Hi Ya Jackie
Super welcome to the family here - look forward to getting to know you and in your participation too
Hopefully, we can provide some moral support and information that can help.
There is no real "special" diet for lymphedema. You may see on the internet that quite a number of people have these
"miracle" diets that help lymphedema, but there simply is no clinical evidence to support any of their claims.
What we do need to do is to eat the type of healthy diet that contributes to over-all good health. Proper nutrition and diet is important to everyone.
What you can do is to work with your doctor and lymphedema therapist to design a good diet for you.
Weight control is essential in helping to manage the lymphedema and infact morbid obesity is the second leading cause of secondary lymphedema. I'm a big fan of the usual low-fat, good protein balanced type of diet - lots of veggies and fruits.
No "junk"food like chips, cookies, cakes etc. I'm a real chipaholic and can do some serious damage to a bag of potato chips.
What I found out was that actually after a bit when I stopped eating them or buying them, I stopped wanting them.
Also, I have a real sweet tooth too. What I do is keep fresh fruit on hand and when I get a craving for something sweet, I just grab some fruit and chow down. Now the key for me wasn't just in going out and getting a lot of fruit. I only buy fruit that I really really like. That way, I know that I will eat them.
Same thing for veggies. I buy my most favorite types. If you think about it, it makes sense to buy the fruits and veggies you most like. To buy them just for the sake of eating some never really did the trick for me.
Also, now days there are sooooo many low-fat, sugar-free snacks available at the store that should help too.
Watch the fat in everything you eat. Try staying away from the higher fat meats. I don't know if you like poultry or fish, but they are great protein rich meats with much much less fat then beef.
BTW, I would stay away from soda drinks - even the diet ones. It's been interesting to see the studies going on regarding the diet ones. There actually seems to be mounting evidence that they actually cause hunger and contribute to being over-weight. There are all kinds of tea available now and I also drink lots of fruit juices. BTW, every time I turn around I hear of a therapist telling patients "don't drink coffee." There simply is no clinical evidence to support this or to support the claim that lymphers should not drink it. I don't see any problem in someone having a cup or two.
As I said too, the encouraging thing about eliminating junk food/fast food etc from you diet is that after a while, you'll find yourself not craving them any longer.
Do stay away from these "starvation" diets. They are miserable, usually don't work and are just bad news.
But, do talk this over with your medical providers some that you can put together a diet specifically for you and your needs.
The same thing with exercise. Exercise is essential for over-all health anyway. Plus, one of the two main ways lymph moves through our bodies is through exercise that kind of helps "pump" it along. So, it is essential in helping to managing the lymphedema.
take a look at our page on exercise:
Exercises for Lymphedemahttp://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/do ... lymphedema
At the bottom of the page is a list of links with articles about all kinds of exercise.
I would specifically recommend starting off with low-impact exercise, flexibility and stretch exercises. Stay away from the higher impact ones unless you are cleared by your doc. You don't want to do anything that will cause problems with the knee replacement. Set aside a specific time each day where you can run through the exercises. Start of slow with shorter sessions. As you build up, you can always increase both the time doing exercise and the type/intensity of the exercise.
Also, if you use compression wraps or compression garments, you should have them on when exercising.
Compression stockings are such a hassle getting on. There simply is no way I have found to make it easier. However, I will say that if they are especially difficult, they may be the wrong size. If you were measured for them, I would go back to the person who did the measuring and then the company that you bought them from. They absolutely will need to correct this.
If they are "off-the-shelf" stockings, there isn't much you can do except try getting a slightly larger size. that's the one major problem with these OTS stockings. It seems it is almost impossible to get ones that reall fit the way they are suppose to. Remember too that stockings that don't fit correctly or are too tight can lead to increase swelling and/or even a blood clot. What every you do, you want to avoid this.
Hope this at least gets you started.
BTW, you may find these two pages helpful too:
Leg Lymphedemahttp://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/do ... lymphedema
Cellulitishttp://www.lymphedemapeople.com/thesite ... ulitis.htm
My very best to you