Lipoedema is an abnormal build-up of fat deposits. Treating lipoedema can be a challenging process. Find out how.
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What is lipoedema?
Lipoedema is a common condition that causes excess fat stored on the hips, thighs, and lower legs. It usually affects women, although men can also be affected. The condition can cause pain and swelling in the affected areas and lead to social and psychological difficulties. There is no cure for lipoedema, but there are treatments that can help to reduce the symptoms.
Where does it develop?
Lipoedema is a rare and non-contagious condition. It can develop anywhere, but most often in the arms, thighs, hips, and buttocks. The exact cause of lipoedema is not known. It is not due to obesity or weight gain.
What is the cause of lipoedema?
It is unknown what causes lipoedema, but there are a few theories. Some people believe it can be hereditary, as it seems to run in families. However, this isn’t always the case, and some people who have had lipoedema for several generations may never develop symptoms of the condition themselves. The most common theory about its origin is that it’s related to an imbalance of lymphatic fluid caused by genetics or hormones during pregnancy.
Another controversial opinion holds that lipoedema only occurs in women with an unhealthy weight or body composition for their height. Some research has shown that women with a higher BMI are more likely to develop lipoedema than those with lower BMIs (and vice versa).
What are the symptoms of lipoedema?
Lipoedema is a condition in which your body retains fat in your legs, arms, and buttocks. This can cause swelling and pain. In severe cases, it may also lead to distorted body shape, difficulty moving, difficulty breathing, and even difficulty sleeping. Lipoedema can also affect other body parts, such as the hands, feet, and face. The severity varies from person to person, but some people have had major problems with lipoedema for their whole life.
How is lipoedema diagnosed?
Unfortunately, there are no specific tests to diagnose lipoedema. A diagnosis is usually based on a doctor’s physical examination and the patient’s medical history. A doctor may request blood tests to rule out other conditions that can cause similar symptoms and problems.
Lipoedema is a chronic condition that causes an abnormal build-up of fat cells in the body, most commonly in the legs and thighs. Though the exact cause of lipoedema is unknown, it is thought to be due to a problem with how fat cells develop and grow. Women are much more likely to develop lipoedema than men, and the condition often runs in families.
There is no cure for lipoedema, but there are treatments that can help to manage the condition and ease symptoms. These include:
Exercise: It can help reduce fat cells’ size and improve lymphatic drainage.
Compression garments: Wearing compression garments such as stockings or tights can help to reduce swelling and pain.
Massage: Massage can also help to improve lymphatic drainage and reduce pain.
Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be recommended to remove excess fat tissue.
Lipoedema and lymphoedema
Lipoedema is a condition that causes an abnormal build-up of fat cells in the body. It most often affects the legs, thighs, and buttocks but can also affect the arms. Chronic lipoedema is a chronic (long-term) condition that can cause pain, discomfort, and embarrassment. There is no cure for lipoedema, but there are treatments that can help relieve the symptoms.
Lymphoedema is a condition that occurs when the lymphatic system—the network of vessels and tissues that drain fluid from the body—is damaged or blocked. This can cause fluid to build up in the tissues, leading to swelling. Lymphoedema can occur independently or as a complicating factor in other conditions such as cancer or following surgery. It is a chronic (long-term) condition that can cause pain, discomfort, and embarrassment. There is no cure for lymphoedema, but there are treatments that can help relieve the symptoms.
Living with Lipoedema
Lipoedema is a chronic condition that causes an abnormal build-up of fat cells in the body, most commonly in the legs, thighs, and buttocks. It can also affect the arms.
The condition usually starts at puberty but can also develop during pregnancy or after menopause. Lipoedema is not caused by being overweight or obese and cannot be cured by dieting or exercise.
Lipoedema can cause problems with mobility and can be painful. It can also lead to poor body image and low self-esteem.
There is no cure for lipoedema, but there are treatments that can help to reduce the symptoms and improve the quality of life. These include:
- Compression therapy: wearing specialized garments that apply pressure to the affected areas to reduce swelling.
- Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD): a massage that helps move fluid out of the affected areas.
- Exercise: regular exercise can help to reduce pain and improve mobility.
- Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be recommended to remove excess fat from the affected areas.
Pregnancy and lipoedema
There are a few things to consider if you have lipoedema and are pregnant or want to become pregnant. The first thing to remember is that pregnancy can sometimes worsen lipoedema. This is because during pregnancy, the levels of the hormone oestrogen in your body increase. For women who already have lipoedema, this can cause an increase in the size of their fat cells and, therefore, more noticeable lipoedema.
If you are pregnant and have lipoedema, it is important to tell your midwife or obstetrician so they can keep an eye on your condition. There are a few things you can do to help manage your lipoedema during pregnancy, such as:
- Exercising regularly (but not excessively)
- Wearing compression garments
- Eating a healthy, balanced diet
- Drinking plenty of water
- Avoiding crash diets or excessive weight gain
Exercise and Lipoedema
Lipoedema is a condition that causes an abnormal build-up of fat cells in the body, most commonly in the legs and thighs. The condition is thought to be hereditary and often runs in families. Women are much more likely to be affected than men, and lipoedema can occur at any age, although it most commonly starts during puberty or pregnancy.
There is no cure for lipoedema, but there are treatments that can help to reduce the symptoms and improve the quality of life. One of the most important things you can do if you have lipoedema is to stay active and exercise regularly. This can help to reduce the amount of fat in your body, improve your circulation, and reduce the pain and heaviness associated with the condition.
You can do several different exercises if you have lipoedema, but it’s important to start slowly and build up gradually. Walking is a great start; you can also try swimming or water aerobics. If you have pain or swelling in your legs, consider doing exercises that don’t stress your joints, such as cycling or using an elliptical trainer.
If you’re not used to exercising, you must speak to your doctor or a qualified exercise instructor before starting any new exercise program. They will be able to advise on what exercises are suitable for you and how to do them safely.
Diet and Lipoedema
Lipoedema is a condition that causes an abnormal build-up of fat cells in the body. It most commonly affects the legs and thighs but can also affect the arms, hands, chest, and abdomen. The cause of lipoedema is unknown, but it is thought to be linked to hormonal factors. The condition can run in families.
There is no cure for lipoedema, but there are treatments that can help to reduce the symptoms. One of the most important things you can do if you have lipoedema is to maintain a healthy weight. This can help reduce the size of your fat cells and lessen the condition’s symptoms.
It can be difficult to lose weight if you have lipoedema, as the condition often makes it harder for your body to process fat. However, there are several things you can do to help yourself lose weight:
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet low in saturated fats and sugars.
- Do regular exercise
- Try not to gain weight.
- Avoid crash dieting or yo-yo dieting.
Alex is a fitness aficionado, empowers others towards healthier, active lives through small, sustainable changes for lasting results. Visit Gearuptofit.com for insightful tips and resources to enrich a balanced lifestyle.