Lymphedema

Lymphedema from the point of view of Ayurveda

Lymphedema refers to tissue swelling caused by an accumulation of protein-rich fluid that's usually drained through the body's lymphatic system. It most commonly affects the arms or legs, but can also occur in the chest wall, abdomen, neck and genitals. Lymphedema can be caused by cancer treatments that remove or damage lymph nodes. Any type of problem that blocks the drainage of lymph fluid can cause lymphedema. The most common causes of lymphedema include: Parasites. In developing countries in the tropics, the most common cause of lymphedema is infection with threadlike worms that clog the lymph nodes. Cancer - if cancer cells block lymph vessels, lymphedema may result. For instance, a tumor growing near a lymph node or lymph vessel could enlarge enough to block the flow of the lymph fluid. Radiation treatment for cancer - radiation can cause scarring and inflammation of lymph nodes or lymph vessels.

How Ayurvedic doctors treat Lymphedema

Lymphoedema is classified under the heading Shleepada in Ayurveda.  Shleepada in Ayurvedic understanding on lymph, filariasis and treatment for lymphatic drainage.

Shleepada is Kapha one of Tridoshaja disbalance,  which manifests by vitiating Mamsa, Kapha and Rakta and it leads to abnormal enlargement of different body parts. Blockage considered to be one of the prime causes of Shleepada which manifests with the symptoms of fever, painful swelling starting from groin and extending body parts .  

During Cancer treatment process, in different stage , including aggressive methods like radiotherapy or chemotherapy, Ayurvedic methods are a good way to help your body recover and stabilize faster. Ayurvedic preparations and various therapies accelerate the body’s recovery processes. Cancer treatment is a particularly individual process. An Ayurvedic doctor examines the course of the disease to determine the most effective Ayurvedic methods.  

 

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Tips for effective Ayurvedic treatment of Lymphedema:

  • yoga practice  can reduce the incidence of lymphedema

  • avoid added sugars like fructose,

  • avoid chemically modified fats

  • limit animal products

  • avoid high salt usage 

  • drink a lot of water – water plays an important role because lymph fluid have high protein content

  • massage has good benefits

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