In this article, we have tried to explain what lipedema is and how lipedema can be realized.
This disease, which is also called "painful fat syndrome", is an abnormal fat cell accumulation that is usually concentrated in the legs, hips, thighs and is also seen in the arms of some women.
It is characterized by disproportionate fattening that is concentrated especially in the lower part of the waist and does not disappear despite regular exercise and diet.
Assoc. Prof. TarıkÇavuşoğlu aims to give you detailed information about this progressive disease in order to help you receive early intervention or early treatment for lipedema, which will increase your life quality.
As mentioned above, lipedema is a chronic condition for women. Although it can also be seen in men, lipedema mostly affects women. While lipedema can sometimes be associated with overweight or obese women, weight is not the only factor in this chronic condition. In fact, many women who are not overweight and have a healthy lifestyle can still get lipedema. Lipedema has been seen in women of all body types and sizes. It has been seen even in thin women; therefore it is not true that lipedema only affects overweight or obese women.
Lipedema is associated with abnormal fat cells that choose a certain area. It can be defined as "fat with edema", abnormal fat cells accompanied by large amounts of fluid. For this reason, women with lipedema have excessive edema and abnormal fat cells in their bodies. Lipedema is often misdiagnosed because excess weight is blamed for this abnormal fat accumulation when an unhealthy diet or weight problem is mentioned. But lipedema is a more severe problem.
Women suffering from lipedema are often blamed for not paying attention to their diet and doing too little exercise. Comparing themselves with other women around them who eat more food and do not gain weight despite not exercising, they think that "it is my fate". In fact, lipedema is a disease. No matter how much she exercises or tried to eat healthy food, fat cells do not respond to women with lipedema, therefore it is inevitable to face increasing body size and disproportion in the body (until she is diagnosed with this disease and starts treatment).
One thing that should not be forgotten about lipedema is that it affects both legs symmetrically. Abnormal fat and edema accumulation below the waist is symmetrical, so people with lipedema have the same problem in both hips, both thighs, both arms, etc.
Many studies about lipedema have shown that it is a genetic disorder. The ascendants or descendants of a womanare also at risk if she suffers from lipedema, which means that if her mother or grandmother has lipedema, she has also the risk of lipedema. Men can also be carriers, so fathers can inherit lipedema to their daughters.
Hormones are known to be an effective driving force in the onset of lipedema. In women who have this disease as a genetic inheritance, it has been observed that the disease usually starts in adolescence, after pregnancy, or during menopause. Therefore, hormonal changes can cause the exacerbation of lipedema. The onset of lipedema has been observed in women who have experienced periods of intense stress or a traumatic event causing a sudden increase in hormones.
Lipedema is a progressive disease. Its progression is usually slow, but symptoms ofmovement restriction and pain may increase over time if it is not treated. Lipedema can progress rapidly to stage 4 and then turn into lymphedema (lipo-lymphedema).
LipedemaStage 1:Early intervention, if possible, is important at this stage. In stage 1 lipedema, the skin has not been affected by the disease yet, and it has not lost its elasticity. In stage 1 lipedema, a disproportionate lower extremity is observed. Because of thicker hips and legs than the body, a "pear-shaped" body image occurs. Compression stockings or compression garments can be dressed for temporary relief in stage 1 lipedema.
Lipedema Stage 2:At this stage, the skin affected by lipedema shows some symptoms. Stage 2 lipedema is often confused with cellulite, but skin symptoms are different than cellulite in lipedema. In stage 2 lipedema, the body stops breaking down fat, and excessive amounts of lymphatic fluid are produced in these parts of the body. At this stage of lipedema, "lipedema stockings" and "lipedema corsets" are useful.
Lipedema Stage 3:At this stage of lipedema, there is tenderness by touching in the fat accumulation areas, which are in the form of nodules and bumps. At stage 3 lipedema, pain and edema are commonly seen in the skin and joints. Compression garments and other techniques that are normally used to relieve edema or pain are no longer useful in stage 3 lipedema.
Lipedema Stage 4:This stage of lipedema, if not treated, creates unpleasant results that reduce the life quality. Stage 4 lipedema is characterized by nonhealing edema and very stiff, deformed, and thick skin in the affected areas. The advanced stage of lipedema is associated with movement restriction and serious health problems. If not treated, lipedema at this stage can turn into lymphedema.
Lipedema can turn into lymphedema due to obstruction of lymphatic ducts at advanced stages. In the advanced stages of lymphedema, skin nutrition disorders and skin infections may develop due to obstruction of blood vessels. Lymphedema is a serious medical problem that can seriously reduce the life quality and cause life-threatening problems.
Don’t Get In Despair
The most important thing to know about lipedema is that you are not alone and there is always hope. Many women feel helpless and hopeless when struggling to lose weight without knowing that lipedema is a disease. New treatment options, methods, and techniques for lipedema can help you manage this condition and improve your life quality. Lipedema is a treatablecondition, especially when diagnosed early.
Lipedema is a problem that should not be confused with cellulite or weight problem in women. Such that, lipedema is a condition that affects about 11% of the USA. A total of 17 million women suffer from lipedema at different stages in the USA.
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