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5 Tips to Treating Lymphedema

Lymphedema is a difficult diagnosis to face, and while incurable, it does have treatment options to help you manage symptoms and swelling. If you’re dealing with early-stage lymphedema, these tips for treating lymphedema could help you decrease inflammation and ensure you have a better quality of life: 

Get focused physical therapy

Visiting a physical therapist often could be beneficial as you learn to manage your symptoms with exercises geared toward helping you move the fluid out of your affected joints. Additionally, you could get a type of massage known as manual lymph drainage that keeps fluid from getting trapped with a physical therapist. 

You can also learn how to do different focused exercises at home to help you manage your swelling. Another option is to use a sleeve that works as sequential pneumatic compression. It works as a kind of pump to move fluids, which is an easier option than going to get lymphedema physical therapy too often. Just make sure you speak to your doctor about what you need for your specific situation. 

Use compression bandages

Compression garments are very helpful—so much so they can be used in your everyday life— since they encourage lymph drainage. While you can find compression bandages and garments in different places, it’s important to speak with your doctor about a prescription so that you can get the right level of compression for your specific needs. 

If you’re concerned about how you’ll look with these bandages, some compression garment designs are actually quite stylish. 

Manage your weight and exercise

Getting regular exercise (avoid high impact) and managing your weight can be helpful for your symptoms and decrease your inflammation. Obesity can impact your swelling, so whether you take up walking, swimming, or biking, these exercises can help you to reduce inflammation and treat your lymphedema, especially if it’s at an early stage. 

However, it doesn’t matter how advanced your lymphedema may be; it’s always best to maintain a healthy weight to avoid complications. Consider working with a personal weight loss who understands the challenges of lymphedema to help you with your fitness and health routine. 

Eat healthy

Plant-based foods and healthy meals can make a difference for your lymphedema as well. One reason is that low-calorie foods can help you manage your weight and anti-inflammatory foods do a lot for decreasing fluid buildup. 

You could start to shop for healthier groceries and do some meal prep, or when you don’t have much time, consider subscribing to healthy food subscriptions that have everything delivered to you, making it that much easier for you to start eating the foods that will help you manage your lymphedema. 

Speak to your provider about surgery procedures

If your lymphedema is a bit more advanced and other treatment options aren’t working out, it may be time to speak to your healthcare provider about other options, like a lymph node transplant or a procedure to remove fibrous tissue with liposuction. There are also times when you could get a procedure to create new drainage paths when you still have early-stage lymphedema. 

Home Health Care

Since there is no medical or surgical cure for lymphedema, self-management can be stressful and take up a lot of your time, and you can seek home health care assistance. With home care services, you will have access to well-trained staff ready to teach you how to manage your condition right from home. If you are considering home care, here are some of the right questions to ask home health care providers. This includes their credentials, available services, and rates.

In Conclusion

There are several treatment options for those who have lymphedema, from lymph node transplants and simple improvements in your lifestyle. It’s important to speak to your doctor about the best treatments for your needs and the stage of lymphedema you have. 

There is no doubt that being diagnosed with lymphedema is challenging. There are a lot of lifestyle changes you’ll need to make and things you’ll have to be concerned about to manage your condition. Consider joining a lymphedema support group if you’re having difficulty adapting to life with lymphedema. Have patience, and you’ll be able to boost your confidence with time. 

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