Lymphedema: Where To Start?
There’s so much about the human body that we just ignore until it starts acting up. We look at the world around us until we realize it’s actually harder to see than it used to be. Thank goodness for glasses and contacts. The same goes for hearing. It’s only when we’re in a loud restaurant and having trouble hearing stories do we wonder if it might be time for a hearing aid. One of the most often-forgotten parts of our body runs through our entire system, from our toes up to our heads. The Lymphatic System might be easily overlooked, but it’s very important. We especially realize this when it’s damaged.
Our Lymphatic system acts as a waste removal system, cleaning out dead cells we no longer need and helping to keep us healthy with white blood cells. Much like our blood, lymph runs through our body via networks like veins. One of the biggest differences is that our lymph system doesn’t have a “pump” like blood has with the heart. So, lymph relies on muscle contraction and gravity to help push it along. Lymph nodes are located throughout the body and help filter toxins from the lymph as it continues around the body.
The problems start when these lymph nodes are damaged. This damage can stem from genetics, accidents, or even byproducts of other medical procedures.
Primary Lymphedema results from developmental abnormalities, and can sometimes occur in very young children. We are still learning about the numerous types of Primary Lymphedema, to see if there are underlying causes that we just haven’t found yet.
Secondary Lymphedema results from another procedure or condition (thus, it’s “second” to a known cause) and can occur in anyone who has experienced damage to their lymph system through various serious infections, surgeries, or cancer treatments, including radiation. It is often months after a procedure when people start reporting swelling in their arms or legs. Secondary Lymphedema can also result from complications from obesity and from venous hypertension, which is why we here at Reeder Vein Institute are experts with current research and treatment options for you.
As with many medical issues, catching Lymphedema and starting treatment early is important. If you’re concerned about something, don’t ignore it. We might just have what you’re looking for. Give us a call today at (972) 566-3040 to book a consultation!