Terry is happy to provide his opinion on diet and nutrition, supplements and lifestyle choices. This information is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the advice of your physician and is not to be considered medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Should you have any concerns please contact your physician directly.
Q. Dear Terry, “I have lymphedema and am looking for help on finding the best way to relieve the pain associated with it. Any help would be of great value, thank you in advance.” — Debbie R., Jefferson City, MO
A. Dear Debbie, The lymphatic system acts like a clean-up crew for the body. It circulates fluid throughout your body, collecting bacteria, viruses and waste products. The fluid and harmful substances are carried through lymph vessels, which lead to lymph nodes where the wastes are then filtered out. Lymphedema is a condition that is caused by a blockage in the lymphatic system, which prevents the lymph fluid from draining well, and as the fluid builds up, the affected areas become swollen. While this condition tends to affect just one arm or leg, sometimes both arms or legs may be swollen.
Lymphedema can be quite tricky to manage, so first and foremost, I encourage you to find a healthcare practitioner who can help you decide which supplements are best for your unique situation. I can make some recommendations, but that never replaces a doctor’s care and oversight.
I believe you would benefit greatly by adding a strong, bioavailable curcumin to your daily regimen. Curcumin, a compound found in the spice turmeric, is a potent antioxidant and powerful anti-inflammatory that works via multiple pathways. I recommend taking 750 mg of bioavailable curcumin twice daily.
I would also recommend adding vitamin B6 to address the issue of edema, or the build-up of fluid. Look for a formula that contains the active form of B6 – pyridoxal-5-phosphate (P-5-P). Many people (some estimate up to 30% of the population) cannot fully utilize B-vitamins from food and supplements, because these forms of B-vitamins must be converted into the active form before they will function. By using the form of vitamin B6 that is identical to the kind your body utilizes, you bypass this problem entirely. I’d recommend taking two capsules of the P-5-P/Magnesium blend twice daily.
I would also suggest you use a blend of highly concentrated peppermint, rosemary, Labrador Tea, juniper, lemon and cypress plant oils, which are very effective for detoxifying the lymphatic system, as well as the liver and kidneys. I recommend taking 1 softgel of this combination twice daily. Be sure to choose formulas which feature concentrated plant oils that have been laboratory tested to accurately identify elements of their natural chemical composition. Unlike essential oils used for massage and aromatherapy, these plant oils are tested and “fingerprinted” based on specific molecular makeup, species, marker compounds, purity and safety for internal medicinal use. The extraordinary potency of these tested plant oils allows for relatively low doses, but very powerful health benefits.
Terry . . . Naturally