Lymphedema, movement, and structured water
...and also a CoV link about VEGF and NRP1 and NRP-2 - not discussed here though.
Apparently the most important thing I need to avoid besides salt to prevent lower leg swelling (lymphedema) is sitting. No more sitting for me ;-) especially on chairs with a hard edge. Standing desk time. Or laying down, it is logistically difficult to type then.
I had associated the leg edema symptom with salicylate sensitivity that was a problem in the summer. Cutting way down on salicylates relieved the congestion and asthma like symptoms but the leg edema has continued to be a problem. It is temporally linked to my sitting at the computer more than doing chores outside or around the house. I researched the topic of salicylate sensitivity and didn’t see leg edema as a symptom. What I did see: Lack of omega 3 and zinc may be involved in the problem and eating fish may help… okay, yes, that makes sense. Shellfish are also a excellent source of zinc.
In getting a little deeper into omega 3 metabolism I learned that my being chronically low in vitamin B6 would interfere with my ability to form omega 3 fatty acids from precursor fats. See: Cofactors for Omega 3 metabolism, (Substack)
So my take home point for my self-care is that I really need to not miss taking my daily supplements. My genes are too weird to do without the help of vitamin B6, zinc, methyl B12 and methyl folate, choline and phosphatidylcholine. Niacin, riboflavin and thiamine also help me.
Oxalate wise - too much vitamin C likely is a problem for me and that is any amount more than ~ 200-400 mg per day according to an article by Chris Masterjohn. Some people tolerate less than others and the cut off seems to be around 200-400 mg which he says is the upper level that we typically might get from a produce rich diet. More than that seems to really promote oxalate problems in some people. That seems to to include me. I had been using 100 mg chewables for quite a while but ran out and I was using 1000 mg capsules that were on hand.
The lymphedema problem search results suggested losing weight could help - so my overeating and sitting too much worsen the problem. It is something I’ve had occasionally for a few years as a more obvious problem, but also is something I’ve always had, all my life - not slim calves and ankles even when the rest of me was slim. Lymphatic vessel formation is critical in fetal development and some issues may be from birth. People with Down’s syndrome may have lymphatic issues from birth differences. (Harvey, 2010, viewable at ScienceDirect)
“Lymphatic vessels are a vital but often overlooked component of the cardiovascular system. In contrast to blood vessels, lymphatic vessels do not deliver oxygen and nutrients to tissues, but instead collect and return interstitial fluid and protein (lymph) to the bloodstream. In addition, lymphatic vessels provide an important trafficking route for cells of the immune system during immune surveillance and infection, and facilitate the absorption of lipids from the digestive tract.
Lymphatic vascular function is critical for both embryonic development and adult homeostasis, reflected by the fact that abnormalities in the growth and development of lymphatic vessels (lymphangiogenesis) are associated with an ever-expanding catalog of human pathologies. Defects in embryonic lymphangiogenesis that result in dysfunctional lymphatic vessels are associated with congenital lymphoedema syndromes, as well as Down, Noonan’s and Turner syndromes. It is likely that the most severe disturbances in embryonic lymphatic vascular development are incompatible with life.” (Harvey, 2010, viewable at ScienceDirect)
Bonus reference for CoV/VEGF fans that has fulltext available, (the book chapter isn’t fully viewable):
An article citing this chapter about lymphatic development. (Harvey, 2010, viewable at ScienceDirect) is about VEGF, NRP-1 and NRP-2 receptors and the chimeric spike. The citation is : “In contrast, the physiological functions of NRP-2 are less well described. This receptor can bind to distinct semaphorin and VEGF ligands and guide the development of the lymphatic system during embryogenesis . In addition, NRP-2 is relatively abundant in immune cells, where it may control important functions such as chemotaxis, phagocytosis, or antigen presentation .” (Talotta, 2022)
I got tired of standing and am laying on my belly with the laptop in front of me, a couple throw pillows propping up my abdomen.
Got busy after that and stayed active the rest of the day. The leg swelling was milder but present in the evening.
Leg lifts, bicycle in the air, foot circles in the air, etc. all that helps some to promote drainage.
Other tips: Gentle massage on the surface layer of the skin rather than deep into the muscle is used for promoting lymphatic drainage and a massage specialist in that might be available if you look. Dry brushing or a foam roller may also provide a similar benefit. Sweeping the fluid under the skin surface towards the direction of drainage is the goal. Drainage is towards the abdomen and spine and then up towards the left side of the upper chest. Ditch underwire or tight bras that constrict the lymph nodes within the arm pit area.
The lymphatic system cleans body fluid and also has the job of collecting excess fluid in the body and returning it to the veins. Brief video description of the lymphatic system and its anatomy and direction of flow. (chop.edu/video/normal-lymphatic-anatomy-and-flow)
The skin gets so tight and stretched when puffed up with excess water it feels hot and itchy. Walking is difficult as the water in the foot and ankle can get bad enough to feel like wearing a cast that can't bend.
Symptoms and stages of lymphedema progression (I’m at Stage Two - elevation still helps but not immediately): (surgery.wustl.edu/ask-the-doctors-lymphedema-symptoms-and-causes/)
Causes of lymphedema that are not congenital, include damage caused by cancer treatments. Infections or physical trauma, bruising, crushing, may also be a cause of secondary lymphedema. So the hard edge of the chair is bruising and sitting too long can lead to pressure sores, especially as we age and heal more slowly. I also have an old poorly healed bruise near that chair edge area which seems to cause worse drainage problems for that leg.
“Secondary lymphedema may result from infection of the lymph nodes or vessels, causing damage and limiting functionality. This is more common in tropical or subtropical regions of the world. Other trauma to the lymphatic system, such as crushing injuries or burns, can disrupt drainage when lymphatic vessels or nodes are damaged. Scar tissue can create a barrier that prevents proper drainage.” (surgery.wustl.edu/ask-the-doctors-lymphedema-symptoms-and-causes/)
This seems like a structured water problem though too - my inner Jello would be affected by excess acidity or sudden binge loads of salty foods. Other things can cause protein condensing and losing its layer of structured water molecules. Theoretically.
So I ask myself . . . Jen what has changed besides stressful overeating and more computer sitting time? - you used to be able to sit at the computer…
And the answer - lack of sunshine means also lack of the structured water that I had been drinking in addition to the hot beverage drink made with MCT oil. It is good, but a little rich. It is not a water substitute, it is a creamy hot or cold beverage - a little fatty on an empty belly in the morning. I drink it slowly.
So today's experiment, and tomorrow’s - I am trying an infrared space heater as a sun substitute for for glass jugs of water. I add about a 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of diatomaceous earth to the gallon of water. As a colorful control test I am also making a container of suntea with rooibos and skullcap* herb (*baicalin source).
I like growing things. (Happiness tip.in the last post).
My winter garden:
My Christmas cactus has buds!
The infrared space heater suntea, forty minutes later (8:11am):
4:06 but I turned off the heater about an hour ago, I am going to strain my suntea/infrared space heater tea, and try some.
Tastes good and yes, has the slippery feeling of structured water.
Disclaimer: This information is being provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of Fair Use and is not intended to provide individual health guidance.
(Harvey, 2010, viewable at ScienceDirect) Natasha L. Harvey, Chapter 8.4 - Lymphatic Vascular Development, Editor(s): Nadia Rosenthal, Richard P. Harvey, Heart Development and Regeneration, Academic Press, 2010, Pages 543-565, ISBN 9780123813329, https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-381332-9.00025-6. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780123813329000256)
(Moore, Bertram, 2018) Moore JE Jr, Bertram CD. Lymphatic System Flows. Annu Rev Fluid Mech. 2018 Jan;50:459-482. doi: 10.1146/annurev-fluid-122316-045259. PMID: 29713107; PMCID: PMC5922450. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5922450/
(Talotta, 2022) Talotta R. Impaired VEGF-A-Mediated Neurovascular Crosstalk Induced by SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein: A Potential Hypothesis Explaining Long COVID-19 Symptoms and COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects? Microorganisms. 2022; 10(12):2452. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10122452 https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2607/10/12/2452