Lymphedema and nutrition: A review

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Attilio Cavezzi *
Simone Ugo Urso
Lorenzo Ambrosini
Sonia Croci
Fausto Campana
Giovanni Mosti
(*) Corresponding Author:
Attilio Cavezzi |


Nutrition is considered a basic component in the management of any vascular disease. Lymphedema is characterised by an increase of interstitial fluid due to a lymphatic system morphological and/or functional alteration. Therapeutic management of lymphedema includes a multi-faceted approach based on compression and physiotherapy mainly. Weight control and antiinflammatory and anti-edema diet are two additional necessary components of the holistic therapy in presence of primary or secondary limb lymphedema. This narrative review provides the available information derived from the scientific literature on nutrition in lymphedema, which anyway lacks robust evidence. Additional information and speculations are provided on the role of food, diet, nutraceuticals and fasting on the basic processes at the root of the chronic progressive degeneration of tissue lymph stasis, i.e. weight excess, inflammation, edema, fibroadiposis. More targeted and randomized studies are needed in order to assess and standardise the obvious, so far neglected, role of nutrition in lymphedema patients.

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