Summer is the best time of the year for many people. But if you have lymphedema, it can easily become your most despised season. This is especially true if you live in an area with extreme hot summers where the heat can cause discomfort and swelling. While you can’t control the weather, you can definitely do something about improving your safety and comfort despite the heat and humidity. Having the right lymphedema products can help.
Can Hot Weather Affect Lymphedema?
Understanding the basics of the lymphatic system will help you understand how to avoid swelling. It will also help you identify which arm compression sleeves and other products you can use to prevent discomfort during the summer months.
Your lymphatic system is part of your immune system and it is responsible for pumping fluid and waste throughout the body. Interruptions to that process could cause the flow of fluid to slow down or accumulate, which causes swelling. Extreme hot and cold temperatures can often slow down the pumping process. Heat makes blood vessels expand, which increases the amount of fluid moving out of the blood vessels into your tissues. When your lymphatic system isn’t working inefficiently, the excess fluid can’t find its way back to the system, and swelling can occur.
Is Sweating Helpful?
Just because you have lymphedema doesn’t mean that you have to spend the entire summer indoors where there is air-conditioning. With the right lymphedema products, you can still enjoy this season to the fullest. Just be sure to limit exposure to heat to encourage your lymphatic system to work optimally.
It may be helpful to sweat, too, as sweating helps detoxify the body while supporting lymphatic function. Just be careful with the activities you do to make yourself sweat. Ask your doctor if it is safe for you to go into a steam bath or sauna. Keep in mind that excessive hot temperatures can worsen lymphedema.
Consider doing activities that can help you stay cool, such as swimming. You can also wear arm compression sleeves while doing so. Just remember to apply moisturizing sunscreen to prevent your skin from drying.
It’s Important to Stay Hydrated!
Dehydration is bad for your lymphatic system because it can slow the flow and drainage of lymphatic fluids. Make it a point to drink plenty of water. Avoid beverages that may cause you to become more dehydrated, such as caffeinated drinks and alcohol. You might also want to avoid salty food to prevent water retention, which can lead to swelling.
Common Causes of Lymphedema in the Summer
Everyone is at risk of developing lymphedema, but certain factors make some people more prone to it. For instance, primary lymphedema is caused by an abnormal lymphatic system, which can develop anytime. Secondary lymphedema occurs when there is damage to the lymphatic system, which may be caused by cancer treatments, injury, surgery, lymph node removal, or infection.
Best Summer Compression Garments to Keep You Cool in Warmer Weather
If you’re worried about lymphedema products being too hot and uncomfortable to wear in the summer, you’ll be glad to know about newer compression garments that can help keep you cool. There’s CoolFlex Standard Calf compression wrap by Sigvaris, which is used for managing chronic venous disease and edemas. It comes with the innovative Spare Fabric TR to make it breathable, and it can work with other compression wraps like CompreBoot LITE or CompreBoot.
If you’re looking for arm compression sleeves, check out the range from LympheDIVAs. They offer comfortable and breathable sleeves featuring the 3D seamless compression knit technique that makes their products lightweight and moisture-wicking, so your arm feels dry and cool.
You can shop for these at Lymphedema Products, a leading supplier of direct-to-consumer compression solutions for lymphedema treatment and body re-contouring.