Spreading the word about this hideous disease is something near and dear to me, since it is pretty much unknown by most physicians. It has robbed me of my career and a lot of my mobility and is the end result of a poorly functioning lymphatic system since childhood.
What is lipedema?
Lipedema is progressive disease which occurs almost exclusively in women. There is little known about the disease and, worst of all, there is no cure. (As of this date, there have been two known cases diagnosed in men.) It presents as symmetrical accumulation of fat in the subcutaneous tissue that disproportionately affects the lower limbs from buttocks to ankles. The legs may also be sensitive and prone to easy bruising. In some cases, the upper arms can also accumulate distinct patterns of fatty tissue. A genetic component to the disease is suspected, and other possible causes include metabolic, inflammatory or hormonal involvement.
Until a few years ago, there was no research being done, despite being discovered in 1940 by Drs. Allen and Hines of the Mayo Clinic. However, despite being recognized for over 75 years, many physicians still do not recognized it and generally misdiagnose it as simple obesity. It is only recently that interest and education about lipedema is gaining awareness. It is estimated that 11% of women have the diesase.
Thank you very much to Lipedema Products for the use of these illustrations.
Do you recognize these symptoms in yourself? Learn more about lipedema on my site, lipedema.one.