Lymphoedema is a condition caused by an accumulation of too much lymph fluid and leads to moderate or severe swelling in the soft tissue beneath the skin. It is seen most commonly in the limbs, but it can happen in other body parts as well.
Blockages in the fluid can be caused by infection, surgeries, removal of or damage to lymph nodes during cancer treatment. Lymphoedema can also be due to a genetic condition that results in underdevelopment or absence of the lymph nodes.
Signs and symptoms of lymphoedema include:
The swelling caused by lymphoedema ranges from mild, hardly noticeable changes in the size of your arm or leg, all the way to extreme changes that make the limb hard to use. Lymphoedema caused by cancer treatment may not occur until months or even years after treatment.
Your lymphatic system plays a vital role in immune health and detoxification pathways. Lymph fluid travels throughout the body in the lymphatic system – collecting bacteria, viruses, toxins and waste along the way. These harmful substances are then filtered out by the lymph nodes and ultimately flushed from the body.
Lymphoedema occurs when lymph vessels are unable to adequately drain the lymph fluid and the fluid builds up causing pain, heaviness and swelling.
A further complication is an increased risk of recurring infections, including cellulitis – a serious bacterial infection of the skin – and lymphangitis, an infection of the lymph vessels.
A treatment protocol for clients diagnosed with lymphoedema begins with:
To further enhance treatment our clients are encouraged to:
If you have been diagnosed with lymphoedema, contact Elemental Health on (02) 8084 0081 to discuss a treatment program designed specifically for you to improve your health and wellbeing.