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Helpful links to guide your lipedema journey

Sharing pieces of my journey to help you along the way with your own.

Lipedema Organizations

Lipedema Foundation

The Lipedema Foundations Mission: To Define, Diagnose and Develop Treatments for Lipedema

They focus on research and resources and are a great place to go to learn more about he disease.

With updates all the time they are an excellent resource.

Fat Disorders Resource Society

Based in North America the Fat Disorders Resource Society offers an annual conference where experts and patients gather to share knowledge on Fat disorders like Lipedema and Dercums disease. 

An excellent resource for viewing real images of lipedema at all stages

Scholarly Resources

Liposuction for Lipedema a LONGITUDINAL study

Lipedema is a condition consisting of painful bilateral increases in subcutaneous fat and interstitial fluid in the limbs with secondary lymphedema and fibrosis during later stages. Combined decongestive therapy (CDT) is the standard of care in most countries. Since the introduction of tumescent technique, liposuction has been used as a surgical treatment option. The aim of this study was to determine the outcome of liposuction used as treatment for lipedema.

Standard of Care for Lipedema USA 2021

These guidelines improve the understanding of the loose connective tissue disease, lipedema, to advance our understanding towards early diagnosis, treatments, and ultimately a cure for affected individuals.

This is one of my favourite resources to bring to doctors that may not be familiar with Lipedema. It provides clear guidance on diagnosis, treatment, and management of the chronic condition. 

Therapy or aesthetic procedure?

Liposuction is one of the most common procedures undertaken in plastic surgery with a steadily increasing trend over the years. Although usually performed as an aesthetic procedure for body contouring, it can also be utilized in specific patient groups for disease symptom reduction. One such disease entity is lipedema. The goal of this video to present the authors’ technique in the surgical treatment of lipedema, and to offer the viewer a better understanding of the differences between an aesthetic liposuction and a functional liposuction as performed on a lipedema patient. The patients reported a significant reduction in lipedema-associated complaints and improvement in quality of life. The need for conservative therapy was significantly reduced. No serious complications were reported. The authors also present before and after photographs of three patients.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Lipedema

Lipedema is a disease of damaged LCT with a clogged ECM that allows lipedema tissue to spread in the body and prevents loss of fat by usual measures. Stagnant tissue fluid promotes the growth of new fat and fibrosis of the LCT inhibits muscle function. Lipedema reduction surgery is currently the most effective means to reduce lipedema LCT but anti-fibrotic medications that are being developed for fibrosis of other organs such as the lung and liver may one day become useful for treating people with lipedema.

Key SIGNALLING links dysregulated in lipedema

“We found significant differences in gene expression, and lipid and metabolite profiles, in tissue, ADSCs, and adipocytes from lipedema patients compared to non-affected controls.”

Read the article to learn more about how Lipedema Fat is significantly different that Obesity Fat.

Lipedema: a call to action

This review aims to outline current evidence regarding lipedema epidemiology, pathophysiology, clinical presentation, differential diagnosis, and management. Increased awareness and a better understanding of its clinical presentation and pathophysiology are warranted to enable clinicians to diagnose and treat affected patients at an earlier stage.

The Disease They Call Fat — Lipedema

Mrs. Crystal Ellingsen is a wife, mother of three, teacher, and growing activist. She is also working on managing a chronic progressive disease that affects 1 in 10 women — lipedema. Lipedema is a condition that is almost exclusively found in women and results in enlargement of both legs due to deposits of fat under the skin. The tricky thing is that lipedema fat isn’t manageable via traditional weight-loss methods. This week Crystal chats with the fellas all about the disease they call fat and how Canada is incredibly far behind any viable treatments for the disease.

Lipedema in the News

CBC News

Women seek judicial review after province denies out-of-country surgery request

Global News

Two women are taking the Nova Scotia government to court after they say the province denied their out-of-country surgery request. The pair ay their procedures are not elective, but necessary, to slow down their painful progressive diseases. Ashley Field reports. – Aug 4, 2022


Life Beyond Lipedema

Fellow Canadian Emma Cloney chronicles her journey with lipedema as she navigates coverage with the provincial healthcare system.

common questions

Lipedema is a chronic medical condition characterized by a symmetric buildup of adipose tissue (fat) in the legs and arms. A common but under recognized disorder, Lipedema may cause pain, swelling, and easy bruising. It may be accompanied by an unusual texture within the fat that can feel like rice, peas, or walnuts beneath the surface of the skin. The intensity of pain may range from none to severe, and its frequency may be constant, come and go, or only occur when the fat is pushed on. Limited public awareness of Lipedema, coupled with few research-backed treatments, can lead to exacerbation of symptoms as well as physical and emotional distress. Common symptoms include fatigue, muscle pain, or easy bruising.

Lipedema occurs almost exclusively in females, with rare reports of development in men. Although believed to be prevalent, the exact incidence is not known.

The causes of Lipedema are not well understood. It is reported to start or worsen during puberty and other periods of hormonal changes, such as pregnancy and menopause. Research is underway to determine the biological role of hormones, genetics, inflammation, and metabolism in the condition’s development.

No. Obese fat occurs throughout the body. In Lipedema, the fat occurs in the limbs, sparing the hands and feet. People with early-stage Lipedema typically do not have diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure.

No. The swelling in lymphedema often affects only one side of the body, and includes the hands and feet. Furthermore, lymphedema can be diagnosed with imaging or genetic tests.