Given the scarcity of official sources of information, it is our responsibility to continue alerting people about lipedema illness. Lipedema symptoms are widely unknown among both men and women. Every day, women with this illness seek treatment without even knowing they have lipedema, believing they have an obesity or fluid retention problem.
WHAT IS LIPEDEMA?
Before focusing on the symptoms of lipedema, it is important to be clear about its definition. Lipedema is a disease that consists of inflammation and pathological proliferation of fat cells, which are also abnormally distributed in the extremities in a symmetrical manner, causing pain. Lipedema is a disorder of adipose tissue that occurs almost exclusively in women. According to various studies, lipedema could affect almost 16% of the world’s female population, with no variation by race. Only 2% of those affected will be male.
This disorder can be hereditary (20%). In most cases, lipedema disease develops gradually during puberty, although it may develop or worsen during menopause or pregnancy. Having well-defined the “painful fat” disease, let’s focus on the symptoms of lipedema.
Dr. Solesio performing lipedema surgery
Symptoms of lipedema
The symptoms of lipedema are often seen, at its onset, in thin women who show an increase in the fat layer of the thighs and hips, disproportionate to the rest of the body. At other times the fat accumulation begins in the area between the knees and ankles. At the level of the ankle, the fat forms a ring just above the ankle, in the shape of a cup (Cuff sign).
There are a lot of symptoms of lipedema and possible causes, so Dr Solesio gives us a list of all known to date:
Hereditary cause: there may be several family members who have lipedema, even skipping generations within the same family that presents lipedema symptoms.
Hormonal cause: lipedema symptoms appear with puberty or become more noticeable with hormonal changes (pregnancy, menopause, birth control pills, etc.).
Pain: the patient notices pain in the arms or legs even at rest. This pain may increase with exercise and make it impossible to exercise.
Pain on palpation: the patient feels hypersensitivity in the area affected by lipedema. Pain when someone leans on the patient’s legs or grabs the patient’s arm.
Feeling of heaviness or swollen legs.
Characteristic distribution: Lipedema sufferers usually have the same shape of a tube or column in their legs. No matter how much sport or exercise is done, the characteristic shape of the fat is not lost.
Hands and feet unaffected: unlike the rest of the limb, there is no fat accumulation in the hands and feet.
Hematomas: another characteristic symptom of lipedema is the frequent appearance of hematomas in the legs without apparent origin.
Hard consistency: fat in legs or arms has a harder consistency than abdominal fat.
Hyperlaxity: Increasingly, those affected with the symptoms of lipedema report that they find it easy to bend their ankles. Even at rest, they experience ankle sprains, even sprained ankles.
No response to diets: with diets, volume is lost in the face, torso, and chest, with minimal loss in the legs or arms even with intense physical activity. It is not obesity, it is lipedema.
If, after reading this article, you think you suffer from some of the symptoms of lipedema, don’t hesitate to ask! Your life can change starting today. Do you want to know if these are symptoms of lipedema? Go for a consultation with Dr. Solesio and get a quality diagnosis.