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No Bra = No Lymphedema

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  • ahdjdbcjdjdbkf
    ahdjdbcjdjdbkf Member Posts: 188
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    I'm back to loping for answers after a flare-up. I think I wore a sweater too tight in the arm puta for a long work day or I did it at the gym. Interesting that it was a cami with a wire that improved things. The wire camis typically look much better. I orders some spanx tanks today to try.  Those are wireless. 

  • ucfmom
    ucfmom Member Posts: 29
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    I know this was started a few years ago but I'm glad to have come across it. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow and will be asking for a referral to see a LE therapist for an assessment. I mentioned my arm pain to two doctors last year and neither mentioned the possibility of LE. It took me months to associate wearing a bra with intensified arm pain. I was having so much pain that I was using an ice pack on my arm every day after work and sometimes into the night. It's past time to get something done about this. I stopped wearing a bra a few weeks ago and while the pain is still there, it's more manageable

  • t9jorda
    t9jorda Member Posts: 23
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    Hi there UCFMOM... my heart feels for you. Walking the path to find answers, and knocking on doctors doors saying please help me feel better is just a wee bit frustrating. Getting yourself to an LE specialist will be helpful. If your arm is painful, but not too swollen there are also some other things you can do - "for self-help":

    - no more potatoe chips (a.k.a. reduce your salt content as much as you can), read all labels for salt content - even "pop"

    - eat lower histamine foods, try taking Quercetin

    - alcohol makes it worse (for me light beer I can drink, wine makes it hurt really bad)

    - carry a cross over purse and when you are walking elevate your bad arm (hold onto the cross over strap with your bad hand/arm on the strap like you are protecting yourself)

    -sit in chairs with an arm rest and keep your hand up and elbow rested on the arm

    - do not sunburn that arm/nor bug bites, be very careful even with paper cuts (do not lick a cut, it can make your lymphedema worse)

    Basically try any trick you can to get your arm as pain free as possible. Then keep it in that state for as long as you can to give it a chance to get better. Slowly reintroduce things that may cause it to flare up... and this can take a long while. Mine flares only a couple times a year, and it is always one of the above items that trigger it.

    I have been able to get myself to a comfort state. I seldom wear "normal bras", but have found other beautiful things to wear, and in truth I actually like them much better.

    Good luck to you my friend, I will be thinking of you and sending you wellness wishes. t9jorda


  • RayisforRachel
    RayisforRachel Member Posts: 1
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    I know this thread is pretty old but here goes... Any thoughts on a solution for large breasts? I wear a 34 FFF bra and it is pretty much impossible for me to go bra-less or fit into bralettes or shaping camis that just give me uniboob. I am wearing a surgical lymphadema bra at the moment which is working ok but so uncomfortable! Any thoughts ladies?

  • t9jorda
    t9jorda Member Posts: 23
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    Hi there (I am the one who started this post a long time ago)

    I am so glad you found this post because everything I said years ago about wearing a bra vs. not wearing one for Lymphedema relief still is true today for me. It will make 12 years since my journey started and yes, I count my blessings over and over again. I no longer wear a sleeve for lymphedema support - as long as I don't wear anything that constricts tightly around the rib cage area. The compression underwear must go from shoulder to waist area (or longer), in a even type of pressure.

    A few years ago I stumbled across a "custom" bra maker in Canada, and I told her of my learnings, and she said that she makes garments for women and could easily make one... (sorry I don't have her card any more)... but I wonder if a tailor could take your bras and convert them somehow. There has got to be a way to do this. Another idea is to look at bathing suits/tops and have them converted to your needs. I can only appreciated how difficult finding products must be for you given your specialized sizing. This is a situation that requires thinking outside the box. I have also found "compression" exercise wear that works for me as well. There is a lot of compression clothing now available in both men's wear and ladies wear... google away to see if something there might work.

    I will be honest with you, I do miss having a beautiful bra on... but the pain it immediately creates in my arm is just not worth it. I have had to let go of that and embrace the "new". I have found some compression wear that has lovely colours - I prefer the sleeveless t-shirt kind the best (hint Amazon has lots).

    Best wishes for you... there is hope, and you can do this. Hugs to ya!

  • binney4
    binney4 Member Posts: 1,466
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    Hi, Ray,

    WearEase has a new Torso Compression Vest you might look at:

    https://www.wearease.com/blog/?p=236

    t9jorda, thanks so much for the update!

    Hugs,
    Binney

  • bluepearl
    bluepearl Member Posts: 133
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    I reduced my lymphedema with a low carb diet. NOT high protein and not NO carbs. Just removing the simple carbs in favour of vegetables (mainly) and fruit (sparingly). Since most lymphedema is an inflammatory disease, an anti-inflammatory diet like low carb, seems to have worked for me. Also, buck up on magnesium citrate. Works wonders for just about everything. I am reading the Miracle of Magnesium.....

  • dky1977
    dky1977 Member Posts: 2
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    Hi Everyone!

    I was diagnosed with lymphedema 2 weeks ago and am currently undergoing treatment. The lymphedema specialist told me to get a compression bra. Would love your thoughts on that, given that so many of you have found that not wearing a bra has helped. I am somewhat overwhelmed by my next steps. I am 36DD, so I need support.

    Thank you!

  • deedledee
    deedledee Member Posts: 9
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    I am dd as well though a bit thicker around. I got the wear ease cami with cross over front. Work great for me and lower front tops are fine with the depth of the cross over. Actually preferring to wear these instead of a bra. Hopefully insurance will pay for this medical gear as mine did. PT should precribe the compression gear.

  • dky1977
    dky1977 Member Posts: 2
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    Thank you, @deedledee. I will look into that with my therapist.

  • t9jorda
    t9jorda Member Posts: 23
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    Hello again.... summertime, heat and lymphedema. It's been a long time since I started this thread.. "no bra no lymphedema". I re-read it this morning, and it all still holds true to this day. I think the most frustrating part of all this, is that when you do find the perfect cami with underwire or compression, they stop making them and the hunt is on again (so I have no favourites). I have learned that when I find something that works, I go back and buy a couple more to tuck away in my drawer. In the summer I am drawn to the athletic sportswear tops that have compression in them (and that go the full length of the body (a.k.a that DO NOT stop under the rib cage), as they are perfect for outside activities with a T-shirt over top. I have now had lymphedema for 15 years (my arm looks normal), there is just a very slight swell to it... I have never been able to wear my wedding rings since, as some how no matter the size of the ring, it will activate the swelling too. And, if I even pick a weed without wearing a glove, for whatever reason the soil under ones nails will trigger it too. So, very odd... but I have learned the hard way! Once in a blue moon I will wear a bra now, but, and the big but is, I have to buy a looser band...Warner's No Side Effects, Full coverage, Underwire bra is the ONLY one that works for me... again I think it is their band that is the right fabric and construction, and the lymphedema seems to be okay... and so far, so good.

    Hugs to all...