The lymphatic system is one of the most overlooked yet significant systems in the body. This expansive system travels throughout the body to remove waste from every cell while helping to regulate the immune system. It includes a complex network of vessels, ducts, lymph nodes, the spleen, the thymus, the adenoids, and the tonsils.
Lymph fluid is propelled by breathing and other muscle movement as it is transported through many filtration points known as lymph nodes. The lymph nodes contain collections of white blood cells (lymphocytes) that identify and help destroy harmful pathogens or toxins. The lymph must flow freely to ensure that waste products and fluids do not build up in the tissues.
The lymphatic vessels act like a giant drainage system for the body that needs to stay clear for it to work properly. Just like in your home if the drains are clogged in your toilet or sink, you can’t get rid of waste effectively—the same is true for your body. Stagnant lymph flow leads to waste and toxin buildup, weakening immunity and leading to a wide variety of health issues.
How do you know if you're suffering from lymphatic congestion?
Almost every part of the body can be affected by poor waste removal in the lymphatic system. When your lymph drains become congested you may notice:
Stiffness, especially in the morning
Itchy and dry skin
Breast swelling with each cycle
Holding on to water
Stubborn weight gain
Chronic sinusitis, sore throats, colds, or ear issues
Cold hands and feet
Systemic enzymes help to restore lymphatic transport capacity and break down undesired excess proteins that contribute to swelling and inflammation. Systemic enzymes also remove debris throughout the body that slow down circulation.
Oregano oil supports digestion and the immune system. Oregano oil is absorbed directly into the lymphatic system from the digestive tract. The powerful antioxidants and antimicrobial properties can help clear up the intestinal lymph capillaries. Oregano oil also contains terpenes that dissolve fatty sludge in the lymph system and in the gall bladder.
Burdock is a powerful multi-system detoxifier that supports the liver, kidneys, digestion, and the lymphatic and endocrine systems. According to the University of Michigan Health System, burdock a blood and lymph purifier.
Wild indigo stimulates the glandular and lymphatic systems. This herb is an antimicrobial immune system modulator and lymphagogue that helps regulate immune and inflammatory responses.
Licorice root is one of the most broad-spectrum natural detoxifying agents known to herbalists. It has been said to gently rid the body of over 1,000 known toxins.
Goldenseal and astragalus are excellent lymphatic system and blood cleansers that also boost the immune system.
Echinacea alleviates congestion and swelling in the body, and it boosts the immune system. Echinacea will ward off bacterial, fungal, and viral infections. Echinacea helps strengthen certain kinds of cells in the lymph nodes called macrophages, which are responsible for getting the toxins out of the lymph.
Water, while not a food, is vital to life. A lack of water inhibits lymph from flowing smoothly.
Cranberries emulsify fat, which helps break down excess fat so the lymphatic vessels can carry it away. Cranberry also helps the kidneys, which helps with overall hydration. Avoid cranberry juice that has any added ingredients, and try to get some fresh, whole cranberries to juice whenever possible.
Leafy greens are cleansing. Chlorophyll, the green nutrient that captures sunlight, has powerful cleansing properties and beneficial effects on the blood and thus on lymph fluid as well. Look for dark greens like kale, spinach, wheat grass, barley grass, turnip greens, dandelion leaves, broccoli, and mustard greens.
Garlic boosts immune function, chelates heavy metals and some other toxins, and kills harmful microbes. Anything that boosts immune function will take a load off of the lymphatic system.
Ginger reduces inflammation, and like garlic, ginger is also antimicrobial.
Turmeric is related to ginger. It also helps reduce inflammation, thins the blood, improves circulation, and is a well known and very effective cancer fighter.
Fresh produce has many different benefits for the lymphatic system and the whole body, but enzymes are critical to good health. More enzymes in the diet means more enzymes are available to the body to break down food and fibrin, which allows for easier flow of blood and lymph.
Doctors in Europe and in the Far East recognize the importance of lymphatic function and how it supports detoxofication and every other system in the body, including the immune, digestive, and nervous systems. Natural practitioners know that poor lymph health underlies most health conditions from poor skin to cancer. By contrast, conventional practitioners in America don’t even consider the lymphatic system until a lymph deficiency shows up such as a swollen lymph node, cancer developing in a lymph gland, or obvious signs of lymph blockage. And of course, when something does go seriously wrong with the lymphatic system, western conventional doctors typically say the ailment is incurable. This is not true.
Be Careful What You Put On Your Skin
When the lymphatic system becomes sluggish it will “off-gas” through the skin. When unnatural fibers (like nylon or polyester) are worn and when chemical creams and soaps are applied to the skin, toxin release through the skin is inhibited. Much of the toxic load that should have been eliminated is re-absorbed along with some of the new toxins from the chemically laden clothes and skin products. This creates a backlog of needed detoxification.
A tight fitting bra and underwire bras will impede normal lymphatic flow. Make sure bras fit properly, and avoid underwires. Go braless whenever possible.
Wear natural fibers, and don’t put toxic chemicals on your skin. Almost every skin care product in the skincare isles is toxic. Most “all natural” moisturizer creams, and soaps are also toxic. With few exceptions (like essential oils), when it comes to skin care products, if you can’t eat it, don’t put on your skin. This also includes sunblock, deodorant, and laundry detergents.
Speaking of deodorants, they need to be all natural. Conventional deodorants, especially antiperspirants, inhibit lymph detoxification. On a side note, it’s no wonder, understanding how the body works, that antiperspirants do in fact lead to breast cancer.
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Humans have twice as much lymph fluid in the body as blood. Unlike the circulatory system, the lymphatic system does not have a pump. In order to move, lymph relies on blood pressure and the relaxation and the contraction of the muscles and joints. Your lymphatic system can easily become stagnant, especially when it becomes overwhelmed with toxic debris. The combination of a toxic lifestyle and lethargy is a recipe for chronic disease.
All things in nature have a natural progression. When this progression is inhibited, health deteriorates. Think of a river. A healthy river runs clean and clear compared to stagnant water. Imagine them clogged and the resulting backup. Picture an engine and car oil, and you can equate our lymphatic system to an oil filter. Imagine how sluggish and constrictive the engine would be if the oil wasn’t constantly filtered. Sluggish lymph fluid is a breeding ground for infection.
Stagnant lymph interferes with every system of the body. Because lymph cleanses nearly every cell in the body, symptoms of chronic lymph blockage are diverse. While most people prefer to identify one specific cause of a disease, there are rarely fewer than three and can often be hundreds. The point is, if the body is unhealthy, the lymph is unhealthy, too. If the body is sick, the lymph is sick, too.
Symptoms of lymphatic congestion include:
Rings get tight on fingers
Skin is puffy, showing edema
Soreness, stiffness, achiness in the mornings
Lethargic, drained, sluggishness
Bloating, water retention
Bad skin (dryness, acne, premature aging, etc.)
Breast swelling or soreness with hormonal cycles
Cold hands and feet
Chronic headaches and/or migraines
How to Determine Prostate Cancer Recurrence|radiation treatment for prostate cancer after prostatectomy
Patients who receive a prostate cancer diagnosis may be concerned that even if the cancer is removed once, it could come back again. Fortunately, the statistics for men who are diagnosed with this disease are mostly positive, with nearly 100 percent of patients living at least 5 years after the initial diagnosis and three-fourths living 15 years or longer. Although no one can tell for certain whether prostate cancer will return, there are many good tests and biological markers to help determine the likelihood of a recurrence of prostate cancer.
Know the risk factors for prostate cancer recurrence. One factor is whether there was cancer in the lymph nodes at the time of the initial diagnosis. Cancers that spread to the lymph nodes around the pelvic region increase the risk for a recurrence of prostate cancer later on
Ask about the size of your initial tumor. As a general rule, the larger the initial tumor, the greater the risk of a recurrence. Although tumor size isn't the only way to learn how to determine prostate cancer recurrence, larger tumors may mean the patient should have more frequent diagnostic tests to catch a recurrence of prostate cancer early on.
How to Treat Lung Cancer|stage one lung cancer treatment
Lung cancer is a serious condition. You may feel scared and hopeless after you hear the diagnosis; however, there are many treatment options available for lung cancer. Treatments include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, targeted therapy, and even clinical research trials. Learn how to treat lung cancer so you can choose the right plan for you.
Get a biopsy. Before you can start any kind of treatment for lung cancer, you need to get a biopsy of the lung. A biopsy will let your doctor know that you have cancer and what type of cancer you have.
During a biopsy, the doctor will get a small tissue sample of your lung. They can do this through a needle, a tube sent into the lungs, through the chest wall, or through an incision. After they get the tissue sample, they check the sample under a microscope for cancerous cells.
Determine the stage of cancer. Lung cancer is divided into four different stages. Stages refer to the severity of the cancer. The stage of lung cancer you have may influence your treatment options.
Stage I cancer is when the area affected by the cancer is small. It is usually only in one area of the lung. Surgery is often used to treat this stage of cancer.
Stage II and III is when the cancer has progressed and infected a larger area of the lungs. The cancer may have spread to surrounding tissues. The cancer may also be in the lymph nodes. A combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation is common for stage II and III cancers.
Stage IV is the most advanced stage of cancer. This means the cancer has spread beyond the lungs into other parts of the body. For stage IV lung cancer, all treatments are options for helping you live longer and reducing any symptoms
Identify the type of lung cancer. If you have lung cancer, you can have either a carcinoid tumor, small cell lung cancer or non-small cell lung cancer. Most lung cancers are non-small cell lung cancer. Small cell
How to Stage Lung Cancer|lung cancer treatment solutions
Lung cancer that originates within the lungs is referred to as primary lung cancer, while lung cancer that kicks off in other parts of the body, metastasizes and lodges into the lungs is a secondary type of lung cancer. Each type of lung cancer is managed in different ways depending upon the severity of the condition and preference of the patient. Proper diagnosis and management are essential in the treatment of lung cancer, and staging the disease is an important part of this.
Understand the simple staging process. Stages of cancer are used to define the size of cancer cells or tumors and indicate whether the condition has already metastasized to other parts of the body.
Stages are used to provide information necessary for determining the proper management for the particular stage of cancer.
Some health care practitioners utilize a very simple form of staging lung cancer (most specifically for small cell lung cancer) which separates the cancer into two stages.
Begin with the limited disease characterization. This stage is characterized by the development of cancer cells just within one side of the lungs, in the lymph nodes near the lungs or in the fluids surrounding the lungs (pleural effusion).
Categorize extensive disease. In this stage of lung cancer, the disease has already spread into the lymph nodes outside the lungs
The lymphatic system is made up of lymph capillaries, vessels, and nodes, the spleen, thymus, tonsils, Peyer’s Patches, and lymphocytes (white blood cells). Red bone marrow is also a part of the lymphatic system. We have hundreds of lymph nodes. Lymph nodes can be found all around the lungs and heart, in the gut, in the armpits and groin, and pretty much all over the body.
Blood pressure causes plasma liquid to leak into tissues, and this pressure causes excess fluid in those tissues to move into the lymph capillaries. As this fluid leaves the cells, it takes cellular waste products and used proteins with it. The lymphatic capillaries pick up approximately 20% of the fluid that was delivered to the interstitial space. The venous system picks up about 80% of the fluid in the interstitial space. The unique structure of the lymphatic capillaries permits interstitial fluid to flow into them but not out.
Blood pressure, temperature, activity of muscle and joints, diaphragmatic breathing, and pulsation of adjacent arteries all cause lymph to move up to the subclavian veins at the base of the neck. Valves and pressure keep lymph moving in the right direction. Along the way, the fluid is interrupted by lymph nodes that filter dust, cancer cells, pathogens, and other unwanted matter. Lymph nodes also produce lymphocytes (white blood cells). The spleen, tonsils, and red bone marrow help produce lymphocytes as well.
The spleen, which is about the size of our fist, is the largest lymphatic organ. It is similar in structure to a lymph node, but it filters blood, not lymph. The spleen contains two main types of tissue, white pulp and red pulp. White pulp is lymphatic tissue containing white blood cells – B and T cells. T cells attack pathogens (such as bacteria and viruses) while B cells make antibodies that fight infections. Red pulp tissue removes old and damaged red blood cells and stores platelets. It also produces red blood cells in unborn babies and when certain disease
How to Stage advanced colon cancer treatment |stage 111 colon cancer
Colon and rectal cancers involve the lower part of the digestive system (the large intestine/colon and the rectum). It is a common disease (the third most common form of cancer),with 132,700 new diagnoses and 49,000 deaths in the United States each year.  Once diagnosed, each patient's cancer is assigned a stage (I through IV) which indicates the extent and severity of the disease. The key to obtaining effective treatment for any cancer is proper staging.
Become aware of how colon cancer is diagnosed. For some people, they show no symptoms at all and the diagnosis is discovered from a screening test (such as the stool test); this is followed up by a colonoscopy (where the doctor inserts a tube through your rectum to look at your colon, at which point he or she will be able to see any cancer that may be present). For other people, colon cancer is diagnosed after presenting
How to Deal With Stage 3 Colon Cancer|colorectal cancer survival by stage
It is best to treat colon cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, in its early stages. There are 5 stages of colon cancer, ranging from 0 to 4. Stage 3, Dukes C colon cancer, is one of the more advanced stages. In it, tumors have spread beyond the colon to the lymph nodes. Stage 3 is divided into 3 subgroups. These subgroups range from least to most advanced with a survival rate ranging from 44 to 83 percent. Your doctor and cancer team will explain what this stage means, answer questions, provide treatment options and help you determine which plan will work best for you.
Deal with stage 3 colon cancer in steps. Try not to get ahead of yourself by looking at the entire picture.
Admit that you are sick. This is the first step in accepting and coping with a diagnosis of stage 3 colon cancer.
It takes time to process this information and the new emotions you're feeling. You may become a little overwhelmed, frightened or anxious. These are normal feelings, so allow yourself a little time.
The lymphatic system removes infections and other toxins from the blood. A sick body is a toxic and infected (or soon to be infected) body. Arguably, most every chronic disease and every infection is indicative of an overwhelmed lymphatic system. When the system is overwhelmed, the body is overwhelmed. With any chronic illness, getting well includes improving lymphatic function.
Edema, or Oedema – Swelling that results when tissues cannot drain fluid into the lymphatic system quickly enough – see image above.
Lymphedema – Caused by a blockage in the lymphatic system, part of the immune and circulatory systems. Lymphedema is most commonly caused by lymph node removal or damage due to cancer treatment.
Elephantiasis – Medically known as lymphatic filariasis, a condition characterized by enlargement of an area of the body, typically the limbs. It looks like a severe case of edema, and it is.
Glandular fever – A type of viral infection that mostly affects young adults. Symptoms include tender lymph nodes.
Hodgkin’s disease – A type of cancer of the lymphatic system.
Tonsillitis – Infection of the tonsils in the throat.
Lymphadenopathy – Occurs when the lymph nodes swell due to infections. Viral infections like measles, rubella, glandular fever, and HIV may also cause lymphadenopathy of the lymph nodes.
Lymphadenitis – Inflammation of the lymph nodes usually caused due to infections.
Filariasis – An infection of the lymphatic channels by a worm or parasite.
Splenomegaly – Swelling of the spleen due to a viral infection like infectious mononucleosis.