Lipoedema is a form of lipodystrophy (pseudo edema), involving the accumulation of abnormal deposits of adipose (fatty) tissue in the subcutaneous layer of the skin. This is a continuous process.Click Here to Download Our Lipoedema Fact Sheet for GP's
First identified at the Mayo Clinic in the United States in 1940, Lipoedema is barely known to physicians or to patients that have the disease.
Estimates vary widely but range as high as 11% of the post-puberty female population has the disease.
Stage 1: Visual inspection is normal. The surface of the skin is soft and smooth.
Stage 2: Large fatty lobules are seen when the skin is squeezed between two fingers. There are small skin deformities and uneven skin surface.
Stage 3: Inspection reveals significant deformation of the profile. Very large, excessive fatty lobules are present.
|Lower Lymphoedeam||Lipoedema |
|Pre-Lymphatic Channels||Usually Normal||Abnormal|
|Sex||Commonly Female||Always Female|
|Laterality||Uni- or Bilateral||Bilateral|
|Pain on Pressure||Varies||Yes|
|Fragility of Blood Vessels||Rare||Typical|
|Response to Bandaging||Tolerated||Not Tolerated|
Excessive Diet & Exercise won't work!
Lipoedema is often confused with obesity and patients are informed to diet and exercise which often leads to an increase in the problem.
If Lipoedema was diagnosed early, which currently is rare, it is possible to prevent a significant expansion of fat cells and alert patients to their heightened risk for obesity, if they become progressively less mobile, so they can take appropriate action.
These patients often sit in other categories of Obesity, Eating Disorders, and Depression due to lack of proper diagnosis. These patients come to me often confused about their condition; they develop low self esteem and are generally depressed as to the lack of answers they seek.
The true term Lipoedema is actually incorrect because in simple cases, true edema is absent. In advanced stages of development, Lipoedematous tissue may sometimes develop true edema. The resulting condition is called Lipo-Lymphoedema. The edema associated with Lipoedema has no pitting and there is no rise in temperature.
There is no cure for Lipoedema, so early diagnosis and education to pre-pubescent females and GP’s is crucial. Empowering these women with knowledge and understanding of their disease enables them to manage their problem more easily, gain self confidence and live a reasonably normal life.
Because I have this condition myself, I have developed a 7 Step Program of Treatment Combined with Education to help reduce and maintain sufferers symptoms so they can get on with their lives. Please use the contact page for any questions or to make an appointment.