(813) 886-9090 Virtual consultation

What Are the Symptoms of Lipedema?

Lipedema presents a variety of symptoms. They include a larger lower body than the upper body, column-like legs, pain, and easy bruising. Unfortunately, in the early stages of the disease, the symptoms are similar to those found in other conditions. Therefore, it can be complicated to get a diagnosis, especially if you are at Stage One or Two. It’s essential to be aware of the signs of lipedema so you can find a specialist as quickly as possible.

Do I Have Lipedema?

If you believe you may suffer from lipedema, it’s crucial to be aware of the disease’s symptoms. Here are some of the common signs linked with lipedema:

  • Disproportionately large legs, buttocks, and hips compared to the upper body: You may be a couple of sizes larger on your bottom half than your top half.
  • Symmetrical swelling in the legs with a column-like appearance
  • Heaviness or tenderness in the legs, and possibly pain or unusual tenderness to the touch
  • Easy bruising of the affected areas
  • Possible symmetrical swelling of the arms, potentially with large fat lobules hanging from the upper arms
  • A cuff of fat around the ankles and wrists with the feet and hands unaffected by swelling.
  • The skin may have an unusual texture. It may feel grainy or lumpy to the touch. You may detect bumps like grains of rice, peas, or even walnuts under the skin.

Also Read – How do I know if I have Lipedema?

What Causes Lipedema?

Unfortunately, the cause of lipedema currently remains unknown. Experts are now researching the condition, but the precise cause remains a mystery. Nevertheless, experts now believe that hormones and genetics both have a role to play in the development of the condition.

Experts think that the female hormone estrogen is one of the causes of the disease. That is because it is primarily women who find themselves affected by lipedema. Usually, it arises or becomes worse during times of hormonal change. That includes during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, when taking hormonal birth control, or when undergoing gynecological surgery.

Experts also believe there is a genetic link because people whose close female relatives have lipedema develop it themselves.

Does Lipedema Cause Other Medical Problems?

Some people with a lipedema diagnosis worry that it is a life-threatening condition. In fact, lipedema isn’t dangerous in itself. It can, however, trigger other medical problems that can have profound implications, including:

  • Lymphedema
  • Varicose veins
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Obesity
  • Emotional and mental health problems

People with lipedema can develop lymphedema as their condition progresses. The lipedema fat accumulates and can, eventually, begin to block the lymphatic system. As a result, lymphedema swelling can occur, which in turn can cause other issues like slow healing and infections.

Osteoarthritis is another common side effect of lipedema. As the diseased fat accumulates, it puts added pressure on the joints. The lower body is typically most affected, so sufferers experience pain and mobility issues, especially with their knees. This reduced mobility makes it harder to exercise and can leave sufferers effectively trapped in their homes. That, in turn, can lead to other issues arising, such as obesity and mental health problems.

When sufferers cannot exercise easily, they find it difficult to maintain a healthy body weight. Meanwhile, the pain, restricted lifestyle, and low self-confidence due to their disproportionate body appearance can lead to emotional issues. Sufferers often experience depression and anxiety.

What Is the Treatment for Lipedema?

There is no cure for lipedema, but there are treatments available. Patients can choose from both conservative and surgical treatments.

Conservative options include complete decongestive therapy. That involves undergoing regular manual lymphatic drainage and wearing compression garments. It also involves improved nail and skin care and living a healthy lifestyle with a sensible diet and more exercise. Although conservative methods produce short-term relief from lipedema’s symptoms, they aren’t a long-term solution. The disease continues to progress, and the symptoms will only worsen over time.

Liposuction surgery is the other option for patients to consider. Although some sufferers worry about undergoing surgery, it can help them achieve long-term relief. Liposuction for lipedema involves the surgeon making incisions in the affected areas. They pass a cannula into the incisions and suction away the diseased fat. After removing the fat, the patient experiences better mobility and less pain. They also enjoy a more proportionate body appearance, improving their mental well-being. While surgery isn’t a cure, it provides long-lasting relief from symptoms. It addresses the cause of lipedema and not only the symptoms like conservative treatments do.

What Should I Do If I’m Experiencing Lipedema Symptoms?

If you think you have the signs of lipedema, you need to get diagnosed quickly. You will enjoy a better outcome if you can get treatment as quickly as possible. You must seek advice from a specialist in the field. Dr. Su at ArtLipo is an expert in diagnosing and treating lipedema. Get in touch today to arrange your consultation.

Transforming Lives, One Step at a Time
virtual consultation