(NaturalNews) The condition known as lymphedema is caused by the accumulation of fluid in the body's interstitial tissues which surround the lymph glands. It occurs when lymph nodes are missing, removed or damaged - making it impossible for the lymphatic system to remove excess lymphatic fluid through the lymph vessels. Left untreated, lymphedema can cause serious complications including infection and interference with wound healing. However, there are natural lifestyle changes and remedies which can often offer substantial relief.
There are two types of lymphedema. The first, primary lymphedema, is caused by the absence of lymph nodes or abnormalities in the lymphatic system at birth. Secondary lymphedema is caused by removal of lymph nodes during surgery, radiation treatments, infection, malignancy, or build up of scar tissue. It is not uncommon to see a cancer patient with lymphedema after surgery that involves removal of lymph nodes.
The excess fluid that results from lymphedema will likely result in swelling if the condition is left untreated. Most often such swelling is in the arms and legs, although other parts of the body can also be affected. Lymphedema can also result in reduction of oxygen availability, which provides an environment for bacteria to accumulate. Lymphedema should not be confused with edema. However, edema that is left untreated can result in a lymphatic disorder, which necessitates the same type of treatment as lymphedema.
An individual with lymphedema should make sure to communicate to their health care providers the presence of this condition. The affected area should never be used to take blood pressure, or to administer IV's or vaccinations.
Exercising, lymphatic massage, and compression garments are some effective ways of treating lymphedema. In addition to these treatments, it is also important to implement the following:
*Detoxify the body on a regular basis.
*If overweight, lose those excess pounds.
*The Budwig Diet, which has shown to be beneficial in individuals with cancer, also has blood thinning properties, which may facilitate lymphatic flow.
*Eliminate all unhealthy foods. These include processed foods, junk foods, fast foods, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and unhealthy oils (coconut and tropical oils are the most healthy). Eat as many organic raw fruits and vegetables as possible. The diet should include natural yogurt and probiotics. Probiotics help keep friendly bacteria in the intestines thriving, support the immune system, and aid in toxin removal.
Supplements and herbs that will help to alleviate the condition are:
*Bromelain helps to reduce swelling and inflammation. It is recommended that 250 to 500 mg be taken on an empty stomach three times a day.
*Butcher's Broom strengthens blood vessel walls and improves circulation. It also relieves swelling, inflammation, and edema. Recommended dosage is 100 mg once a day for at least three months.
*Emu Oil caplets boost immune cell function, improve circulation, and reduce inflammation. Suggested dosage is 1,000 mg daily.
*Horse Chestnut reduces inflammation and alleviates phlebitis.
*Flax seed oil capsules are anti-inflammatory. Recommended dosage is 1,000 mg twice daily.
*Fish oil is also anti-inflammatory. 1 to 2 capsules should be taken at bedtime.
*Boswellia Serrata is an Ayurvedic herb that reduces inflammation.
*Ginger Tea increases circulation and reduces inflammation. Add 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger to 1 cup hot water. Drink 3 times a day.
*Grape seed extract is a powerful antioxidant and it also reduces inflammation. Recommended dosage is 200 mg daily.
*Calcium and magnesium, taken at a ratio of 2:1 calcium to magnesium, help to clear free radicals from the body and reduce inflammation.
*Colloidal silver helps to prevent infection while strengthening the immune system.
Luella May is a natural health advocate helping people to heal naturally. Luella is in the midst of editing her ebook, "The 8 Invisible Stains of Our Souls" which will be available in the next few months. She partners with Tony Isaacs, who authors of books and articles about natural health including "Cancer's Natural Enemy" and "Collected Remedies" Luella contributes to The Best Years in Life website for baby boomers and others wishing to avoid prescription drugs and mainstream managed illness and live longer, healthier and happier lives naturally. Luella co-moderates the CureZone "Ask Tony Isaacs" forum as well as the Yahoo Health Group "Oleander Soup" and hosts her own yahoo group focusing on the natural wellbeing of pets "