There are several diseases in the world that can cause deformities or disfigurement of the body. One of these diseases is lymphedema or lymphatic obstruction. This happens when the lymphatic system is impaired or compromised and can’t do it’s job well. When this happens, the tissues retain the fluid called lymph, which was supposed to be cleared. In turn, fluid retention causes the abnormal swelling of affected body parts.
Lymphedema can affect an arm or leg, but i can also affect both at the same time. It can even affect the groin area and neck. The lymphedema can be hereditary or acquired, nonetheless, the symptoms remain the same no matter how you’ve developed the disease.
Symptoms characterize the stages of the disease. Yet, despite these signs, doctors still have difficulty telling if its lymphedema based on the symptoms alone. Lymphedema’s symptoms are similar to those of other diseases and could actually be misdiagnosed as elephantiasis. Symptoms include fatigue, heaviness, swelling, and in some cases, redness of the area.
During the first stage of lymphedema, which is also known as reversible lymphedema, pitting edema is normally present. Pitting edema is what happens when the skin maintains an indenture after it has been touched or pressed. Although the swelling may temporarily subside by raising your affected arm or leg for a long time, treatment is still necessary.
Another common symptom is the feeling of tightness in the affected area. Usually, one of your shoes or your ring can’t fit well. This might indicate that the affected arm is getting worse especially if the area is already becoming bloated. Moreover, you might also experience less flexibility and have difficulty moving the affected limb.
People prone to developing lymphedema are those who have undergone breast and colon surgery, cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy and those who have injured their lymphatic system. Once lymphedema symptoms manifest in these people, doctors generally don’t have a hard time inferring that this is lymphedema. Though there’s no cure for lymphedema, medication is available aside from surgery.
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