Lymphedema of the arm is the result of a damged or impaired lymphatic system causing an accumulation of lymph fluid within the surrounding tissues also known as edema.
The for swelling occurring in someone with a damaged lymphatic system is explained. The lymphatic system runs throughout the body, collecting and transporting toxins, waste and other particles throughout the body. As a continuos flow is needed to ensure the body is sufficiently cleansed and maintained, when there is a blockage of some description, lymph fluid can quickly build up. Over time more and more lymph fluid is being blocked from circulationg through the body and thus swelling occurs.
This fluid swelling is full of toxins, protein and other dead matter which needs to be transported to the organs of elimination. If not properly treated, the accumulation of toxic fluid can cause further complications to ones health.
The muscles in your body contract and push on the walls of the lymphatic channels, which in turn promotes lymph flow. The lymphatic channels pass through bean-shaped structures called lymph nodes, which can be found throughout the body but found in large clusters within the neck, underarm and groin. Lymph nodes filter out bacteria, waste products, toxic substances and cancer cells from the lymphatic fluid. When bacteria or cancer cells are caught within the nodes, lymphocytes are sent to the node to fight and kill the pathogen. This is why when fighting a cold or infection your lymph nodes usually swell and may be tender.
Lymph fluid contains many nutrients and is essential for replenishing cells throughout the body.
Unfortunately, a lymphoedema arm makes an easy target for bacteria. Even the smallest of wounds to the skin can allow bacteria to pass through and into the body causing infection. This in turn causes more blood and lymph to travel to the area of infection to fight it, causing even more swelling.
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