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Lipedema is a misunderstood condition that affects 17 million women in the United States, and more than 370 million women worldwide. Lipedema is a condition in which there is an abnormal accumulation of fatty tissue, usually below the waist, leading to progressive leg enlargement. This chronic disorder can also affect the arms.
Lipedema is a serious medical condition with many critical complications. The increased weight causes blockages and hindrances to lymphatic flow. Other complications include deterioration of the joints, varicose veins, overall body pain and “pins and needles” type of discomfort. Additionally, patients report psychological problems ranging from lack of self-confidence to depression.
What Is Lipedema?
What Does Lipdema Look LIke?
This condition gives a person a “tree-like” disproportion of the legs, where fat deposits encompass the thighs, knees, calves and ankles; however, the feet are not affected. In some patients, lipedema also develops in the buttocks and hips, with cellulite and a lumpy appearance. The swelling of the tissue is due to the accumulations of fluid and fat in the tissues under the skin.
Who Is Affected By Lipedema?
While the cause of lipedema is unknown, there seems to be a genetic component with the disease, as nearly half of all cases involve a family history. Lipedema predominately affects women, and inflicts both thin and obese individuals alike, with cases reported in both morbidly obese people and women who suffer from eating disorders such as anorexia.
Since lipedema seems to be hormonal, it’s typically triggered at puberty; however, it can also trigger or worsen during or after pregnancy, at peri-menopause and following gynecological surgery, or any surgery with anesthesia.