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The Low Down On Lipedema

Posted by Dr Ashish Dutta on 18 January 2018

Lipedema

The condition known as Lipedema occurs when fatty deposits are distributed in a haphazard fashion beneath the buttocks and legs. It is relatively common cosmetically speaking but may cause further problems if not corrected.It is thought to occur in approximately 11% of women, sometimes being mistaken for regular obesity. 

Symptoms

Typically, the development of large lower legs that can appear column-like. The skin can be tender and painful and can easily bruise and the fatty deposits can affect the symmetry of the body with size and shape doubling in the affected areas. The condition can allow continued fat deposits to build not just within the lower body, but to steadily overwhelm the upper regions by collecting in the arms as well.The Lymphatic system which helps to protect against infection is susceptible to this fat blockage and is unable to drain away toxins and other waste products leading to a fluid retention called a Lymphedema. Such a buildup can cause not just fluid retention but hardened skin and scarring of tissue causing a Fibrosis in the legs and arms. This can also lead to infection and poor healing of wounded areas if not treated correctly with thighs, legs, and arms prone to the condition as opposed to Lipedema which occurs in the upper leg regions of both legs. 

The Causes Of Lipedema

Research is ongoing but is suspected to originate in female hormones as the condition is more widespread in women; developing during puberty, Menopausal cycles, gynecological surgery or even pregnancy. There are indications that the condition is genetic with research showing family traces within the family tree. 

Treating Lipedema

Diet

Although diet and exercise will not reduce the fat buildup in Lipedema; a treatment known as complete decongestive therapy can have positive results in painful areas. The treatment is a combination of the best application of a number of specifics that have been shown by research to help alleviate the discomfort and pain of the condition. 

Exercise

Regular and gentle can help to reduce fluid build-ups and maintain healthier motion in legs and arms .Use in conjunction with good skin and nail care hygiene to reduce infection risks from wound based Lipedema’s. 

Manual Lymphatic Drainage

A massage technique using gentle pumping movements to stimulate lymph plasma around blockages and into healthy tissue thus allowing sufficient healthier drainage to the system.This can reduce pain and prevent Fibrosis. 

Compression Treatmen

Using stretch bandages, custom fitted tights, spandex shorts or panties to maintain tissue pressure in swollen leg areas and help reduce fluid retention build ups again. 

Water Assisted Liposuction

In combination with Tumescent Liposuction can break down Lipedemal fat. It’s a procedure that uses a hollow rod placed beneath the skin to suction out the fatty tissue. The treatment may take several sessions depending on the concentration of fat within the affected area. 

Your health professional will be happy to advise the best combination of treatments specific to your requirements.