Lipedema causes are subject to a worldwide debate, as researchers have not discovered the exact lipedema causes so far. However, even though the lipedema causes are not known exactly, there are some theories out there about the exact cause of the problem. While suspected lipedema causes are insufficiently substantiated at this point, researchers are working on pinpointing the triggers of the condition.
What Are The Causes Of Lipedema?
As mentioned briefly in the introduction, the causes of lipedema are currently unknown, even though researchers have come up with some theories and mild evidence pointing at potential causes for the condition. Of course, since there is little knowledge about the cause of lipedema, it is not uncommon for patients with lipedema to get diagnosed in one of the later stages of the condition.
One of the suspected causes of lipedema is a hormonal imbalance. Surprisingly, people with lipedema tend to encounter the condition during a period where hormonal changes are occurring; this can include puberty, pregnancy, and the menopause.
Some researchers believe there could be a genetic component that contributes to the accumulation of lipedema fat. Women with lipedema are therefore likely to have a family member with a similar condition. However, like the previous theory, there is insufficient evidence to fully support the findings at the moment.
Is Lipedema Caused By Obesity?
This is a common misconception, as a large portion of patients suffering from an abnormal accumulation of fat cells can be overweight or obese. While the patient often attempts weight loss, this can prove problematic because of the condition. Unfortunately, this also means that lipedema is often mistaken for obesity, causing patients not to be diagnosed until a later stage of lipedema.
While the condition is not caused by obesity, patients can slow down the progression of the disease with the proper diet and exercise. Fat disorders research has shown that certain foods have shown to make speed up the growth of fat tissue. So, many patients often receive the recommendation to use a special diet to slow down the progression of the condition.
What Are The Signs Of Lipedema?
Patients with lipedema often have some characteristic signs of the condition, but these are often missed by practitioners. The condition often causes a symmetrical distribution of fat in the extremities, which means if the condition occurs in the legs, the accumulation of fat tissue will occur in both legs. The same applies to other areas of the body. It also needs to be noted that the accumulation of fat will always be disproportionate with the rest of the body.
In addition to the accumulation of fat, patients with lipedema also bruise easily and can experience pain and swelling in the affected area. As the condition advances, the patient’s lymphatic system can become affected as well. As the amount of fat increases, the lymphatic vessels are under a lot more pressure, making lymphatic drainage more difficult.
The signs of lipedema occur most often in the legs, thighs, and hips, but they can also occur in the upper body. As the condition progresses, symptoms can evolve as well, this includes the spread of fat tissue to other parts of the body.
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What Should You Do If Signs Of Lipedema Show?
When you notice signs of lipedema, it is important to contact your regular physician as soon as possible. Mention during an appointment that you suspect the condition, as it can be overlooked.
How To Treat Lipedema?
There are various treatment options for lipedema, depending on the stage of lipedema and the complaints the patient has. Of course, since lipedema has no clear cause, the treatment guidelines can be different for each patient.
One of the first lines of treatment that will be implemented is a combination of diet and exercise. As certain foods have shown to speed up the growth of fat cells in lipedema, these foods must be avoided. Exercise has also shown to reduce some of the symptoms associated with lipedema, including pain and swelling.
Patients can also choose a full decongestive treatment. Decongestive treatment can include diet and exercise, but also the use of compression garments. Manual lymphatic drainage is also an option to reduce swelling and pain, as it allows manual manipulation of the lymph, which is moved to an area that is draining properly.
When patients experience a reduction in their quality of life due to lipedema, they can consider water assisted liposuction or tumescent liposuction. During this procedure, fat is removed by the cosmetic surgery.
Liposuction procedures must be tailored to the individual to be an effective treatment, and this obviously requires an experienced surgeon. Patients should also have realistic expectations about the procedure, so it is advanced to speak to the cosmetic surgery in great detail if you are considering the treatment.
Once a patient has liposuction, they must still follow a treatment plan to manage their condition. If a patient experiences significant weight gain, the problem can return to another area. So, diet and exercise will be an important contributor to long-term management of the condition. Patients can enquire at The Dr Lanzer Clinic for additional treatments to help manage their lipedema.
Do you wish to make an appointment for lipedema treatment? Or do you have some questions about the treatments available to you? Feel free to contact our team of friendly receptionists via telephone or enter your information on the website enquiry form.