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Lymphedema is a medical condition that is caused by a blockage in the lymphatic system. This blockage prevents the flow of lymph fluid, a clear fluid that is carried toward the heart. Unable to properly flow, the lymph fluid builds up and causes swelling. There is no cure for lymphedema, but it can be treated.
Lymphedema refers to a certain kind of swelling that can occur in your limbs. Lymphedema can occur in one or both of your arms and/or one or both of your legs. There is no cure, Lymphedema can only be treated.
When your arm or leg is affected by Lymphedema, certain signs and symptoms of the condition may start to appear, including:
Cases of Lymphedema can range from mild to severe. In mild cases, you can have Lymphedema and know it. In sever cases of Lymphedema, it can be difficult to use the affected limbs and swelling can extend to your fingers and toes.
Risk factors for Lymphedema include:
Lymphedema cannot be cured, but it can be treated to reduce swelling, pain, and discomfort and to prevent Lymphedema from getting worse. Options to treat Lymphedema include:
As with any medical condition, you should regularly see your doctor and follow your doctor's orders. Take your lymphedema condition seriously, don't just cope with it or ignore it. Make the effort and take the time to treat your lymphedema. Keep swollen limbs elevated, regularly perform your lymphedema exercises, and wear compression sleeves.
National Library of Medicine - Lymphedema
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research - Lymphedema
WebMD - What is Lymphedema?
American Cancer Society - What is Cancer-related Lymphedema?