Lipedema is a chronic condition that presents a symmetrical accumulation of fat in the subcutaneous tissue with almost exclusive occurrence in women. Fat tissue expands primarily in the lower limbs, from buttocks to ankles, as well as in the arms, with weight-loss strategies exhibiting limited effects on limb fat. The public and the medical community are generally unaware of lipedema, even though it was first described in the 1940s.
Lipedema is characterized by pain, tenderness upon contact, easy bruising, swelling (edema), and psychosocial issues that impact quality of life. The onset of lipedema is reported to occur during puberty. However, it can occur or be exacerbated by periods of hormonal shifts, such as pregnancy or menopause. Weight gain and obesity are also considered to play a role in lipedema onset, and exacerbation of symptoms. The skin elasticity is reduced in lipedema: affected areas, and vascular changes like spider veins, and telangiectasia are present as well. Approximately 50 percent of people with lipedema show hypermobility of joints.
Lipedema is characterized by:
TYPE: areas of the body with fat accumulation
STAGES: disease presentation and levels of fat accumulation.
Lipedema is also called Lipoedema, Lipoedem, Lipoedeem, Lipolymphedema, Painful Fat Disorder, Lympholipoedema, Lipohypertrophy, Lipohypertrophy dolorosa, Lipomatosis dolorosa of the legs, Lipalgia, Adiposalgia, Adipoalgesia, Rare Adipose Disease, Adiposis dolorosa, Dercum’s disease, which results in confusion in the public and medical community.
Multiple names, the lack of a consistent and scalable diagnostic procedure, and limited awareness of the disease make it even more difficult to diagnose lipedema.
The clinical presentation and symptoms of lipedema can commonly result in a misdiagnosis of lymphedema, obesity, Dercum’s disease, or chronic venous insufficiency, resulting in incorrect treatment.
Lipedema negatively affects a person’s emotional state, quality of life, and also their careers. Lipedema can affect the ability to succeed due to lack of mobility, discomfort, and inability to stand.
The body shape leads to,
- difficulty in buying clothes and boots
- low self-esteem (avoiding being photographed)
- lack of energy, restricted social life
- restricted mobility
- restricted sex life
Pain, which can range up to extremely severe, and tenderness of lipedema-affected areas are consistently reported problems that pose a significant burden on your health.
As mentioned, a patient's quality of life can be affected by more than the symptoms and physical issues associated with the disease, there is also a psychosocial stress element, which often gets underestimated.
Diagnosing lipedema involves taking the medical history and performing a physical examination of the patient. Clinicians consider multiple criteria to determine whether an individual has lipedema. The following sections describe these criteria, as well as how lipedema is differentially diagnosed from lymphedema, obesity, Dercum’s disease, and chronic venous insufficiency (Allen & Hinse diagnostic criteria).
Lipedema is an almost exclusive occurrence in women. Appears bilateral and symmetrical on buttocks, the arms, or the legs with minimal involvement of the hand or feet, resulting in a bracelet effect or cuff at the wrist or ankle. With a minimal pitting edema and negative Stemmer’s Test. Pain and tenderness of affected tissue are common. No improvement despite caloric restriction or stimulation of lymphatic flow through elevation of the extremities. Their vascular fragility is increased, and they get easily bruised.
Lymphedema is a buildup of fluid surrounding tissues, or interstitial fluid, in the muscle and skin leading to increased fat deposition. The disease can be hereditary (primary lymphedema) or arise from damage to the lymphatic system from different insults such as cancer, surgery, radiation therapy, trauma, or infection (secondary lymphedema). It can occur in men and women. It presents as unilateral or bilateral swelling— often noticed in the face, arms or legs. Common presentations include pitting edema and positive Stemmer’s Test; swelling that responds to elevation changes; a feeling of heaviness; restricted range of motion; discomfort; recurring infections; and hardening and thickening of the skin.
Christiane from Body and Skin Care Cairns Beaches specializes in Dr. Vodder Lymphatic drainage, with more than 34 years of experience, and has created a very complex lipoedema protocol. It’s a combination of micronutrition and the Dr. Vodder Lymphatic drainage.
Duration 60/90/120 min - $100/$150/$200
The first treatment takes 90 min minimum, includes consultation/ assessment
New clients are required to pay a $50 cost upfront deposit to secure their first appointment.
This deposit is deducted off the treatment cost.
special alkaline leg wrap - $45
special alkaline arm wrap - $45
special alkaline chest wrap - $45
special alkaline full-body wrap - $100
We offer a sophisticated holistic service that is comprehensively tailored to your unique needs. Please aim to arrive five minutes early for your appointment.
Because our services are so comprehensive, any cancellations must be made at least 24 hours prior to each appointment. Failure to do so will result in a 50% cancellation fee.
The full fee will be taken for no-shows without cancellation.
Thank you for your understanding
Below you find a story of one very happy client.
I’ve been asked by Christiane to share my story about my journey with Lipoedema.
For nearly thirty years, I have had an underlying feeling in my body that something was wrong.
I have been going to different doctors since my late 20s and asking why my legs felt like lead, why I was always in pain and could never lose weight
They just kept telling me I needed to diet and exercise more, never really listening or believing in what I was saying.
Earlier this year, as my Lipedema progressed to stage three, causing secondary lymphedema, I was told I just needed to stop drinking soft drinks. Which I haven’t drunk in 35 years. I live a holistic lifestyle. Make my own body products, grow my own organic food and I’m in a chemical-free home. I’ve lived this way for 25 years so I find the assumptions insulting.
I’ve felt infuriated, disempowered, and very depressed trying to cope with my pain levels, reducing flexibility and stamina associated with these conditions, and often cried from physical pain and the frustration, with feeling hopeless about my future and what it will be like.
I’ve, for so long, felt like a stranger in my own body and judged as being a food addict by not only medical professionals but the wider invisible community, who have no understanding of what it’s really like to deal with this genetic lymphatic, disorder, day to day.
This year, I finally found a doctor who sent me to a specialist and gave me a diagnosis.
I threw myself into researching every bit of information I could find.
I felt relieved at finding an answer and horrified, by the fact that despite seeing numerous doctors and health professionals, I was left undiagnosed for so long. It’s hard not to feel angry at the management I must now do for my condition, when I could have and should have, been addressed years ago, and would have been completely reversible.
I’ve now learned about the Dr. Vodder technique of Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) and that’s how I found Christiane, from Body & Skin Care Cairns Beaches.
After literally 20 years of asking questions that no one answered, Christiane completely understands my needs and what I can do to help manage my situation.
She is the first person I’ve spoken to, who really understands what I’ve been going through and the challenges I face every day. Talking with her, was the first time I felt heard.
I’ve been seeing her for 2 months
I’m not exaggerating, when I say to you, that she has given me back my life. I feel like I have hope again for the first time. I have so much less pain and motion and more importantly, I feel like my old self.
She has helped me learn more and more to support my body and I feel like I’m better every day. My body is completely transforming from this very special technique
I’m so happy, every single day, that I have found her. For me, she has been an answer to all the questions I’ve been asking for so long, that nobody would answer.
My body has responded so fast to this technique. I look at photos of my body from two months ago and I can’t even believe it. I feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel for me now, to get back to some sort of normalcy in my life.
I can’t express my gratitude enough.
Sincerely Jayne P., Dec 2020