Wendy Williams Reveals She Has Lymphedema — What Is It And What Does It Mean For Her Health?

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What Is Lymphedema? New Details On The Disease Wendy Williams Has Been Diagnosed With

Wendy Williams has been going through a lot lately. She's had all that drama with her now soon to be ex-husband and his mistress, her trip to rehab, speculation on who she's dating — is it a 20-something or a 50-something, and a whole bunch of other stuff going on. Now, she's got news of a more serious sort — serious in that it deals with her health. Wendy has revealed that she's been diagnosed with lymphedema. She was also quick to assure her fans that she has the scary-sounding condition under control. What is lymphedema and is Wendy Williams going to be okay?

1. What is Lymphedema?

Wendy Williams just returned to her show after a five=week break. She spent the show catching her audience up on all that's been going on in her life — including what was going on in a paparazzi photo that showed her with very swollen ankles. According to the Mayo Clinic, Lymphedema is a disorder of the lymph nodes that causes swelling in the arms or legs. It occurs when the lymphatic system has a blockage that prevents lymph fluid from draining, leading to fluid buildup and swelling. 

2. What are the symptoms?

Common symptoms of lymphedema include swelling of part of all of your leg or arm. People with lymphedema also experience restricted range of motion, a feeling of heaviness or tightness, discomfort, aching, as well as hardening and thickening of the skin. Typically only one arm or leg is affected. Swelling usually begins in the foot and moves up. 

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3. Who gets it?

Lymphedema is most commonly caused by the removal of or damage to your lymph nodes as a part of cancer treatment. It can also be hereditary. Up to 10 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with ;ymphedema. More people have lymphedema than AIDS, MS, and Parkinson's. Actress Kathy Bates also has lymphedema. 

4. How it is treated?

There is no cure for lymphedema but it can be managed by controlling the swelling it causes. Compression therapy, bandaging, massage therapy, and physical therapy are all used to control it as well as care of the skin to prevent infection. 

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5. Don't make fun of Wendy

Wendy couldn't help but address the haters who commented on her swollen ankle in the paparazzi photo. “How dare you talk about the swelling of it all!. It’s lymphedema, and I’ve got it under control. If my feet and lower things never go all the way down, at least I have this machine I got fitted for that goes all the way up here [to her thigh], and I sit for 45 minutes a day.” Williams was likely referring to a compression therapy machine. 

Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based freelance writer covering entertainment, pop culture, beauty, fashion, fitness, technology, and the intersection of technology, business, and philanthropy. She is deeply devoted to her chocolate Labrador and an avid long distance runner. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.