June is Lipoedema Awareness Month
You are probably wondering what on earth is Lipoedema, or Lipedema, Lipodema or even Limphoedema is!?
Unfortunately, you may have mistaken Lipoedema sufferers with unfortunate cellulite or obese from a poor diet… but the “shelf” look over the ankle and/or disproportionate fat stored only in the underarm – can be the giveaway that Lipoedema is to blame for this disfiguring.
Lipeodema is not only unsightly, but extremely painful. The body collects fluid and stores fat directly under the skin affecting circulation and of course movement.
No amount of exercise or diet restrictions will change this.
Even surgery (such as liposuction) may not be an option because of poor healing due to diminished circulation. This condition can affect the underweight, as well as the over weight and can be inherited.
It also has no race barrier.
Through artifacts and art, we know that this condition has been around for as long as time itself and therefore can not be blamed just on our modern diet or sedentary lifestyle.
Awareness and understanding is key:
Lipoedema has 3 phases.
The second and third stages of Lipeodema are of course, the most noticeable.
However, Stage 1 is often mistaken as weight gain and often begins at puberty or after childbirth. It is often left undiagnosed and young girls or new mums, already self conscious of their bodies, can often follow very restrictive diets or over exercise in an attempt to change their body shape. Or be told by others including their Doctors that they just need to eat less and move more.
No amount of dieting or exercise will reverse the effects of Lipeodema.
However, awareness and quick (and correct) diagnosis of the condition can holt or at the very least, slow down the severity. Stage 3 is not only unsightly, but represents severe restrictions on the ability to move and function in daily life. Not to mention the constant pain and the high possibility of wounds not healing and leading to further complications. The loss of self confidence, ensuing depression and lack of mobility often causes obesity in the long term.
Although there is no cure to Lipeodema, significant functional improvements are possible with good program compliance and therapy intervention. This may include compression wear and massage that helps with lymphatic drainage. Also special dietary management, laser therapy and even power plate can help with circulation.
I found some interesting research here and have in the past worked with a client with lipoedema, who reported Power Plate helped with circulation and mobility. However, it was very important to slowly build up the clients’ tolerance to the vibration.
It was wonderful to see popular TV show such as The Project help bring awareness to this often misdiagnosed and misunderstood condition.
You can watch their report here: