Lymphedema refers to swelling that generally occurs in one of your arms or legs due to obstructions in the lymphatic system, part of the immune and circulatory systems. In chronic conditions the lymph collects in the tissues results in edema. Most caused by the removal of or damage to your lymph nodes as a part of cancer treatment.
Venous insufficiency edema is a leading cause of lymphedema. Phlebolymphedema (lymphedema caused by venous insufficiency) develops when the increasing the pressure in the veins due to CVI, the excessive pressure causes fluid to leak out of the vein capillaries. This fluid collects under the skin between the cells and is called edema. Then lymphatic vessels are damaged by inflammation or by edema lymph fluid overload that strains the lymph vessel walls beyond capacity. Phlebolymphedema adds to the edema from the veins and further increases the edema and inflammation.
Causes: Similar that of Varicose vein or any cause obstructing lymphatic drainage/ circulation
- Swelling of part or the entire limb, including the digits
- Heaviness or tightness
- Diminished joint flexibility.
- Aching or discomfort
- Recurring infections
- Hardening, thickening, or discoloration of the overlying skin
- Lymphoscintigraphy scan
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Bioimpedance Spectroscopy or Electrical Impedance Tomography
While there is no cure for lymphedema, treatments exist to minimize discomfort and reduce the swelling in the affected area. Several forms of compression treatments are available to reduce swelling and prevent scarring of the overlying skin such as
- Manual or compression devices
- Light exercises to improve lymph circulation.
- Avoid positions or wearing like cloth and ornaments which can influence on slow down lymphatic circulation.
- Surgical treatments are also used in extreme cases of lymphedema to improve mobility by removing excess tissue. Lymph node transfers and lymphovenous bypasses are available to greatly reduce lymphedema.
If underlining cause for Phlebolymphedema is CVI, it will not be resolved until or even it takes little more time after resolving CVI hence treatments are aimed to counteract the primary cause;
- Short term goals to pacify symptoms like dryness, Pain, Irritated, improve lymphatic circulation and inflamed skin;
- Dhara : Process of pouring medicated liquid with specific temperature for specified duration are done either as per the requirement or sequentially
- ksahaya dhara; Herbal decoction
- Taila dhara: medicated oil
- Ksheera dhara: medicated milk
- Leach therapy (Jalaukaavacharana): Nontoxic leeches are used to suck the blood from the affected area, it is pain less procedure and specially indicated in people sensitive to pain like Children, Elderly, and Females.
- Along with removing stagnated blood it release as chemical known as Hirudinto our body. It is a powerful anticoagulant which is found in salivary glands of leech helps in blood thinning, avoid or dissolve the blood clots
- Localized congestion or blood stasis is relived
- Improved microcirculation will helps in reducing the fibrosis
- Skin regains its normal functions
- Long terms goals to resolve the lymphatic drainage only after effective treatment of
- Venous stasis (Anything obstructing or slowing flow of venous blood)
- Vein damage (Intrinsic or extrinsic)
- Regulating blood coagulation (Biochemical imbalance between circulating factors)
- Bloodletting therapy: To reduce venous stasis and deactivate blood coagulation
- Leach therapy (Jalaukaavacharana): As explained above
- Venipuncture (Siravyadha): About 100 to 300 ml of blood is removed at once, just like how blood is drawn during blood test or donating blood
- Physiological blood thinner;physiologically, sudden blood volume loss is compensated by draining body fluids into blood to avoid hypovolemic shock, which is a natural blood thinner and reduces blood viscosity being diluted by body fluids to improve circulation through maintained blood volume
- Internal medication: Specially formulated Dr. Ural’s syrup and tablets are having multidimensional effects in eradicating the cause from root levels,
- By purifier and thinning blood, helps to mobilise stagnated blood in veins towards heart as well as enhance optimal function by stimulating collateral circulation
- By enhancing liver function it optimise quality of blood production and removal of toxins due to stasis
- In Ayurveda blood vessels are originated from blood tissues (UpaDhatuof Rakta). Structural and functional rectification of veins are facilitated by optimized functions of blood
- Ayurveda concept of tissue (Dhatu) nourishment, Mamsa(Muscle tissue) is successive Dhatu nourished after Rakta, once the formation Rakta is optimum thus naturally it nourish Mamsa to regain its strength and stability in veins i.e., tunica media (muscular) layer of vein and elastic valves regain their strength enabling the function of valves and vein.
- Improves microcirculation helps in reducing inflammation of fat layer thus facilitate process of reducing fibrosis.
- Oil application: Specially formulated Dr. Ural’s oil is advised to apply very gently (very less pressure) towards heart direction (upwards) for 15 mints / day and leave it for minimum 3 hours
- Helps to improve cutaneous circulation and reduce blood stasis
- Improve elasticity of veins
- Strengthen the vein, valves of vein and skin surface
- Reduce strain and heaviness of muscles
- Reduces fibrosis helps in softening and misting skin naturally
- For prevention and to accelerate healing Diet, lifestyle, Yogasana and Pranayama are advised as per the individual need depending on their Prakruthi, Occupation, and Age, severity of varicose vein, venous ulcers, Phlebolymphedema and associated comorbidities.