Today, we’d like to share information about the health condition known as Lipoedema. It’s something that a lot of people suffer from and we want to define the condition, talk about its causes and symptoms and discuss some of the best treatment options.
We want you to empower you by sharing all of the hard facts about this condition.
What is Lipoedema?
Lipoedema is a chronic health issue which is characterized by dysfunction of the lymphatic vessels and swollen, fatty deposits along the hips and the legs. These fatty deposits resemble the breeches that horse riders wear and the swelling and fatty deposits usually end near the ankles.
When people suffer from this condition, their legs look much bigger than they should. Generally, both legs are affected, as well as the hips, which will also typically be swollen and misshapen. Since the feet aren’t affected, there is usually a “band” appearance right over the ankles. This band might also be described as looking like a bracelet or anklet.
Causes of Lipoedema
The cause of this condition is a bit mysterious. However, some medical experts believe that female hormones trigger the deposition of adipose tissue, as well as the swelling. In general, women suffer from Lipoedema more than men do and it tends to start during puberty or become worse at this stage of life.
As well, it may happen when a woman is pregnant and this is a time when hormone shifts are quite extreme.
Another example of a time when this health disorder may crop up is after an operation which is gynecological. Also, women may suffer from Lipoedema when they are going through menopause.
Some scientists think that genetics plays a role. The condition seems to run in families.
Signs & Symptoms of Lipoedema
We’ve already talked about the swelling and fatty deposits which affect the body from the hips to the ankles. This condition varies in terms of severity, so symptoms may be mild, moderate or severe. Some people experience swelling in their arms. However, most women (men rarely get this condition, although it does affect them sometimes) experience swelling in the hips and legs, down to the ankles. This is the primary symptom of Lipoedema.
In addition to swelling and unusual fatty deposits in particular areas, symptoms of this health issue include feelings of softness and coldness in affected areas. Tissue which is impacted by the condition may seem dough-like and it may also be tender when touched. People with this condition tend to bruise more easily than others and they may feel aching and pain in affected areas. As well, they may notice broken veins under the epidermis. These broken veins will be small.
In addition, when this health problem gets worse, fluid retention may become an issue in affected areas. The combination of all of these symptoms may lead to loss of mobility and it may also trigger mental health issues. Women with Lipoedema may experience problems with self-esteem and/or feel depressed.
Those who suffer from this condition are advised to follow healthy lifestyles which include the right foods in correct portions and regular exercise. While a healthy lifestyle is not enough to stop the condition, it may lead to weight loss and help to control swelling and both of these things will be helpful.
The most common treatment for this health issue is decongestive therapy and it tends to soothe the most troublesome symptoms of the condition, such as pain. Decongestive therapy has many facets, so it might be described as combination therapy. Doctors may recommend a few or all of the following decongestive treatments in order to resolve symptoms…
Manual Lymphatic Drainage
This type of massage is performed with pump-like movements which are rhythmic and gentle. These movements help lymph to flow in the areas surrounding blocks. When lymph gets past blocked areas and makes it to vessels which are healthy, it flows into the body’s venous system. When this happens, pain relief is usually experienced. In addition, this treatment may stop fibrosis from developing.
Compression is Also Effective
Compression treatment, such as the usage of stretchy bandages, or pantyhose, underwear or stretchy shorts which are fitted carefully in order to compress effectively is often very beneficial. Compression stockings come in a variety of styles, at an array of compression levels, and choosing these products may be a good option. It’s best to talk to your doctor before buying compression stockings. However, they do work well as treatments, as compression helps to relieve swelling. Also, it will inhibit fluid build-up in the future.
Some people do get liposuction in order to remove fatty deposits from these areas. This is an invasive plastic surgery procedure, whereby fat is sucked out via a tool known as a cannula.
Talk to Your Doctor Today
Now that you know more about Lipoedema, you’ll be ready to get the help that you need. It all starts with visiting your doctor today.