".....They postulated that if a malfunction of the lymphatic system, caused by tight fitting bras, was responsible for the concentration of cancer causing toxins within the breasts, then a correlation would be found between the bra wearing habits of women and the incidence of Breast Cancer in these women. Their theory was reinforced by the fact that most benign lumps and cysts found in the breasts are largely composed of lymph fluid. They found reports that women diagnosed with these lumps could often have them completely disappear by ceasing to wear their bra for several weeks."
"When there is too much fluid in the breast, instead of moving it out of the breast, the lymph system stores it in small spaces, here and there. Eventually, fibrous tissue surrounds them and thickens, forming cysts. These cysts frequently swell just before the monthly, causing pain."
"A connection between under active thyroid (hypothyroidism) and cancer is that the lymph fluid becomes "thicker" and other tissues also thicken. This makes it more difficult for the fluid to flow, resulting in cellular oxygen starvation, nutrient starvation, buildup of acidic waste products, and edema (swelling). Some doctors suggest that increased viscosity of the lymph due to hypothyroidism is a factor in all chronic illness. For example, see Solved: The Riddle of Illness, by Stephen Langer, MD et al. (Drinking an abundance of water also thins the body fluids, allowing them to flow and penetrate more easily. See also our page on zeta potential and blood coagulation)."
~and a study that reinforces the supposition that hypothyroidism promotes thick lymph:
Histochemical peculiarities of carbohydrate metabolism in experimental hypothyroidism
"Summary Histochemical analysis of polysaccharides was done in internal organs in experimental hypothyroidism. A considerable rise in glycogen content was noted in the parenchyma of the liver and heart; glycogen distribution in the cardiac muscle fibers was uneven, in the form of separate large foci, surrounded by mucoid edema of the stroma. In the interstitial tissue of internal organs accumulation of acid mucopolysaccharides is observed, the composition of which varies in different organs (in the heart - preponderantly hyaluronic acid, in the kidneys - chondroitinsulfate C, etc). Mucoproteid accumulation is noted in the blood plasma and lymph in experimental hypothyroidism cases."
"Lymphocytes are the disease-fighting cells of your immune system. They are produced and housed mainly in your lymphatic tissue. This includes the thymus gland, the spleen, the lymph nodes and the lymphatic tissue that lines the small intestine (called Peyer's patches, or more commonly, aggregated lymphatic follicles). Strangely, other than knowing it produces the body's white blood cells, most doctors are not very knowledgeable about the lymphatic system.
The lymphatic system is an amazingly complex structure. It works hand in hand with both the blood circulatory system and the digestive system.
In the circulatory system newly oxygenated blood from the lungs moves from the heart along smaller and smaller arteries until it reaches the smallest vessels called capillaries. It is in these microscopic tubules that the blood exchanges oxygen and nutrients for cellular waste products with surrounding body cells. The capillaries then gradually become larger and form veins through which the unoxygenated, waste-carrying blood returns back to the lungs and then to the heart to be recirculated time and time again.
Much of the fluid accompanying the blood and large protein molecules leak from these capillaries. Additional fluids and waste products are expelled from every cell in the body. These fluids accumulate in the small spaces between the cells. If all of this material weren't somehow removed we would begin to swell like a toad and die within a matter of 24 hours. Fortunately, we have a completely separate circulation system, called the lymphatic system, that is able to absorb and remove these fluids, proteins and waste materials. With the exception of the brain, where these proteins and fluids flow directly into the fluid that surrounds them, the extensive lymphatic network has hundreds of miles of tubules that cover the entire body. Through these tubules all of this material is returned to the blood so it can be utilized or eliminated from the body. (There is no pathway, other than the lymphatic system, that excess protein molecules can use to return to the circulatory system.)
Also, along these lymphatic tubules you'll find bulb-shaped masses called lymph nodes, which act as filters and produce antibodies when foreign proteins are encountered. I'm sure you've experienced the tenderness and swelling of an inflamed lymph node at one time or another. It is usually a result of antibodies fighting an infection either in the node itself or somewhere in the draining area of that particular lymph chain.
In addition to returning leaking fluid from the circulation system and creating antibodies for the immune system, the lymphatic system also performs another very important function. Clumps of lymphatic tissue, called Peyer's patches, are spread throughout the small intestine. Unlike other nutrients, fat molecules are generally too large to be absorbed directly from the intestine. Instead, they are absorbed by these patches and transported along the lymphatic system and then released into the blood stream where they can be carried throughout the body. Between 80 to 90 percent of all the fat absorbed from the gut requires the help of the lymphatic system.
When it comes to treating the majority of health problems, the status of your lymphatic system is rarely given any consideration whatsoever. Medical students are taught that a failure of the lymphatic system is obvious to detect because it is accompanied by "pitting" edema (the accumulation of fluid in the tissues, i.e. swelling, usually in the feet, ankles or hands). The test for "pitting" edema is rather simple. A finger is pressed into the skin at the area of the swelling and then quickly removed. The skin stays depressed, forming a small "pit", which remains until the fluid outside the cells has time to return to the area (this can take anywhere from 5 to 30 seconds). Unfortunately, research studies have shown that "pitting" edema and other signs of fluid retention can't be observed until fluid levels outside the cells reach 30 percent above normal. In other words, you can have a serious lymphatic drainage problem long before it can be detected."
Several problems occur when the lymph drainage slows and fluids begin to accumulate around the cells. First, the individual cells are forced further and further away from the capillaries. The amount of oxygen and nourishment they receive is decreased. Under exertion or stress some cells may die. Additionally, cells are forced to survive in their own waste and toxic by-products. This situation can eventually lead to the degeneration and destruction of organs. For example, poor lymphatic drainage of the heart can lead to tissue damage and even heart failure. Similar problems occur in the liver, the kidneys and other organs.
A good analogy would be if you confined yourself to one room of your house. Someone could bring you food and water, but not remove any of your waste products. Eventually you would have difficulty remaining healthy in such an environment. As your waste accumulated, not only would you become sick, those around you would begin to experience the same fate. Just like it is for each cell, in addition to nourishment and oxygen, the removal of waste products is essential for continued health of the entire body."
I'll follow this post with suggestions for lymph detox:) I don't want to make this post TOO long:)