Two minutes a day to better lymphatic health
We know many things can contribute to not feeling and looking your best. What few of us realise is that our body has its own hidden transport and septic system that works 24/7, removing damaging toxins so you can rise and shine to make every day your best.
Treating your body like an unserviced garbage disposal unit is eventually going to have negative consequences. Your health will begin to stagnate and fester, and you may end up with nasty inflammatory diseases that cause long lasting damage to your body, inside and out.
Time to make friend with your lymphatic system
The lymphatic system measures more than 100,000 km in length and plays a significantly powerful role in how good we feel on a daily basis. It is basically a fluid like clag glue that moves through its own series of vessels towards the neck and then the heart, in a one way action. Waste from cellular metabolism and toxins from the bloodstream are sent into the lymph fluid for removal. This waste includes excess fluid, debris, dead blood cells, pathogens, cancer cells and toxins. A build-up of toxins and metabolic waste can typically occur in a lymphatic system that is overworked and congested. This results in an increased risk of inflammation and reduced immune function.
A congested lymphatic system places an increased burden on the skin as it tries to deal with this build-up, which can contribute to inflammation, poor complexion, and other skin problems. The lymphatic system also works with the circulatory system to deliver nutrients, oxygen and hormones from the blood to the cells that make up the tissues of the body. The hardworking lymph system doesn’t have a pump, like the blood has the heart. It relies on bodily movement for circulation, and as we know, we don’t move as much as we should. The lymph system can stop working properly if it becomes cut (from surgery), blocked, inflamed, or cancerous.
The lymph transports fatty acids and fat-soluble nutrients from the digestive system for absorption into the blood vessels. Hormones and proteins that cannot make it automatically into the blood must travel via the lymphatic system before they can be utilised.
In summary, the lymphatic system is designed to:
- Take away grime
- Clear out toxins
- Fight disease
- Balance fluid levels (think puffy legs and face)
- Transport nutrients and facilitate immunity In other words, it gets rid of the ugly things nobody wants to talk about.
The lymphatic system is also responsible for:
- How quickly we can get in shape. Think metabolism, fat transportation, and the speed of hormonal responses.
- How fast we recover from exercise. Removing lactic acid and cellular wastes.
- How quickly we heal from sickness, surgery or injury, thanks to a quick-responding immune system.
In today’s world, if you want speedy results, you simply must start with the lymphatic system.
Dr Perry Nickleston tells us that inflammation, disease and 99 per cent of all pain originates in our body’s lymphatic system. Clean it out and your pain, inflammation, disease and ill health will reduce dramatically, and you will reap the rewards of great health.
A lymphatic system revamp is real and it looks like this.
Where are the major lymph sites in your body?
Lymph nodes:Lymph nodes are bean-sized collections of lymphocytes and other immune system cells throughout the body. These nodes are located inside the chest, neck, abdomen, and pelvis. They are connected by a system of lymphatic vessels.
Spleen: The spleen is an organ under the lower ribs on the left side of the body. The spleen makes lymphocytes and other immune system cells. It also stores healthy blood cells and filters out damaged blood cells, bacteria, and cell waste.
Bone marrow: The bone marrow is the spongy tissue inside certain bones. This is where new blood cells (including some lymphocytes) are made.
Thymus: The thymus is a small organ behind the upper part of the breastbone and in front of the heart. It’s important in the development of immune cells, the T-lymphocytes
Adenoids and tonsils: These are collections of lymph tissue in the back of the throat. They help make antibodies against germs that are breathed in or swallowed.
Digestive tract: The stomach, intestines, and many other organs also have lymph tissue.
Appendix: The submucosa of the appendix contains many masses of lymphoid tissue, indicating a possible role in the lymphatic and immune systems.
How does lymphatic imbalance show in your body?
Did you know that your lymphatic vessels need to inflame by more than 100 per cent before being noticed!
This is how this inflammation can show up:
- Joint pain
- Hands and feet pain
- Breast swelling
- Chronic fatigue
- Swelling of lymph nodes in the throat, armpits or groin
- Muscle aches and pains
- Sore throats
- Hormonal problems
- Weight gain
- Sickness and disease
Common diseases associated with the lymphatic system include:
Lymphedema: The pooling of lymph fluid in the surrounding tissue, typically in the feet or lower legs.
Lymphadenitis: The inflammation of a lymph node or nodes due to an infection of the tissue, usually in the neck.
Lymphoma: A group of cancers that develop in the lymphatic system, involving multiplication of lymphocytes eventually forming a malignant tumour in the lymph nodes and other parts of the body.
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: Another subset of lymphatic cancers that can involve either B cells or T cells.
Splenomegaly: More conveniently known as an enlarged spleen. This can be caused by several factors, including infection or cancer.
Tonsillitis: A recurrent infection of the lymphoid tissues in the back of the mouth and top of the throat, which together form the tonsils.
There’s plenty more where that came from, think osteoarthritis and even a fatty liver, so it’s fair to say that if your lymphatic system is ailing, your health in general will not be its best.
One of the most commonly known conditions of lymphatic issues is lymphedema.
Any part of the body can be affected by lymphoedema, but it tends to target the arms and legs with a build up of lymphatic swelling. Around 300,000 Australians will experience lymphoedema at any given time. Going by current numbers, of the one in seven women who will get breast cancer, one in five of those will end up with lymphedema.
The causes are varied, and lymphedema is classified into two types; either inherited (primary) or acquired (secondary) lymphedema. Primary lymphedemas stem from variations in genes involved in lymphatic vessel development, while secondary lymphedema arises from damage or physical obstruction of the lymphatic vessels.
Secondary lymphedema is often found in individuals who have undergone surgery and radiotherapy for treatment of breast cancer. These people are particularly susceptible to lymphoedema of the arm and, sometimes, the adjacent chest wall on the affected side.
Individuals who have had surgery and radiotherapy for the treatment of prostate, bowel or reproductive system cancer are also prone to lymphoedema of the legs or groin areas. I believe the possible consequences associated with medical intervention should be better understood by the patient. They should also be provided with postoperative lymphatic massage education.
The symptoms of lymphoedema may include:
- The affected area feels heavy
- The skin feels tight and close to bursting point
- The skin is hotter than other areas of the body
- Aching, pins and needles
- Darting pains
- Painful joints
- Skin can begin to harden and become fibrotic
Pregnancy and the lymphatic system
Peripheral oedema in the lower legs is the most common manifestation of altered lymphatic drainage in pregnant women. During pregnancy, many hormonal changes take place, including increased levels of progesterone, oestrogen, HCG, and prolactin.
These higher levels of hormones induce changes in vascular permeability, promoting the build up of plasma which creates swelling. Other transformations that may occur due to these hormonal changes are the formation of varicose veins, sensation of heaviness, and muscle cramps. Not only do these hormonal changes affect the body, the weight and size of the developing foetus will inhibit the lymphatic flow from the lower extremities.
Lipedema is a disorder that affects hormone-dependent subcutaneous fat, also known as gynoid fat, which is the fat that females accumulate that creates their secondary sexual characteristics. This fat forms breast, hip, and inner thigh curves.It starts at puberty under the influence of oestrogen and progesterone and is what gives the feminine shape to a female’s body.
Lipedema usually affects the arms and legs, although in later stages it can spread to the rest of the body. We don’t know why only certain areas of the body where the hormone-dependent subcutaneous fat exists are affected by lipedema, but for example, the breasts are not usually affected by lipedema early in the course of the disease.
Lipedema fat is the least responsive to calorie balance deficits, making it close to impossible for individuals to significantly decrease their percentage of body fat. In other words, this type of adipose tissue is very resistant to weight loss. This means that when weight loss occurs in a patient with lipedema, the other fat depots will be much more affected than the fat deposits where the lipedema exists.
An individual will lose visceral fat and subcutaneous fat in areas not affected by lipedema, but very little fat in the lipedema affected areas. The other sad thing is that having lipedema can then lead to lymphoedema as the fat will block the lymphatic fluid from draining.
Please contact us for a more indepth consultation about any of the above conditions. LINK TO CONTACT US.