Lipedema is a poorly understood condition that involves the abnormal distribution of fat in the body. If you suffer from this condition, you may have “lipedema arms” – excess fat in your upper arm area. This may confuse you since if you do some research, you’ll probably read that lipedema only affects the lower body. If that’s the case, why are your arms excessively fat, too? Are you unusual, or do all lipedema sufferers have this problem? 

Although lipedema usually affects the lower body, in some sufferers, it also affects the arms. The precise figures for this are largely unknown. However, some believe at least 30 percent of women with this medical problem find both legs and arms equally affected. 

The Stages of Lipedema

Lipedema is a progressive condition that develops in stages. As it worsens and progresses over time, the amount of swelling, fat accumulation, tenderness, and pain increases. Depending on the sufferer, every stage may affect many areas of the body differently. 

At Stage 1, the condition may be difficult to diagnose, and some doctors have mistaken it for obesity. The fat will usually mainly affect the lower body at this point. It may make the body look disproportionate, with an upper half considerably smaller than the lower. 

When the disease progresses to Stage 2, the disproportionate appearance becomes more pronounced. The legs become more column-like, and pain and swelling increase. By Stage 3, the lower body will usually be distinctly larger than the upper body. There will also be large lumps of fat that cause mobility issues. 

There may be an effect on the arms at any stage. However, evidence of excess fat accumulation in this area likely occurs in Stages 2 and 3.

Lipedema Arms – What Are the Symptoms?

Sometimes called “painful fat syndrome,” lipedema typically affects the part of the body below the waist. However, in some women, lipedema in the arms may also occur. In such cases, the sufferer has a larger lower body and larger arms. The person will then have a disproportionately smaller upper body. When someone has lipedema in her arms, she experiences bruising, swelling, and pain in the upper limbs.

What Causes Lipedema in The Arms?

No one knows what causes lipedema and whether it affects the arms. Experts think, however, that there’s a relationship between the condition and female hormones. This is why it usually only affects women. Lipedema symptoms tend to begin or get worse during times of hormonal upheaval. This is why women often spot symptoms during pregnancy, puberty, menopause, or after a gynecological procedure. The condition may also be genetic. Women who have close family members with this disorder are more likely to be sufferers, too.

How Can You Treat Lipedema in the Arms?

If you’re worried about excess fat in your arms and worried you might have lipedema, it’s important to seek help. Although lipedema is a poorly understood condition, an expert in the field should be able to advise you. The earlier you get a diagnosis, the better your outcome is likely to be. 

Don’t let articles saying lipedema only affects the lower body deter you from seeking medical advice. It can certainly affect the arms, too. Not every sufferer will have abnormal fat distribution in her arms. However, there’s a good number of sufferers who do. Therefore, getting an early diagnosis and rapid treatment can be vital. It will help to reduce your potential debilitation.

There are several options for treating lipedema that affects the upper arms. 

  • Exercise and nutrition – Experts recommend making lifestyle changes immediately after receiving a diagnosis. Increasing your physical activity and eating more healthily will reduce nonlipedemic fat in the arms. It will also help to reduce inflammation. Having a good exercise and diet regime may prevent the condition from worsening in your arms.
  • Wearing compression garments. These help to reduce swelling in your arms while improving the flow of lymphatic fluids. When you wear compression garments regularly, you will reduce lipedema in your arms.
  • Manual lymphatic drainage massage. This gentle form of massage helps to improve lymphatic fluid flow. It can help to reduce swelling in your upper arms and reduce pain.
  • Liposuction. One of the best ways of managing lipedema in the arms is to have liposuction. Tumescent liposuction is an effective way of treating this condition. It permanently removes the problematic fat cells in the upper arm area. This helps to reduce the unwanted symptoms of the condition. It reduces pain and improves movement. It also helps to restore a more normal appearance to the arm. This boosts self-esteem. 

Lipedema in the arms isn’t life-threatening. However, if left untreated, it will only worsen with time. This could cause other serious medical issues, such as lymphedema. Getting a proper diagnosis and treatment is, therefore, imperative. 

If you have received a diagnosis of lipedema arms, contact Artlipo today. We are experts in lipedema liposuction and look forward to improving your quality of life.