We all know Secondary and Primary Lymphoedema, and Lipedema are not the consequence of a poor diet. Despite what uninformed others may think or say to the contrary, perhaps in attempt to be helpful (a Lymphie friend of mine was told to eat mangoes to make her swelling stop while another was told it was purely an excess weight problem), these are diseases with no known cure. At least not yet. The good news is a lot more funding is now going into lymphatic diseases research and there is much greater medical and scientific motivation to find cures. Multimillions have been allocated via the National Institutes of Health to lymphatic diseases clinical and scientific research groups internationally. However we certainly still have a long way to go before we see ALL health professionals educated about LE & LI.
Until we have a cure our existing daily treatment eg compression therapy, CDT, SLD/MLD/pumps, etc will remain mainstay of symptom management, and slowing disease progression. The newest addition to this list is food/diet/nutrition. There is emerging research in the area of food and lymphatic inflammation and dysfunction. A good number of patients with Lipedema and Lymphoedema find severity of symptoms can be reduced, sometimes significantly, through specific dietary considerations. Many in this forum in addition to myself can attest to this. If you haven’t already seriously looked at the link between your own symptom severity and what goes into your gut after passing through your lips, it’s worth doing. If you’re asking why the gut matters... The gut is crucial as it’s where the lymphatics start within our body.
The attached video presentation from the 2019 Annual Lymphedema Symposium at Harvard University is worth watching. While professor Erlich’s delivery is a dull monotone, the content is very interesting due to recent research findings so stick with it. He’s one of the authors of the recent edition of the Lymphedema and Lipedema Nutrition Guide.
Another recent, excellent book is The Complete Lymphedema Management and Nutrition Guide: Empowering Strategies, Supporting Recipes and Therapeutic Exercises. Strategies in this book are backed by research and clinical evidence.
Hopefully these resources will provide insight and may become a valuable addition to your LE and or LI management/treatment tool kit.
A Lympherry Christmas to all
Catherine xx 🦋