Information on Lymphedema

Please take a moment to review The Compression Closet articles below to learn more about lymphedema.

 

Lymphedema Information

Secondary Lymphedema

Seconday lymphedema AngelaLYMPHEDEMA AWARENESS MONTH

March is Lymphedema Awareness Month, so let’s bring a bit more awareness to this chronic and progressive disease. Trauma to the lymph system can cause secondary lymphedema. Today, I’d like to introduce you to Angela, who has secondary lymphedema. Angela first was presented with lymphedema in March of 2016, nine years after being treated for cervical cancer. Her left ankle began to swell and within the week her entire leg was swollen.

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Primary Lymphedema

Primary lymphedema HardeepBORN WITH LYMPHEDEMA

March is Lymphedema Awareness Month! So let’s bring a bit more awareness to this chronic and progressive disease. I’d like to introduce you to Hardeep. She has primary lymphedema, which means she was born with a lymph system that was compromised in some way. Hardeep was six months old when she was diagnosed with primary lymphedema in her arm and hand. Lucky for Hardeep, she was diagnosed fairly quickly and began her treatments right away. The earlier lymphedema is diagnosed, the easier it is to manage. Continue reading

Lymphedema Awareness Month

BRINGING MORE AWARENESS TO LYMPHEDEMAlymphedema awareness month

March is Lymphedema Awareness Month and March 6th is World Lymphedema Day, which is celebrated every year to educate the public about this disease. It is estimated that up to 10 million Americans are afflicted with this disease. However, many believe the numbers are much higher because so often people with this disease are misdiagnosed. Continue reading

Head & Neck Lymphedema

lymph nodes head and neckHEAD & NECK LYMPHEDEMA

Swelling in the head and neck is often a side effect of cancer treatments in this area, such as thyroid cancer, soft tissue sarcoma or others. Some studies claim as high as 75.3% of head and neck cancer patients will suffer some lymphedema as a result of treatments. Lymphedema is a chronic swelling that can result from damage to the lymphatic system in this area. Furthermore, interference with the flow of lymphatic fluid can build up lymphatic fluid. This is commonly seen in the neck and under the chin, however it can also occur in the face and inside the mouth and throat.

Head and neck lymphedema can cause difficulty with breathing, speaking, neck mobility and swallowing. In particular, it can alter one’s appearance which can be quite distressing. Continue reading

WINTER SAFETY AND LYMPHEDEMA

WINTER SAFETY & LYMPHEDEMAWinter lymphedema

In the cooler winter months, lymphedema can be easier to deal with. Compression garments are more comfortable to wear in the cooler weather and swelling might not be as bad. Bug bites and sunburns are usually not an issue of concern, at least in the northern hemisphere. However, winter can present its own challenges. Here are just a few tips for winter safety and lymphedema. Continue reading

LIPEDEMA

WHAT IS LIPEDEMA?  

lipedema
Photo credit: Lipedema Simplified

You’ve probably seen someone with lipedema. You may even know someone who has it, but  have been unaware of their disease. Lipedema is a chronic condition that causes the  accumulation of fat most often in the lower part of the body. However it can also occur in the  upper arms. It is a condition that almost exclusively occurs in women. Lidpedmea is often confused with obesity and frequently misdiagnosed. Women with lipedema may also suffer from easy bruising, sensitivity to touch and pain.  Commonly, there will be a disproportionate distribution of fat with a smaller upper body and a larger lower body. Mayo Clinic first reported  this disease in 1940, but the condition still remains largely misunderstood and under-diagnosed.

The exact cause of this condition is unknown and it may be that it has many causes. Heredity seems to be a major factor in this disease. Family history of lipedema is often noted and potential genes associated with the condition have been recently identified.  Female hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy and perimenopause also seem to play a role in this condition. Other hormones, such as insulin and thyroid hormones may also be involved. Continue reading

Lymphedema Resources

NEW AT THE COMPRESSION CLOSETNew at the compression closet

I have been working with lymphedema patients for over a dozen years now. One of the questions I run into all the time is where to find more information and support for lymphedema. Through my research and training, I have begun to gather together some of these resources for you.

Let’s start out the New Year with some new knowledge and resources! We have just added a new page to our website, Lymphedema Resources. At The Compression Closet, we want our website to be more than just a place to purchase good quality compression garments for lymphedema. We want this to be a place to go to for information, resources and the latest in research about the lymphedema condition. Continue reading

LYMPHEDEMA & THE HOLIDAYS: 20 SURVIVAL TIPS

surviving the holidays with lymphedemaLYMPHEDEMA & THE HOLIDAYS – STRESS?

The holiday season can be challenging for all of us, but when we are living with a chronic disease it can be even more difficult. Lymphedema presents its own challenges especially at this busy time of year. The Compression Closet has come up with a few tips and tricks to help you manage this holiday season with a little more ease and grace. Continue reading

STOCKINGS WERE HUNG BY THE CHIMNEY

Replacing your compression stockingsREPLACING YOUR COMPRESSION STOCKINGS?

Are you stockings hung by the chimney with care in hopes that St. Nicholas soon will be there? Are your stockings in good shape? Are they still compressing well and providing the containment you need or is it time to replace your compression stockings? If you are wearing your compression stockings every day, the compression will probably last four to six weeks. You should be able to tell when your stockings need replacing as they will start to get easier and easier to don and doff. Is it time to replace those compression stockings?

Good quality compression stockings are not cheap and yet they do need to be replaced on a regular basis.  Putting off purchasing new stockings can be much more expensive in the long run and cause more complications with your lymphedema. I wanted to offer a few suggestions that might be helpful. Continue reading

OUR LYMPHATIC SYSTEM

lymphatic systemWHAT IS A LYMPH SYSTEM?

The lymphatic system is an essential part of our immune system which helps to protect the body from disease and infections. It is a network of vessels, organs and tissues working together to move lymph fluid back into the bloodstream. The lymph system has several  key functions starting with maintaining fluid levels in our body by collecting excess fluid and returning them back to the bloodstream.  It absorbs fats from the digestive tract. It also protects the body against foreign invaders by producing white blood cells and other immune cells. Furthermore, it transports and removes waste products and abnormal cells from the lymph.

The lymphatic system is essential for healthy immune function  and defense against possible harmful pathogens. It plays a major role in removing waste and toxins from the body. With close to 700 lymph nodes spread throughout the body, it’s no wonder the lymph system has such a powerful effect on our health. Continue reading