If you’ve recently been diagnosed with lymphedema, you may be struggling a bit. After all, it’s not the easiest diagnosis to receive and will require care and attention for years to come. The good news is that there are steps you can take to manage symptoms and keep pain and swelling reduced. Follow these five steps to manage your lymphedema:
Seek Help From Your Doctor
Your medical provider will provide the best insight into your specific needs for treatment. If you’ve just received your diagnosis, you may be reeling with so many questions surrounding, “What is lymphedema?”
Your health provider will provide input on the level you have, what treatment would be best for you, and what to avoid. They can provide some peace of mind as you begin to understand your specific condition.
Invest In Compression Gear
Compression gear can be especially helpful for aiding in the flow of fluid. Fluid buildup results in swelling, so you want to avoid that as much as possible. Compression garments can also help you to reduce pain and overall provide some relief. While they may take some getting used to, you may eventually have some fun with various compression gear styles and adapt to life with these kinds of garments.
Pay Attention To Your Skin
Unfortunately, lymphedema requires frequent skincare routines, as any type of chapped, dry, or cut skin can lead to infection, which is something you want to avoid. Investing in quality skincare products that are natural yet reliable is the way to go. Also, creating time for a daily routine will help ensure you always take care of your skin, which will take care of your lymphedema in many ways.
While it may not seem that important at first, skincare is one of the most important aspects of lymphedema treatment to think about.
Live A Healthy Lifestyle
Weight management is vital if you have lymphedema. Weight gain can lead to more fluid buildup, pain, and subsequently, swelling. Eating healthy food, especially with plenty of anti-inflammatory foods in your diet, will go a long way in helping your lymphedema stay at a low level.
Exercise also helps people reduce swelling as it can help with lymphatic drainage, but speak to your health provider before you start your routine. Mild-intensity workouts are typically best for people who have lymphedema. Many people with this condition enjoy water exercises as they can be more intense but with less impact on their limbs.
Massage Treatment And Pumps
Every lymphedema patient will benefit from some type of massage treatment in their life. While this may differ for each person and their level of lymphedema, you’ll want to consider the best type of treatment for you.
This could be receiving manual lymphatic drainage by a therapist trained in gentle massaging of your soft tissue. Or it could be using a compression device that acts as a sort of massage to encourage fluid flow by reducing its buildup and helping you to avoid further swelling. Some people find that using a pump is a lot more convenient, while others appreciate the help of a professional in managing their condition.
While there is no cure for lymphedema, there are ways it can be treated and managed so you can live a relatively comfortable lifestyle. The main things to be concerned about are taking care of your skin and your overall health. The healthier you are and the more moisturized your skin is, the better it is for your condition. Take time to find foods, skincare products, and exercise that is right for you, but once you do, you will be living a more comfortable lifestyle.