Lipoedema is an adipose disorder which is becoming recognised and researched. Many patients were previously told they were ‘fat’ which is extremely discouraging as it is a disorder in its own right.
Lipoedema is known as an adipose disorder that occurs predominantly in women. The exact cause is not understood but we know there is a hormonal influence. It has also been described as a connective tissue disorder. Autoimmune dysfunction and nutritional deficiencies are also commonly seen with this disorder and should be well managed.
There is much research being done to try and better understand and manage this condition. Patients accumulate weight in certain areas of the body - buttocks, thighs, calves, and upper arms. The feet are typically spared. This is associated with leg pain and tenderness as well as easy bruising.This results in disproportionate adipose distribution typically in the woman’s figure.
It is usually first noticed around puberty, pregnancy or menopause, and there may be a positive family history. It is different from obesity, the fatty deposits are often only found in the legs, and sufferers may have a normal body mass index. It is a chronic, progressive disease that can be well managed with the help of a supportive team and the correct treatment.