Sorry I missed last week. I’ve been battling a sinus infection on top of Easter with the family. It has been a crazy week or so. I am feeling better and it is time to get back to working on me and my various projects.
About a year and a half ago I was having a rough time swelling wise and was back in therapy. Only this time it was different. For 45 minutes before I was wrapped, I did aquatic exercises in a heated, saltwater pool. This did wonders for my lymphedema and other issues. So much, in fact, I continued paying to go as a community member after I was discharged. I stopped going in November/December when I was having all my GI issues. I am ready to go back.
Of course everything I find is old and for breast cancer patients, but it works well. It helped strengthen my back and improved my mobility. The other benefit was weight loss. I tend to go on a Monday/Wednesday/Friday in the afternoons, because the place I use is less crowded then.
Personal goals need to be expressed and merged with those of the therapist or personal trainer who works with an individual who has lymphedema.
In general, goals include:
• Pain reduction
• Increased range of motion
• Increased strength
• Increased cardio respiratory conditioning
• Improved posture , balance and energy
• Education/tools re: weight management and nutrition
• Increased relaxation and stress management
• Outlet for support/social/outreach
Some specific goals include:
• To restore proper bio mechanics, increase range of motion in the shoulder
• Improve strength/endurance of injured and supporting muscle groups
• Improve lymphatic flow by movement through the water, use of hydrostatic pressure, turbulence and muscle activation
• To reduce susceptibility to hypo-kinetic disease with cardio vascular exercise
• To lose body fat, increase lean body mass to reduce risk of lymphedema and breast cancer recurrence
You can read more on aquatic therapy/exercise here. You can read why aquatic therapy works here.
I’ve always been a big dude. I wasn’t obese as a kid per say, but I was always heavier than the other kids. Weight has always been a struggle. I played a lot of sports growing up. This helped keep my weight in check in high school.
I fall between Fluffy and Daaaaayum!
So being damn fluffy is not good for lymphedema. Of course I can’t find any info relating to men, but this is what I found:
There is quite a bit of evidence that being overweight prior to treatment for breast cancer or gaining weight afterward increases the risk of developing lymph-edema after breast cancer treatment. The good news is that studies have also indicated that if you do develop lymph-edema, losing weight can improve the swelling more than you might expect. Studies of weight loss in individuals with breast cancer-related lymphedema have shown that even modest weight loss, for instance between 7 and 12 pounds, led to significant improvement in arm swelling. And you can also add regular exercise to enhance your weight loss regimen, since studies also show that if exercise (including arm exercise) is performed properly, it does not seem to increase the risk of getting lymphedema or make pre-existing lymphedema worse. In fact, for some patients who have had treatment for breast cancer, upper body exercise may diminish symptoms of lymphedema or even reduce the risk of developing lymphedema in the first place. So add a weight loss regimen and regular exercise to your lymphedema management routine and you may see further improvement.
Weight loss is a huge struggle, the thing is, dudes don’t like to admit it. I’ve looked into weight loss surgery twice. Something always seems to shoot me in the foot. I was supposed to go to another weight loss surgery seminar this past Wednesday, but I cancelled. I need to get some other things fixed in my life before going through that process again.
There are a few things out there about diet and lymphedema. Every is different and there is no one true way. The biggest issue I have is salt. Salt makes me balloon up like a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day attraction. I’ve never been a big salt user, but everyone gets that salty craving sometimes. My weakness is chips; potato or corn it doesn’t matter. I’m also horrible about drinking enough water. I know need to drink water for more than lymphedema reasons, but coffee. As for information on diet and lymphedema, everything out there is pretty dated and 95% geared toward women. (Again nothing against the ladies, but we all know men and women loose weight differently.) It’s a bit dated, but there is a good article over on Live Strong about dieting and lymphedema. You can check it out here.