Lymphostasis of the lower extremities: symptoms and treatment
Lymphostasis of the lower extremities (lymphedema) is a disease that progresses due to a violation of lymph drainage. The launched stage of the disease almost always leads to disability. As a result of this pathology, the patient’s legs significantly increase in volume, which prevents him from moving freely and leading normal life activity. Currently, lymphedema of the lower extremities is diagnosed in 10% of the world’s population. As a rule, the disease affects most people of the elderly.
In modern medicine, there are two types of ailment — congenital and acquired.
Congenital lymphostasis is caused by the following reasons:
- dysfunctions of the lymphatic system
As for the acquired form of the disease, the reasons for its development are the following states:
- pathological venous insufficiency;
- heart problems;
- severe leg injuries;
- problems with joints;
- lack of proteins in the body
- inflammatory pathologies in vessels and tissues
- malignant tumors
- surgery, which resulted in damage to the lymph nodes
The ailment can also develop as a result of parasites entering the lymphatic vessels.
Initially, it should be noted that lymphostasis of the lower extremities has 3 stages of development. Each of them has its own symptoms. So, there are 3 degrees of development of the disease:
- reversible edema;
- irreversible edema (fibredema)
- elephant legs.
With reversible edema, the following symptoms are observed:
- Soft edema occurs in the knee area
- skin in the joint area may become pale;
- During the rest period, edema practically disappears.
Fibredema has these symptoms:
- more pronounced edema, wrinkles are formed on the skin
- the leg begins to deform;
- severe ache in the ankle area when walking;
- skin becomes blue;
- cramps are possible.
The last stage (elephantia) is irreversible, has such pronounced symptoms:
- the contours of the foot are practically smoothed out
- the patient is practically unable to move independently;
- eczema appears on the skin.
It is also worth noting that at this stage other joint ailments can also form.
Lymphostasis of the lower extremities has well-defined symptoms, but for a precise diagnosis it is still necessary to carry out a number of diagnostic measures and to find out what causes led to the progression of the pathology.
For the final diagnosis, the following methods are used:
- pelvic ultrasound;
- general urine analysis
- a general blood test;
Only based on the results of a full-fledged examination it is possible to confirm or deny the diagnosis and prescribe the correct medication and LFK course. Self-treatment with folk remedies is unacceptable.
Treatment of lymphostasis of the lower extremities implies not only a medical course of therapy, but also special nutrition, massage and exercise therapy.
The treatment plan is prescribed only on an individual basis. As a rule, the compulsory program includes preparations of this spectrum of actions:
- drugs that improve lymphatic drainage and tone vessels
- stimulation of lymphatic vessels
- vitamins of the P group
- Anti-inflammatory drugs.
If infectious diseases are diagnosed, then antibacterial medications are prescribed.
Be sure to observe the correct diet during treatment. The diet for lower limb lymphostasis is as follows:
- salt is not recommended;
- animal fats should be excluded;
- simple carbohydrates are excluded.
Be sure to eat these foods:
- porridge — wheat, buckwheat, oatmeal
- dairy products
- lean meat
- vegetable oil
It goes without saying that you should completely exclude alcohol and quit smoking.
Massage is also mandatory for lymphostasis of the lower limbs and special gymnastics. But the LFK course is prescribed strictly by the doctor in charge and after finding out the cause of the disease. Especially if it is a secondary form of ailment.
Exercises make it possible not only to slow the development of the disease, but also to restore the motor function much faster and reduce the risk of the disease again. As a rule, such exercises are good for the recovery:
- Scandinavian walking
- exercise «bicycle»
It is worth taking into account that all exercises should be performed in a special compression underwear. The same underwear should be worn until full recovery. Also, comfortable, proper shoes are important.
Treatment with folk remedies
Lymphostasis of the lower extremities can be treated with folk remedies, but only strictly according to the doctor’s prescription. Together with the official medicine and the main course of treatment, this can greatly accelerate the process of recovery. Especially good are the folk remedies at the initial stage of the disease development.
In folk medicine for the treatment of lymphedema of the lower extremities, such means are used:
- herbal remedies
- taking herbal decoctions
However, before using any folk remedies, it is worth consulting with a doctor.
In order to reduce the risk of the disease, it is timely and correct to handle leg wounds and even minor abrasions. It is also very important to eat right and watch your weight. Extra pounds can lead not only to obesity, but also to diseases of blood vessels and joints.
With the first symptoms, you should immediately consult a doctor. At the initial stage, lymphostasis is treated well and without consequences for human health.