How can you tell if you have lipedema? This is a question that more women around the world are starting to ask. Although lipedema is a poorly understood condition, more women are becoming aware of it and its problems. For women who suspect they are sufferers, getting a diagnosis can be a challenge. Some women suspect they have a problem, but they don’t know what to look out for. Here, in this surgeon’s guide, you can find out more about the signs and symptoms to be aware of.
Lipedema – A Misdiagnosed Condition
Lipedema is a chronic condition that results in fat accumulating abnormally in various areas of your body. Usually, the condition affects the lower body, although the arms are sometimes affected, too. Many individuals who suffer from lipedema receive a misdiagnosis. Doctors tell them they’re just overweight or that they have lymphedema, which is a different condition. Nevertheless, more women are now receiving a correct diagnosis, although often at a later stage of the condition. Knowing the signs to look out for is key if you’re to get an early diagnosis and treatment.
What Does Lipedema Look Like?
Even in the early stages, lipedema sufferers will have larger lower bodies than upper bodies. Symptoms eventually change and worsen with time since the condition is progressive. While the condition doesn’t affect the feet and ankles, you can sometimes see a fat cuff above the ankle. The accumulation of fat will also be symmetrical, but some women’s legs will look lumpy while others look like columns. Fat deposits also often appear below the knees. A key sign to look out for is easy bruising. Fat accumulation from lipedema is often tender under pressure and may hurt for no reason. The skin eventually feels less elastic, too, while the fat itself may have evenly dispersed small fat nodules under it.
Changes as the Disease Progresses
If the patient doesn’t receive treatment, the disease progresses and worsens. The fatty lumps get bigger, and you can easily feel fatty nodes. The skin will develop an uneven, textured appearance. It may also start to become discolored. Eventually, the skin may become hard and thick. Asymmetrical large fatty lumps form on the legs. Lymphedema may also be present.
I Think I Have Lipedema, So What Do I Do?
If you suspect you have some of these signs and symptoms, it’s important to get help. You should seek out a lipedema specialist to give you advice and treatment. The earlier you get treatment, the better the outcome.
Here at Artistic Lipo and Plastic Surgery, Dr. Su is a specialist in treating patients with lipedema. He can carry out liposuction to relieve pain and improve mobility. If you’re ready to find out more, contact our friendly, understanding, and expert team today. If you’re still asking how you can tell if you have lipedema, we can advise you. We can also arrange a consultation with our expert specialist so you can begin your treatment journey.
Dr. Thomas Su, is the owner and cosmetic surgeon of Artistic Lipo. He has led our full-time clinic specializing in awake-only liposuction since 2007. Dr. Su began his medical career in internal medicine, practicing that until 2005, when he began to provide a full spectrum of non-invasive cosmetic procedures.