Lipedema explained

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Lipedema explained

Postby patoco » Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:24 pm

Lipedema explained

by Pat Washburn

Are you a woman with "big legs"? If your lower legs are "fat" and swollen, do not respond to weight-loss efforts, and become more painful over the course of a day, you might have lipedema.

Lipedema is a hereditary disorder that occurs almost exclusively in women. It is not fully understood, but appears to set in at puberty and grow worse with pregnancy and perimenopause. The lipedema patient suffers from fatty deposits in her lower body which do not respond to diet and exercise. Indeed, it is possible to be anorexic and still have "fat legs" due to lipedema.

Many lipedema patients ARE fat. I am one of them. The discomfort in my legs makes it difficult to exercise, and I was undiagnosed for 30 years - years during which I blamed myself for my weight problems, fueling a cycle of self-hatred and binge eating.

Though lipedema was discovered in 1940, many doctors do not know about it, and it is widely undiagnosed. It is also sometimes confused with lymphedema, a form of swelling that is common after surgery (particularly for breast cancer). The big difference between lymphedema and lipedema is that lymphedema usually occurs only on one side of the body.

There is no cure for lipedema, and no truly effective treatment. The treatments that are available focus on cutting the swelling and preventing the cellulitis and other skin infections that can occur as lymphatic fluid, unable to circulate freely, pools in the lower legs. Treatments include:

- wearing custom compression stockings

- Manual Lymphatic Drainage, a type of specialized massage performed by a trained physical therapist

- elevating the legs

- swimming for exercise

MLD treatments and compression stockings are covered by some, but not all, health plans. Many lipedema patients find they must be their own advocates to get treatment and help. There are several lipedema resources online, and you may even be able to find or start a lipedema support group in your area.


For more information

Lipedema Lipodema Lipoedema

No matter how you spell it, this is another very little understood and totally frustrating conditions out there. This will be a support group for those suffering with lipedema/lipodema. A place for information, sharing experiences, exploring treatment options and coping.

Come join, be a part of the family! ... =209645515





Lymphedema or Lipedema ... podema.htm


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