both of these things will be helpful.

The most common treatment for this health issue is decongestive therapy and it tends to soothe the most troublesome symptoms of the condition, such as pain. Decongestive therapy has many facets, so it might be described as combination therapy. Doctors may recommend a few or all of the following decongestive treatments in order to resolve symptoms…

Manual Lymphatic Drainage

This type of massage is performed with pump-like movements which are rhythmic and gentle. These movements help lymph to flow in the areas surrounding blocks. When lymph gets past blocked areas and makes it to vessels which are healthy, it flows into the body’s venous system. When this happens, pain relief is usually experienced. In addition, this treatment may stop fibrosis from developing.

Compression is Also Effective

Compression treatment, such as the usage of stretchy bandages, or pantyhose, underwear or stretchy shorts which are fitted carefully in order to compress effectively is often very beneficial. Compression stockings come in a variety of styles, at an array of compression levels, and choosing these products may be a good option. It’s best to talk to your doctor before buying compression stockings. However, they do work well as treatments, as compression helps to relieve swelling. Also, it will inhibit fluid build-up in the future.

Liposuction

Some people do get liposuction in order to remove fatty deposits from these areas. This is an invasive plastic surgery procedure, whereby fat is sucked out via a tool known as a cannula.

Talk to Your Doctor Today

Now that you know more about Lipoedema, you’ll be ready to get the help that you need. It all starts with visiting your doctor today.