Lymphedema

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Fmandy, Apr 21, 2007.

  1. Fmandy

    Fmandy New Member

    Someone awhile back spoke of having swelling in one leg only, that started at a young age and it is back bothering her again.

    I was googling edema of the legs because mine are both swelling badly, and I came across this condition. Lots of photographs at the website and it is the Mayo Clinic. The condition can be extremely severe or not so bad. It can be in one limb or both.

    I hope it is ok to post this, since some of us seem to have lymphatic system disorders.

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    Lymphedema

    Lymphedema refers to swelling that occurs most often in your arms or legs. It may affect just one arm or leg, but sometimes lymphedema can involve both arms or both legs.

    The swelling occurs when a blockage in your lymphatic system prevents the lymph fluid in your arm or leg from draining. As the fluid accumulates, the swelling continues.

    Your lymphatic system is crucial to keeping your body healthy. It circulates protein-rich lymph fluid throughout your body, collecting bacteria, viruses and waste products.

    Your lymphatic system carries these through your lymph vessels, which lead to lymph nodes. The wastes are then filtered out by lymphocytes — infection-fighting cells that live in your lymph nodes — and ultimately flushed from your body.

    No cure for lymphedema exists. But lymphedema can be controlled. Controlling lymphedema involves diligent care of your affected limb.

    Signs and symptoms

    Lymphedema is a type of abnormal swelling of an arm or leg. Swelling ranges from mild, hardly noticeable changes in the size of your limb to extreme swelling that can make it impossible to use the affected arm or leg.

    Signs and symptoms of lymphedema include:

    Swelling of part of your arm or your entire arm or leg, including your fingers or toes

    A feeling of heaviness or tightness in your arm or leg

    Restricted range of motion in your arm or leg

    Aching or discomfort in your arm or leg

    Recurring infections in your affected limb

    Hardening and thickening of the skin on your arm or leg

    Causes

    Lymphedema occurs when your lymph vessels are unable to drain lymph fluid from your arm or leg. Lymphedema can be either primary or secondary.

    This means it can occur on its own (primary lymphedema) or it can be caused by another disease or condition (secondary lymphedema).

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/lymphedema/DS00609/DSECTION=5
  2. LouiseK

    LouiseK New Member

    Thank you for posting this. The Lymphatic System is so under-recognized and, I believe, a big problem for probably most of us - swelling or not.

    My very first symptom of being sick was the really painful nodes in my armpits and my breasts were hugely swollen. I knew the swelling was related to the pain in the lymph nodes but my MD, GYN and Endo all refused to even seem to UNDERSTAND what I was saying. It was totally weird. They kepts saying, "hormones, brain tumor (long story, I have one of those) -- who knows what. I even went to a breast specialist. Even she didn't say "you know the breast is just loaded with lymph ducts (which everyone knows is how breast cancer spreads) and if the nodes in your armpits are not working it would all back up into your breasts".

    I could not believe this. Just shows how no one cares about the lymphatic system and it is hugely important.
    Sorry for the rant but I am glad you brought this to our attention.

    By the way, someone posted a very long and really great article here a few months ago I think it was about the Lymphatic System. It was really great. Do a search if you arer interested.
  3. Fmandy

    Fmandy New Member

    Thank you!

    I am so sorry to hear how you have been affected by lymph system problems, and I could not agree with you more about doctors not understanding this very important bodily function. I believe that many people have vague "pains" around their chest associated with the many lymph nodes.

    Thanks for the info about the previous article. I am going to look it up.

    Have a great "rest of the weekend" :)

    Andy
  4. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member

    FMandy:

    I will tell you something. As you know, it is very possible.
    A friend of mine had the same problem (this was years ago when I worked) and she suffered so much with it.

    It turned out that she needed a pure diuretic to get the water flowing again.

    I wonder if that is common for us also, with Fibromyalgia
    and CFS.

    nyrofan
  5. Fmandy

    Fmandy New Member

    Nyro, moaning :)

    I don't know but I think that some of us have lymph system problems, because for one thing some us with CFS have the EBV, which can cause lymphoma or non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

    I take a potent diuretic, Lasix, but remember the lymph system is more than water and is kind of magical to me, lol, because I know nothing about it.

    I am so glad you posted this. I ran off and snatched a good piece of general info for laymen, on the Lymphatic System. As I know nothing about it, but just now read up a bit and plan to more.

    It's funny how things work out :) I had no intentions of studying the Lymphatic system this morning, lol.

    Off topic but I love tabbed browsing in IE 7.0. I was writing a reply to you, then I needed info on the lymph system, so I opened a new "tab" and googled the lymph system, copied some info to Word, now I changed tabs and am back to my reply to you that I had already started. SO Kewl, lol.

    Here is the info from a not for profit site. There is much mo better info there. This is just a lead in:

    The Lymphatic system

    Closely connected with the blood and circulatory system, the lymphatic system is an extensive drainage system that returns water and proteins from various tissues back to the bloodstream.

    It is comprised of a network of ducts, called lymph vessels or lymphatics, and carries lymph, a clear, watery fluid that resembles the plasma of blood.

    Some scientists consider this system to be part of the blood and circulatory system because lymph comes from blood and returns to blood, and because its vessels are very similar to the veins and capillaries of the blood system.

    Throughout the body, wherever there are blood vessels, there are lymph vessels, and the two systems work together.

    http://www.gorhams.dk/html/the_lymphatic_system.html