One of the most important systems in your body does not get talked about enough. Your lymphatic system is a critical link of lymph vessels and lymph nodes found across the body. The cells inside our bodies secrete extra water, protein, fats, and waste materials which are collected into our lymph vessels. The fluid is transported to your lymph nodes, filtered, and recycled back into your bloodstream. When our lymphatic system is not working properly, this excess liquid can build up and cause swelling in your limbs. This condition, called lymphedema, can drastically change the appearance of your arms and legs. Read on and learn all about lymphedema prevention.
What Causes Lymphedema
Lymphedema occurs when our lymph nodes are not working properly. The most common cause of lymphedema is injuries that cause trauma to our lymphatic system. This can become a chronic condition that will impact you for the rest of your life. Individuals with lymphedema will also become more prone to lymphangitis and infections. It can be difficult to avoid lymphedema when injuries can occur without warning, but there are a few steps that can help you keep ahead of lymphedema.
Watch Out for the Symptoms
Unlike other traumatic conditions of the body, lymphedema can take 15 years or more before the symptoms become apparent. Individuals diagnosed with lymphedema may start to notice they have less flexibility in the wrists and ankles. Rings and shoes may become tighter when worn and feel uncomfortable when they never have before. Most individuals with lymphedema will start to notice aching, redness, and heaviness in their impacted limbs. If you start to notice these symptoms of lymphedema, it is critical you seek out medical attention.
Finding a Lymphedema Treatment Center
Having your medical history checked is the next step to preventing lymphedema. If you believe you have developed lymphedema, you can have one of several tests run to confirm the diagnosis. We use lymphoscintigraphy, duplex ultrasound, and lymphangiography to determine the presence of lymphedema. Each procedure tracks the lymph fluid in your body with either low dose injected radioactive substances, high-frequency sound waves, or contrast dye.
Prevent Lymphedema from Worsening
If you have confirmed your diagnosis of lymphedema, it will be critically important to prevent it from worsening. Make sure to wear compression stockings on your affected limbs, do not cross your legs when sitting, and avoid any injuries to the affected limbs.
Your Lympedema Help Starts Today
Choose the St. Louis Laser Vein Center for your lymphedema diagnosis and treatment. We offer a variety of plans that are based around the direct impact of lymphedema on your body. Call today and see how we can help you live better with lymphedema!