Lymphedema Symptoms

Written by Zachary Zerries
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Lymphedema symptoms are often noticed and neglected because when they first appear, they hardly seem urgent. For example, a little bit of swelling and some general discomfort could be attributed to too much physical activity or falling asleep on the couch. However, if any of the following symptoms persist and worsen, you may want to ask your doctor about lymphedema.

Common Lymphedema Symptoms

When lymphedema first begins to develop, you'll probably notice some swelling and discomfort in the affected area. If your body has recently been subjected to some sort of trauma (radiation, surgery, accident, etc.), you should talk to your doctor immediately. If you have no reason to suspect that your lymph nodes are malfunctioning, then these lymphedema symptoms are hardly cause for alarm.

If, however, the swelling continues to increase, you should be on the lookout for other telltale signs of lymphedema. These include a feeling of tightness and heaviness in the limb, "shooting" or "bursting" pains, pain in the joints (i.e., elbow, knee, and ankle), and feeling that the affected area is warmer than the rest of the body. More drastic lymphedema symptoms include lymph fluid actually leaking through the skin and a hardening of the affected area.

Hopefully you won't wait until drastic lymphedema symptoms appear; if you are ever experiencing swelling that won't go away, it's time to see a doctor. And the same goes for pain; pain is your body's way of telling you that something is wrong, so if you're experiencing pain on a daily basis, you need to have it examined. And like most medical problems, lymphedema is easier to treat the earlier it's caught.


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