Eating to manage Lymphedema is complicated!
I've been doing extensive reading about how diet can have an impact on Lymphedema. There seems to be a lot of advice but few studies or actual evidence that any one diet is better or worse for Lymphedema patients than another. I'll be trying a low inflamatory, low fat, low salt diet and tracking my measurements to see what, if anything, happens.
There's a terrible cycle that happens in the body. In the book "The complete Lymphedema management and Nutrition guide" By Jean Lamantia and Ann Dimenna, we learn about the relationship between the foods we eat and Lymphatic fluid volume. So the Theory goes that if we eat foods that have low Lymphatic fluid response then the Lymph volume overall throughout the day should be lower. They also explain how Long chain Triglycerides are transported through the lymphatic system. The book 'suggests' that if we lower our intake of Long chain fats (like animal fats) and replace them with Medium Chain Triglycerides (like
MCT oil ), that should help lighten the load on the lymphatic system and potentially increase absorption. The studies sighted as evidence were really reaching as far as relevance but to their credit there wasn't a whole lot of research published at the time the book was written.
Since the publication of "The complete Lymphedema management and Nutrition guide" there hasn't been a whole lot of Lymphedema nutrition publications. I'll be reaching out to Le&rn to see what they've gathered on the subject.
For now I'll be working on writing and collecting recipes and adapt my own eating in hopes of finding relief from the multitude of symptoms that seem to stem from Lymphedema.
Keep an eye on this post as I find delicious recipes and adapt them to hopefully optimize my Lymphatic function.