Drinking alcohol and lymphedema?

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Question from Kay: Is alcohol a 'no-no' if you are susceptible to lymphedema?
Answers - Saskia Thiadens My experience with patients and alcohol is that wine definitely seems to increase the edema. In the morning, it feels heavy and fuller, and wine seems to have an impact, but hard liquor doesn't. This is what I've heard from my patients.
Answer I agree. Anecdotally, patients have said that wine can cause an increase in swelling.
Marisa Weiss, M.D. It's very important to keep on living your life and enjoying your life along with good food and wine in moderation if that is something that you enjoy. Sorting through patient stories requires very careful listening, because it may be that along with the wine, you also had a lot of other rich foods that particular evening, and a lot of extra salt in the foods you've eaten. So sometimes it's hard to figure out what of all the things you did or ate may have been the thing or combination of things that may have led to an increase in swelling.
Saskia Thiadens I suggest in conjunction with all the rich food and wine to continue to increase water intake.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Arm Lymphedema Prevention and Management featured Sara Cohen, O.T.R./L., C.L.T.-L.A.N.A.Saska Thiadens, R.N. and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about preventing and managing arm lymphedema.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in July 2002.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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