The path to diagnosis is not easy, because the chronic disease and painful fat distribution disorder occurs in a wide variety of forms and sensations. Let's go through the most important symptoms and measures together with which you can clarify for yourself whether there is a suspicion of lipedema. Even if I can clarify a few things with you here, this does not replace a visit to the doctor. But don't worry, Dr. Sprott, a passionate hobby lymphologist, a few good tips for you.
Take off your pants, we need to talk.
Well, the basis is in place, let's go! Prepare a hot drink of your choice, it could take a minute now.
Fat legs = lipedema?
The look: I have thick legs or arms
Basically, lipedema goes through three stages. The tricky thing is that stage 1 can rarely be seen visually, but can definitely be felt. This is often a frustrating experience for those affected, because if they talk about their leg pain, they may not be taken seriously. If they're lucky, the word pops up Lipedema on. In connection with this disease, however, the more advanced course of the disease are shown and that actually makes it more difficult valuable early diagnosis.
Moral of the story: Lipedema cannot be recognized by its appearance.
Well, not always. That would be too easy. Because of course there are the well-known optical features, such as the hard transition between ankle and calf, the often non-existent transition between calf, knee and thigh or the disproportion between waist and hip.
The same applies to the poor. It is important that the hands and feet are usually slim. If this is not the case, secondary lymphedema may also be present.
In general, one can say about optics that it grows with stage 2 and 3, the complexion of the skin changes more and more. Cellulite mutates into a lunar landscape, skin pockets form and the skin becomes plumper.
A fat distribution disorder does not yet make lipedema, so be careful with quick judgments about yourself and other people. You can find out why in the next point.
The pain: is what I feel lipedema pain?
Many nibble at the visual effects of lipedema; the real adversary and the unmistakable symptom, however, is pain.
He robs you of your sleep, brings tears to your eyes and he fights by unfair means.
I'll try to describe how I feel about lipedema pain, because it's not that easy. The final boss and executioner of your quality of life - a nasty dull pain that you can't really grasp. Who leaves you in despair until he rings the doorbell again and wants to drive you crazy. Some explain it like sore muscles, but the description is too easy for me. Because the sensation does not come from the muscle but under it and sometimes also radiates into one of the surrounding joints and does magic there again. How nice. He stings, he pulls and pushes.To me it feels like the pain in growth that you sometimes had as a child.
After drinking alcohol, do you have severe pain in your extremities the next day? Jackpot! The lipedema is also a spoilsport.
The vasodilator effect of alcohol consumption makes it more difficult to remove your lymph and thus also ensures after-effects of a beautiful evening.
In addition to the stinging, there is also pressure pain. This often occurs with the slightest bumps or touch and turns to hell if something constricts you - whether hard or soft. Even that can be felt very differently, every jeck and body is different.
What connects us in turn is the tendency to form hematomas. Do you bruise unusually quickly and look like a Dalmatian after a more active day? Then you are like us.
Heavy legs is also a symptom, but not only with lipedema, but also with Lymphedema represented. The feeling of heaviness makes climbing stairs and similar movements very uncomfortable. Unfortunately, it is normal that you quickly lose your strength there or that you cannot go any further due to the pain and it is the same for many of us.
Optics yes, pain no:
The pain makes all the difference
Lipedema is generally painful and this is how you can best recognize it. If you only notice external parallels to this disease, but do not experience any pain, then consider yourself lucky.
A fat distribution disorder without pain is called lipohypertrophy.
I know that one is not primarily happy with it. But you are spared pain that one does not wish for anyone.
Optics yes, pain too: Welcome to the club
Did you nod your head violently on both of the aspects listed above and found yourself again? Then welcome to the lipedema family. You are one of millions of women who are affected and who are together on an exciting journey through life with this nasty chronic disease. See it as a new beginning and not the end of everything. Don't worry, you are not alone and none of your questions should be left unanswered.
What has to be done now?
Make an appointment with a phlebologist, lymphologist, angiologist, or dermatologist. It is best to find out in advance whether there are regional recommendations from other people affected in your area. Should the doctor make a diagnosis, the therapeutically correct first step would be a decongestion phase followed by flat-knit stockings and regular lymphatic drainage.
For the first information after your diagnosis, we also have a few helpful articles for you so that you can get a rough overview of everything at the beginning.
- Diagnosis of lipedema
- Checklist after lipedema diagnosis
- Apply for rehab
- Psychotherapy for lipedema
- All in the same boat
I hope that this article has given you a little clarity about your physical situation and that you can now go the right way for yourself.
Good health and success