Unfortunately, even today, lipedema is a poorly understood condition. Therefore, the earliest lipedema signs and symptoms often go unnoticed. Even the medical profession may struggle to spot the indicators that a woman is suffering from this problem. This is why medical professionals tell sufferers they are merely obese and need to diet and exercise more. Since it’s a progressive condition, lipedema will only continue to worsen if the sufferer overlooks the early signs. Eventually, it will move to more severe stages and cause further problems for the sufferer.
In the earliest stages, the symptoms of lipedema may not be especially obvious. However, as the disease advances, the signs become considerably easier to spot. Sadly, by this stage, the sufferer is already experiencing pain, discomfort, and confidence issues. Therefore, it couldn’t be more important to know those key signs and identify them quickly. This will help women suffering from lipedema to get help as early as possible for their problems.
What Are the Signs of Lipedema?
The main signs of lipedema are a bigger lower body with legs that have a column-like shape. Often, they will feel tender to the touch and will bruise very easily. Women with lipedema find that their upper bodies may be several sizes smaller than their lower halves. Sufferers also find that if they lose weight, it doesn’t come off their lower bodies. While their torsos may be slim, their hips and legs remain stubbornly large.
When the condition has progressed, the fat will continue to accumulate. This results in the lower body getting even heavier. Eventually, lipidemic fat can collect on the arms, too.
Ultimately, the fat cells may block the lymphatic system’s vessels. This prevents them from doing their usual job — to balance fluid levels in the body and guard against infections. As a result, lymph fluid cannot drain away properly and will build up, causing lymphedema. This leads to further problems, such as delayed healing, infections, fibrosis, and hard skin on the legs.
When do Women Begin to Develop Signs of Lipedema?
Experts believe lipedema has a connection to hormones. Therefore, the signs and symptoms often begin to show themselves initially at a time of hormonal upheaval. In some sufferers, this could be as early as the onset of puberty. For other women, it may be when they get pregnant or give birth. In others, it could even be as late as menopause. The early signs may not be especially noticeable, or they mistake it for obesity. This means it can be difficult to know when the first indicators appeared.
How Can You Treat Lipedema?
There are some conservative treatments for lipedema, but none can cure the condition. Unfortunately, there is no permanent cure yet. There is a long-term solution, though, that can relieve pain and suffering for an extended period. This treatment is lipedema liposuction. Removing the fat cells permanently can significantly reduce the mobility issues and discomfort associated with the condition. If you think you have lipedema signs and symptoms, contact Artlipo today and arrange a consultation.
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.