Everyday when you have Lymphoedema there are actions that you must take to keep the Lymphoedema under control…. the same regime is also useful for those who have had lymph nodes removed to protect them from getting Lymphoedema.
PROTECT THE AFFECTED LIMB
Avoid any injury to your affected limb. Cuts, scrapes, bites and burns can all bring infection, which can result in lymphedema or in making it worse. Shave with an electric razor, wear gloves when you garden or cook, and use a thimble when you sew. Avoid medical procedures on the affected limb such as blood tests and vaccinations.
When ever possible elevate the affected limb above the level of the heart if possible?… Gravity will help. If you have had treatment for cancer and lymph nodes removed and/or radiation the limb becomes vulnerable…After cancer treatment, avoid heavy activity with that limb. Gentle exercise and stretching are encouraged, but avoid strenuous activity until you’ve recovered from surgery or radiation.
Try to keep the affected limb as cool as possible (not always easy in hot weather) avoid heat packs, saunas, spas, sunburn and hot baths as these will increase the production of lymph.
AVOID TIGHT CLOTHES
Try not to wear anything that could constrict your arm or leg, such as tight clothing. In the case of your arms avoid blood pressure readings on affected arm, ask that your blood pressure be taken in your other arm.
GOOD SKIN CARE
Make skin care and nail care a high priority. Check the skin on your arm or leg every day, watch for changes or breaks in your skin that could lead to infection. Don’t go barefoot outdoors. Do not allow skin to become dry and cracked. Protect your arm or leg. Treat any cuts, bites or fungal infection immediately … if you are at all concerned re infection see your doctor.
Along with this everyday some light exercise will help the lymph to move through the system… Wear a compression garment …. Self massage to stimulate the lymph nodes and the lymphatic system…. Try to eat a good healthy diet…. Try to keep weight to a healthy level so as not to overload the lymphatic system. Plus what ever individuals find that helps. Find a qualified lymphoedema therapist to help with your care.
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