Lymphedema Treatments: Ketogenic Diets are Better

lymphedema in legAn example of lymphedema in right leg

Lymphedema treatments usually involve manual massage or compression to increase lymph drainage on the affected and swollen limb. Patients are advised to wear compression garments and wrap the affected limb in tight bandages to aid compression before going to sleep at night. These treatments help somewhat, but generally they only provide some temporary relief.  

Sadly, the medical community has not done much research toward helping patients. Women with breast cancer typically are told that lymphedema in the nearest arm is a possibility because of the removal of lymph nodes during surgery to remove the breast. The general message is that “sorry, you might get lymphedema and it’s permanent, AND we don’t know how to fix it, once it starts, but oh well.”  Worse, many patients don’t even know they have a lymphatic disorder, just that they have a swollen arm or leg. And while some swelling might not sound so dangerous, untreated lymphedema can damage the affected limb.

Ketogenic Diets:  Better Lymphedema Treatments

But recently, I became aware that some medical professionals have discovered that ketogenic diets can provide better relief to patients than traditional lymphedema treatments.  Patients adopting ketogenic diets have experienced significant improvement in the swelling and inflammation associated with their lymphatic disorders, and in some cases, have seen a complete resolution of their lymphatic condition.

In particular, Leslyn Keith, OTD, CLT-LANA, a therapist in California, has been helping her clients implement a ketogenic diet to treat lymphedema and lipedema. Her clients have experienced some spectacular results, with some showing significant improvement after just 2 weeks on the diet.  You can see one such result on the cover of her new book, The Ketogenic Solution for Lymphatic Disorders.  That is the same woman's foot before and after just 14 days on a ketogenic diet!

Ketogenic diet for Lymphedema Book

The book is offered on Dr. Keith's website here (or click on the cover):

Dr. Keith and her associates also conducted a controlled study which looked at using a ketogenic diet to treat a group of patients with lymphedema, and the published results of the study confirm her clinical findings. She wrote the book to introduce her work and her study to other lymphatic therapists. She plans to write another book on the same subject that is oriented toward the lay reader. I’ll add that book to this page when it is available.

Dr. Keith also offers a complete 12-week weight loss course that therapists can utilize in their practice to implement a ketogenic treatment program for their clients. This course, called the Lymphatic Lifestyle Solutions Program, is also offered on her website.

Another organization called the Lipedema Project is supporting Dr. Keith's work in using a ketogenic diet as a tool in a similar condition called lipedema.  You can get more information here:

In summary, if you have lymphedema or lipedema, starting a ketogenic diet can be a strong tool for helping you make some real improvements in your symptoms. My ketogenic diet plan is a good place to start.

If you are a lymphatic therapist, I encourage you to also visit Dr. Keith’s website.

All of my books are available in electronic PDF, and now in paperback on Amazon!

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