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Anyone with lymphedema knows that the chronic swelling associated with this condition is no joke. It certainly makes regular habits and activities a bit challenging. However, there are ways you can deal with chronic swelling and have a better quality of life. Here are some things to consider:
Manage your weight
If you have upper extremity lymphedema or lower extremity lymphedema, one thing is certain: you need to manage your weight. Obesity can cause complications with lymphedema and weight loss can be useful in decreasing swelling. Also, eating healthy foods in weight management routines can be beneficial and even provide anti-inflammatory benefits.
For exercise, you can consider a gym with a pool or do low impact exercises like biking or walking. Anywhere you can include anti-inflammatory foods in your diet, make sure to do so as well—it can greatly benefit you and your overall health and minimize chronic swelling.
From massages for manual lymph drainage therapy to other exercises that can help you decrease fluid buildup, speak to your doctor about treatment that can ensure you live a better quality of life. Treatment can be beneficial in allowing you to feel less pain and reduce swelling.
There are also products that make it easier for you to practice “massages” at home, through a compression sleeve that essentially acts like a pump. It takes time to learn how to reduce swelling and to manage your condition, but a physical therapist can teach you everything you need to know about taking care of your swelling at home.
With some levels of lymphedema, liposuction may be the only recourse for managing your swelling. If you’re having repeated fluid buildup and a difficult time managing your weight and swelling, speak to your healthcare provider about the options of liposuction for your specific condition.
While not needed in every case of lymphedema, it can greatly improve some people’s quality of life. Not everyone will qualify for a liposuction procedure, but don’t worry—there are several options for managing your condition.
Take care of your skin
Skincare is of utmost importance when one deals with chronic swelling. Dry skin can lead to chafing and irritated skin can get cuts more easily. All of this can lead to infections, which are very important to avoid when you have lymphedema.
Shop around for natural skincare solutions to keep your skin protected and start a routine that allows you to effectively cleanse your affected limb daily. Not only do you want to keep your skin clean but being faithful with the moisturizer will also go far in keeping your skin taken care of no matter what. This is another reason why you want to practice low-impact sports: you want to avoid skin abrasions or injuries.
Wear compression garments
One thing you may have noticed on other people is the use of compression gear. In some cases, people may have a garment on just one limb. Compression garments can be very helpful in controlling swelling as they help to prevent fluid buildup and can even relieve pain. While you may be concerned about how you’ll look wearing these garments, there are some cute compression gear styles.
If you have chronic swelling, you know just how painful and challenging it can be to live with it. However, there are treatment options and plans you can speak to your doctor about. While a lymphedema diagnosis isn’t easy to handle, there are ways you can manage the pain and the swelling, so don’t be discouraged—you can live an optimal lifestyle, even with lymphedema.