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The Lymphatic System and the Cardiovascular System
The capillary system is what joins the lymphatic and cardiovascular systems. Lymphatic flow from the feet, hands, and head to cardiovascular system is closely related to the cardiovascular system and each system relies on the other to function properly.
The lymphatic system is what filters out destructive and disease causing organisms that try to invade the body. It produces white blood cells and antibodies.
Not only is it the body’s defense system, but it is also responsible for distributing fluids and nutrients throughout the body. This system drains the body of excess fluids and proteins in order to keep the tissues healthy. If it didn’t, the tissues would swell and damage could be caused.
"Lymph" is the fluid that is released out of the blood vessels and is returned via the lymphatic system in order to flow back into the blood stream. The fluids pass through the lymph nodes which filter out toxins and debris that the body doesn’t need.
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What Inhibits the Lymphatic Flow from Feet and Hands to the Cardiovascular System
As you can imagine, if the flow is hindered then the body can be in serious jeopardy. It can literally be the cause of severe medical and health conditions. So, this tells us that the lymphatic flow is vitally important to overall health.
There are certain things that can inhibit the lymphatic flow. Bruno Chikly, M.D. wrote about some of the things that can inhibit this flow and the importance of lymph drainage therapy: “The lymphatic flow can stagnate for many reasons, such as swelling, chronic inflammation, lack of physical activity, stress, fatigue, emotional shock, age, or poorly fitted brassieres."
One of the most common conditions of this system which inhibits the lymphatic flow is lymphedema. Some causes can include: genetically inherited, damage to the system due to cancer treatments such as radiation, accidents or infection. Symptoms can include swelling, fatigue, skin discoloration and deformity.
Another cause of lymphedema is mastectomy. In older women, you might notice that one arm is larger than the other. This is most likely lymphedema due to a mastectomy because of breast cancer, and it's usually the right arm that is swollen.
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Treatment options are available to promote lymphatic flow. These options are reflexology, massage, acupressure, acupuncture, and for more severe cases including those that suffer from lymphedema, there are compression garments. Your doctor might also have some suggestions, and it is important to include his or her advice in your ultimate decision of which treatment option is right for you.