lymphoedema in the stomach area

Hi all

just wondering out of curiosity if anyone else who has lymphoedema in the legs is also experiencing it in the stomach area and I know this is a silly question but how do you tell the difference from it being in your stomach to just gaining a few pounds?

Ive recently been diagnosed but had the symptoms in my legs for years, however I have also experienced bloating etc and regardless of exercise diets etc it does seem to just do its own thing in this area so I'm now wondering if it is lymphoedema or middle age spread?

9 Replies

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  • It can happen, but you would need to get it confirmed by your lymphoedema clinic. It may require adjustment of compression to include the abdomen - or - it may be an age thing and not related to lymphoedema at all!

  • Firstly I believe that no question is a silly question :-) secondly if you think it is silly question you are very brave to have posted it! Thirdly, I have lymphoedema from above my belly button right the way down to my toes so yes it can affect your tummy area. Also I have been told that Lipodema(something different from lymphoedema, please look it up) can often also be involved either together or separately from lymphoedema. As Lynora has already written, he would need to get it checked out by a healthcare professional but it may well be worth checking their knowledge and experience with these conditions as many GPs do not have the training. Good luck and please keep us posted as to your progress

  • Firstly I believe that no question is a silly question :-) secondly if you think it is silly question you are very brave to have posted it! Thirdly, I have lymphoedema from above my belly button right the way down to my toes so yes it can affect your tummy area. Also I have been told that Lipodema(something different from lymphoedema, please look it up) can often also be involved either together or separately from lymphoedema. As Lynora has already written, he would need to get it checked out by a healthcare professional but it may well be worth checking their knowledge and experience with these conditions as many GPs do not have the training. Good luck and please keep us posted as to your progress

  • Hi Hazie

    You are obviously in tune with your body which is so important for all of us with LE, especially lower extremity It's is not common, but certainly not uncommon for primary LE (in particular) to spread from legs to trunk especially after many years in only the legs. I have primary LE in both legs (toes to groin) and am always asking my MLD therapist how my stomach is feeling; luckily no sign of it spreading but am alert to the possibility.. I'm also perimenopausal so due to hormones changing I'm thicker in the waist than ever before (quite slender all my life) It's really important you see your local LE clinic nurse, as you would need compression if it has spread to your trunk. I have 3 friends whose lower extremity LE spread over the course of many years from one, to two legs and then trunkal. Your gp can refer you to a LE clinic if you're not already under one. Sadly most medics are not trained in LE so it's important you are seen by a specialist nurse in clinic, or MLD therapist (look at MLDUK.org.uk as therapists on here are properly qualified). Take care.

    PS In the meantime, have you been doing abdominal Lymphatic breathing for your legs? It's very important as it helps draw lymph upwards to drain into your thoracic duct. Here is a good instructional video (2 parts)

    blog.massagebyheather.com/l...

  • Thank you all for your comments and yes I will get it checked out properly at my next appointment but for now I'm going with middle age 😊

    Thank you for the video link I've started the massage last night from the DVD so just need to make it routine now.

  • I have had lyphoedema in my legs for twenty years plus started having rock hard stomach about a year ago then I noticed it used to go down resulting in a small leaking area went to doctors he said I had it in stomach the skin looks like orange peel with little dips in skin like the skin of a orange then in February I had my stomach turn very red hot and I had usual signs of an infection the doctor gave me antibiotics which cleared it up

  • I have been wondering the same thing and it drives me crazy to not know if it's swelling or fat! Since I got lymphedema, I have gradually developed a bigger belly and it kind of feels colder and the skin is not as sensitive... But then again I could be imagining things and put on a few pounds due to aging and lesser exercise. I'm having a meeting with my surgeons and another scan on Monday. It should hopefully also tell how far it's spread. I'll tell you how it went and what I learned!

  • Thank you for your reply hope your appointment goes well

  • Hi, I have lower limb LE that is also in my stomach. You can ask the nurse to moisture meter you on your next visit to be sure which is how I found out (just thought I was getting rounder from being less mobile). I've added trunk massage to my routine and had some compression cycling shorts that cover the tummy made that I received last Thursday. I'm pleased to say I can now see my hip bones and have a waistline again - now I just need to get the legs sorted! 😄

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