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Lipedema: A Mystery of the Body Explored

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Do you have lipedema? If so, don’t worry! You’re not alone. Lipedema is a disorder that affects the lymphatic system and manifests as fat deposits on the legs. In this article, we will explore lipedema — what it is and how it’s treated. We’ll also discuss lipedema treatment and support and how Vein Specialists of the South can help!

What is Lipedema?

Sometimes called “painful fat syndrome,” lipedema is a chronic condition that, without intervention, worsens over time. It mainly affects women, but men can also develop this condition. It’s characterized by abnormal subcutaneous fat accumulation and distribution in the legs, but it may also show up in the arms. Lipedema affects people of all ages, although it is most common during puberty. The illness typically manifests itself when a person’s hormones are changing, particularly during pregnancy or the adolescent years. It’s been suggested that genes have a role, although much more study is needed in this area.

What are the symptoms of Lipedema?

If you suspect lipedema, you likely have noticed many of these symptoms:

  • Disproportionate weight gain on the hips, thighs, and below the knee, occurring on both legs.
  • Noticeable fatty lumps beneath the skin
  • Unexplained, frequent bruising
  • Legs are sensitive to the touch
  • Deep, throbbing pain in the legs and knees
  • Legs feel heavy and swell throughout the day, especially after long periods of standing or sitting. This tends to subside during the night.
  • Dimpling on the legs, sometimes described as having the appearance of an orange peel.
  • Legs may feel cold to the touch
  • Weight loss via diet and exercise does not affect lipedema, as the fat deposits remain despite fat loss throughout the body.

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SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION

HAVE YOUR LEGS EVALUATED

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Lipedema Treatments

One treatment for lipedema is Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) Massage, which reduces swelling, relieving chronic inflammation and pain while aiding in detoxing the lymphatic system. If you receive an MLD massage, you’ll also enjoy reduced symptoms of fatigue, stress, and insomnia.

Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia also report improvement in symptoms related to those conditions.

Other benefits of MLD massage include:

  • Detoxification of lymphatic system (lymphatic drainage)
  • Immune system improvements
  • Regenerated tissue, including burns, wounds, and wrinkles
  • Anti-aging
  • Cellulite and fat reduction

Liposuction is another lipedema treatment option. Not to be confused with cosmetic liposuction, tumescent or water jet assisted (WAL) lymph sparing liposuction reduces lipedema pain and stops the progression of the condition. Lymph sparing liposuction can also reduce or eliminate the need for other therapies, like MLD massage and compression therapy.

Practice Self-Care

Most medical interventions require a level of at-home self-care. Lipedema is no different. We recommend compression for lipedema relief to reduce swelling and improve lymphatic circulation.

Equally important is caring for your mind. Lipedema often creates a poor self-image, so we recommend nurturing your self-esteem. Meditation, talk therapy, and positive affirmations are all good ways to help you manage your emotional and psychological health while we help treat your condition.

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