I'm doing better with the addition of iodine and taking my supplements instead of forgetting.
The lymphatic system helps drain extracellular fluid throughout the body and cleans it at lymph nodes, an integral part of the immune system. Surgical harm to lymph nodes can lead to ongoing problems with edema, swelling of tissue with fluid that leaks out of the lymphatic vessels. Trauma to the brain can also cause swelling which has severe consequences within the skull.
The full Lymphedema Protocol document: (Link to the Lymphedema protocol as a pdf in my Dropbox), excerpts are included here.
Severe swelling in the legs also hurts. 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. Compression socks made from bamboo may help while allowing the skin to ‘breathe’ which polyester compression socks don’t and can get hot.
Symptoms and stages of lymphedema progression (I have experienced Stage Two - elevation still helps but not immediately, and am doing better with improved strategies and nutrient intake): (surgery.wustl.edu/ask-the-doctors-lymphedema-symptoms-and-causes/)
Swollen Legs: Causes and Treatments, (WebMD).
The lymphatic system cleans body fluid and also has the job of collecting excess fluid in the body and returning it to the veins. A brief video description of the lymphatic system and its anatomy and direction of flow is available here: Normal Lymphatic Anatomy and Flow, (chop.edu)
Addition: Salicylate excess or sensitivity/poor clearance of salicylates may be a causal factor of leg, hand and face swelling.
Salicylate sensitivity/poor clearance of it can also be a cause of leg, hand or face swelling. Salicylates are in many nutritious plant foods including all of the mint family. Aspirin and other pain-killers might be adding to a body load along with mint candy or topical pain relieving mint or capsaicin ointments. Avoiding salicylate sources helps but is difficult – most plant foods have some or a lot. It might be better to focus on correcting an over-acidic body pH which makes salicylates stay in the body instead of being excreted in the urine. And glycine is needed for the excretion or breakdown of salicylates. DMG or TMG/betaine supplements might be helpful or needed if there are gene issues with metabolism. I need DMG because I don’t break down Trimethylglycine well due to a reduced function gene allele. About 10-12 grams of DMG would likely be safe, take a half teaspoon (about 2 1/2-3 grams) at each meal in water, maybe with a tiny bit of baking soda to offset the acidity –‘amino acid’. DMG is tart.
See this webpage for an overview of ‘salicylate sensitivity’ – and how it might related to POTS and fibromyalgia. (Substack)
Other causes of ‘secondary lymphedema’ – any reasons other than congenital/birth malformation.
Causes of lymphedema that are not congenital, ‘secondary lymphedema’, include damage caused by cancer treatments, infections or physical trauma, bruising, crushing of vessels. 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. Lymphedema can have a genetic basis or be due to malformation of lymphatic vessels during fetal development – more on this topic is in a later section.
“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 (intra and extacellular matrix) would be affected by excess acidity or sudden binge loads of salty foods. Other things also can cause protein condensing and losing its layer of structured water molecules. Polyphenols and magnesium can help stabilize proteins and promote proper structuring of our body’s water.
This very thorough article has a lot of information about water retention/edema, causes, and nutrients and other strategies that may help. They recommend dandelion as an herbal diuretic, it does help or I use pomegranate peel for that benefit.
Water (Fluid) Retention: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment for Edema, (svalbardi.com)
“The main causes of water retention are a sodium-heavy diet and lifestyles in which sitting and standing for many hours in a row is common. The main symptom of water retention is the swelling of extremities and puffiness in the abdomen and face.
Sometimes, water retention is associated with weight, as the body adjusts to the potential dietary changes that come with weight loss or weight gain.
Edema is caused by nutrient deficiencies and imbalances, with vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B-6, magnesium, and zinc being common vitamins and minerals that have an effect on symptoms. Other times, edema is affected by behavioral habits; the way a person physically moves and exercises and how they massage their muscles has a significant impact on the presence or severity of the disease.” (svalbardi.com)
1.1 A caution with diuretic use – early morning nausea may indicate a need for sodium with some water.
I also have been drinking structured water again instead of from the tap. Early this morning I refilled my cup from the tap in the dark, drank a bunch . . . and then threw it up. It was probably just too much with no salt. Fortunately, my stomach was okay after that and I had a little sea salt and structured water a bit later and it has been fine rather than continuing to be upset.
A caution, or guidance for common side effects of diuretics – nausea first thing in the morning when you try to drink water can be due to low sodium. Use of diuretics, herbal or pharmaceutical, will deplete electrolytes. Low sodium levels in the morning can leave nausea with plain water. Having a little salt in the morning can help replace what was lost overnight, but then avoid salt for the rest of the day to avoid worse leg swelling.
Trial and error means trying stuff until you quit making so many errors. Life is a work in progress. It can help to add supplements one at a time to see how it helps or not and stop if anything seems worse. Check with a functional health practioner for individual guidance.
1. Strategies that may help lymphedema/leg or ankle edema.
Nutrients of importance, summary: B vitamins, B6 in particular, and vitamin A and C, magnesium, zinc, iodine, selenium, silica/silicon, melatonin, antioxidant/glutathione support – amino acids cysteine and glycine, Nrf2 promoting phytonutrients, delphinidin and EGCG/polyphenols from green tea, pomegranate or other foods, the amino acid tyrosine and cysteine are needed for enzymes.
Herbal diuretics like dandelion and pomegranate peel can help but then extra electrolyte intake may be necessary. The product pH Adjust has potassium, magnesium, and sodium bicarbonate to provide a mixture of electrolytes while buffering an over-acidity problem. Dandelion leaf and root are considered safe for use by women of child bearing age or during pregnancy and lactation.
Avoid sitting or standing still for extended periods of time. Keep moving intermittently while standing and sit with legs on a footstool when sitting. Maybe set a timer while sitting at the computer to remind you to stand up and stretch for a few minutes every half hour. Do more floorwork stretches, leg raises, pelvic tilts, foot/ankle circles. Doing the exercises and massage demonstrated in this video by two physical therapists, Bob and Brad, can help. Preventively or after swelling has occurred, but don’t expect the swelling to go away immediately. It helps though.
Avoid chronic unpredictable stress (good luck with that – work on changing your attitude about chronic unpredictable stress possibly along with practicing calming skills and reducing stressors).
Avoid physical trauma to lymphatic vessels or lymph nodes. Hard edged chairs particularly are bruising to me now – the edge hits a spot that was an old bruise that never healed enough to have normal flow restored.
Bamboo compression socks designed for lymphedema can help without being as suffocatingly hot as a spandex type.
Weight loss can help and a moderate or low carbohydrate diet may help. Carbohydrates tend to hold water – like corn starch or flour in a thickened gravy. The starch holds water like a sponge which thickens the gravy as it is heated.
Read more, a lot more, and the Reference List, also supplement examples:
“This document is lengthy, skim for the sections that interest you. It includes a summary of strategies that may help; the scientific research about our lymphatic and glymphatic system which support the recommendations and may help reduce risk of Alzheimer’s; and a section with research about the recommended nutrients and phytonutrients; and supplement examples that might help are included at the end. The products can be purchased through my account at Fullscript – sign up to be able to browse the catalog and shop for what you want or pick from my protocol examples at a 20% discount off retail price.
Fullscript is a wholesale supplement dispensary which carries a lot of reputable brands. Individuals can order through an affiliated healthcare professional. If interested sign up here and browse the various protocols that I have posted for anyone’s use. (Welcome/Sign up page) Product examples included in one of my protocols are intended for you to browse through rather than a recommendation to get all of it. (Any time I edit a protocol the system requires that I add another product to be able to save the edits.)”
The full Lymphedema Protocol document: (Link to the Lymphedema protocol as a pdf in my Dropbox)
Supplement examples are available to purchase on Fullscript - Black Friday special through Nov. 28th - 30% off whatever you buy. (Link to the protocol on Fullscript)
When we protect circulation and lymph flow in our legs, we are protecting our brain too.
The meningeal lymphatic system connects with the glymphatic system in the brain to remove toxins.
Aquaporin-4 channels help bring in nutrients and oxygen from blood vessels and remove toxins to the glymphatic system - in health. The system stops working well in Alzheimer’s Disease. There are fewer AQp4 channels, or they are located in the wrong place on astrocytes to function correctly. If your garden hose spigot is pointing inside the house rather than outside, that would be a problem for your flooring.
Disclaimer: This information is being provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of Fair Use and is not intended to provide individual health care guidance.