Lymphoedema: Treatment, Diet and Home Remedies

Food and Nutrition

Foods to be taken
  • Eat foods high in fiber such as whole-grain breads, cereals, pasta, rice, fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Drink plenty of water – eight 8-ounce glasses of water are recommended per day
  • Eat omega 3 fatty acid rich foods like fish, walnuts, flaxseeds etc.
  • Ginger improves blood flow and decreases swelling
Foods to be avoided
  • Avoid high-sodium foods like processed foods, deli meats, canned vegetables and soups, condiments, frozen snacks, certain cheeses, pre-marinated meats and fast food.

Yoga and Exercise

Walking, running, jogging, cycling, swimming and other forms of sports or activities involving raising the heart rate, may be beneficial to patients with lymphedema in the legs. These forms of aerobic exercises may increase and stimulate lymph flow and drainage in the legs. Other exercises like flexibility and stretching exercises, strength training can also help.
Try to include deep breathing in any daily exercise routines to improve your circulation.

Yoga poses which help include:
  • Savasana, or Corpse pose
  • Wall Pose
  • Half Standing Forward Bend
  • Modified Cat/Cow Pose

Home Remedies

  • Pay particular attention to skin care to reduce the risk of infection
  • Avoid cuts, abrasions or other tissue injuries in the affected area
  • Don’t allow your skin to be sunburned.  Always wear sun protection (at least SPF 15) when going outdoors
  • Avoid direct heat, such as hot baths, saunas and sunbathing
  • Have your bra professionally fitted
  • Don’t wear tight jewellery
  • Try not to sit down for long periods of time or, if you do, elevate the affected limb
  • Avoid carrying heavy loads for any length of time, as this does not allow good lymph fluid clearance from the tissues

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