If you suffer from lymphedema, the treatment measures revolve around preventing and controlling the causes. The extent and severity of the condition play an important role as well.
Red light therapy, exercising, proper diet, infection prevention, maintaining proper hygiene, and taking precautions are some of the significant measures for natural lymphedema treatment. If the condition escalates, seeing a doctor is highly recommended. Let’s discuss them in detail.
Natural Treatment for Lymphedema
Lymphedema patients suffer from chronic swelling in their hands and feet due to blockage in the lymphatic system. One can acquire this disease by inheriting an illness or can develop it due to chronic diseases later in life.
There is no specific cure for this illness. However, several natural treatments can keep the symptoms controlled. Let’s discuss these treatments briefly:
Red Light Therapy
Red light therapy is immensely beneficial for lymphatic drainage. This therapy helps the body avoid several reasons that develop lymphatic nodes and allows the patient to lead a healthy life.
Primarily, red light therapy energizes the body cells to function properly. Energized cells can repair damages efficiently and replicate healthy growth. Therefore, the damages in the lymphatic system start repairing and healing.
With low-level laser treatment (LLLT), lymphatic vessel formation increases, and inflammation decreases. Also, red light therapy stimulates the proliferation of endothelial cells to deliver necessary nutrients and oxygen to the body. Thus, the healing process gets a boost, and infections can be prevented.
Most people develop lymphedema due to surgical scars. Red light therapy can help in this manner by producing collagen protein to heal scars faster. Therefore, one can avoid lymphedema symptoms and can live an active and healthy life.
Exercise helps in restoring strength and flexibility while improving drainage. Lymphedema patients can avoid swelling with appropriate exercise as it allows them to increase lymph fluid flow. Therefore, the fluids won’t clot in the affected area.
Consult a doctor before taking up any exercise as inappropriate movement can worsen the condition. Also, start with gentle exercise and build up slowly. Walking, light jogging, yoga, cycling, pilates, etc., are some of the exercises commonly recommended by doctors.
A healthy weight significantly reduces the risk for lymphedema. Consult a doctor or physician to determine your healthy weight and how you can achieve that weight. The following steps can help you lose weight.
- Include healthy calories in your diet. Fruits and vegetables contain many healthy calories that supply energy to your body without increasing weight.
- Avoid having red meat and include fish and chicken in your diet. Also, reduce sugar intake in your diet.
- Carbs rich in fiber can assist you in losing weight significantly. Foods rich in fiber will make you full for longer and help you avoid taking extra calories.
- Avoid having sweetened beverages. Instead, have drinks containing fruits and herbs.
Insufficient protein can escalate lymphedema conditions in a patient. Therefore, include the right amount of lean protein in your diet. In addition to having fish and chicken, you can include nuts, beans, and seeds in your diet for healthy plant-based protein.
Many lymphedema patients may experience elevated symptoms due to high sodium intake. Therefore, they should limit having salt with their meals.
Infection Prevention Measures
Infections are one of the primary causes for developing swelling and lymphatic nodes in the body. Therefore, one should take proper precautions to avoid infections.
Some patients can develop infection whenever they suffer from needle pricks or cut themselves. Therefore, it is crucial to stay careful to avoid such incidents.
In some cases, your doctor may suggest taking antibiotics whenever a break or cut occurs in the skin. Also, if you have a severe case of lymphedema, you may be prescribed to take a low antibiotic dose regularly as a preventive measure.
Avoid extreme temperatures regardless of the hot or cold temperatures. Use sunscreens and insect repellent to protect the skin from harm. Also, try to avoid medical procedures and tests that involve puncturing the skin.
Maintaining Proper Hygiene
Proper hygiene goes a long way to avoid lymphedema conditions. Make sure to clean the affected area regularly. Apply lotions and creams on the affected area and thoroughly dry it.
Clip the fingernails in regular intervals. Don’t injure the surrounding area while clipping your nails, and avoid cutting cuticles.
If any cut occurs, make sure to clean the area thoroughly with soap and water. Then use an antibacterial ointment on the injured area to sterile from bacteria before dressing it up.
Wear clean clothes to avoid bacteria infestation. Also, avoid wearing tight clothing, especially during nighttime. Tight clothing can increase the likelihood of causing clots in lymphatic vessels.
Taking proper precautions can help you avoid the risks of suffering from lymphatic nodes. You can take up the following measures on your everyday activities:
- Wear appropriate gloves while gardening, cleaning dishes, and doing other household chores.
- Avoid repetitive and vigorous movements that create resistance.
- Use electric shavers to avoid cutting and breaking up the skin.
- Keep your arms raised above your heart level to avoid fluid clotting.
- Use an arm pump to raise fluid flow so that lymphatic fluids don’t gather in one place.
- Wear a customized elastic bandage or compression sleeve to prevent fluid accumulation.
By following these measures, you can effectively reduce the fluid clotting in your lymphatic nodes.
Consult a Doctor
If you suffer from lymphedema conditions, make sure to consult a doctor as soon as possible. One can experience fluid clots in one of both arms and feet. So, follow the preventive measures carefully.
If your doctor needs to draw blood or inject medication or saline, ask them to puncture in unaffected areas. Have your blood pressure test on the unaffected areas as well.
Extreme hot and cold temperatures can affect the fluid flow and bring out lymphedema conditions. Therefore, try to avoid them at any cost.
Consult a doctor immediately if you experience any infection signs like increased swelling, redness, heat, pain, or fever.
Lymphedema is a serious health concern that can disrupt your day-to-day life severely. However, the severity can be reduced significantly with proper preventive measures and care.
Red light therapy can be very beneficial to treat lymphedema naturally. One can easily administer this treatment without having any drastic side effects. Many physicians are now recommending this therapy as well. However, additional research and human trials are needed to understand the effectiveness of this therapy properly.
Make sure to follow proper health guidance and hygiene to avoid lymphatic nodes. Also, consult a doctor before taking up any physical therapy, exercise, or diet to help you cope with this illness.