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Lipoedema (and not to be confused with lymphedema), is a disease of inflamed fat cells that affects primarily women. It causes pain and abnormal sensations in the tissues of the legs, hips, and buttocks.  Some people with lipoedema may also have veins issues.

 It predominately affects women and is widely undiagnosed. 

Symptoms of Lipoedema

  • Both the legs are enlarged

  • Bottom and stomach are sometimes affected  - as can be the  arms 

  • You can often been described as 'bottom heavy' as your upper body may be a lot smaller

  • Feet and hands are not usually affected and a ' cuff' or 'bracelet' effect can appear just above the ankles and wrists

  • You may bruise easily

  • Increase in Lipoedema is often noticed when significant hormonal changes happen - puberty, pregnancy, menopause

  • Skin can have a cellulite or ‘mattress’ like appearance it can also be described as  orange-peel skin

  • Legs can be hypersensitive to touch and pressure

  • Lipoedemic fat pads accumulate on upper outer thighs, inner thighs and above, below and inside the knee –  often causing issues with walking - knocked knees or flat feet as well as joint pain

  • Hypermobility - very flexible

  • Altered skin temperature, texture and appearance -often cooler to the touch

  • When loosing weight the size of the affected areas do not change

Types of lipedema

Type I: The fat is between the navel and the hips. ...
Type II: The fat is around the pelvis and down to the knees.
Type III: The fat begins at the pelvis and continues down to the ankles. ...
Type IV: The fat spreads from the shoulders down to the wrists.
Type V: The fat is predominantly on the calves.


Treatment for Lipoedema is mostly conservative. The best treatment for lipoedema is a holistic approach.

Eating healthily, exercise, trying to maintain a healthy weight (this can help with the inflammation), wearing compression garments (they can help reduce pain and discomfort), Support. 

There is medication that may be helpful – please seek professional advice. The only treatment to remove the disease fat is liposuction 


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