Yes and no. But how do we determine the progression (advancement)?
The disease Lipedema is classified according to current guidelines on the basis of stages, which are intended to define an increase in subcutaneous fatty tissue with accompanying tissue change as progression. However, if you work your way a little further into the biology behind the disease, you will find that the fat cells, which are consistently questionable as "lipedema cells", are also known in the scientific context as degenerated adipocytes be designated.
We can translate colloquially from Fat cells that have lost part of their natural function, speak.
So let's come first to the most important natural task of Adipocytes for the human body: In phases of energetic undersupply they serve as most important reserve, whose evolutionary significance can be explained in the origins of the human species as nomads. The early one Homo sapiens wandered through a large area in search of food. This meant that days with an oversupply of food, because one or more animals could be killed during the migration, alternated with days or even weeks of insufficient supply, in which one mainly only fed on seeds and berries.
In order to compensate for this imbalance, the human body is able to store the excess energy from the excess food supply and make it available again in phases of insufficient supply.
Fat cells are your friend and helper. Actually.
As long-term storage, the fat cells developed as ideal companions in this struggle for survival. From this it can be deduced for people today:
Adipocytes only "grow" when they convert the energy input into body fat and store the energy in this way. In contrast is the wrong Assumption that fat cells in lipedema are degenerate, i.e. deviating from the norm, that they enlarge without any action.
Refuting the fundamental laws of thermodynamics:
The fat stored in the adipocytes is a high-energy storage substance. The first law of thermodynamics says: Energy can neither be »created« nor »destroyed«. Energy is only converted. From one form of energy to another. From food to fat deposits.
With regard to the increase in volume of adipocytes, progression can only be defined in terms of abnormal weight gain. Deviating from the norm towards obesity, the pathological excess weight. The currently defined stages of the disease lipedema are therefore not an adequate definition of the disease and its progression. Based on these scientific facts, one can therefore determine that lipedema not is progressive.
How do I come to the assumption that the disease lipedema is or could be progressive?
To do this, we need to look at other symptoms of the disease. One of the most compelling symptoms here is the pain, which according to previous studies has shown a real, progressive development.
Nobody can yet say exactly what causes these in detail. There is still a lack of decisive research into the causes. One possible cause, however, seems to be so-called adipokines, special messenger substances produced by adipocytes. In the case of strong weight gain, it has been proven that their inflammation-promoting properties are significantly responsible for the development of diseases such as type II diabetes mellitus, arteriosclerosis and high blood pressure.
At this point, let us state again:
When weight gain, adipocytes release more inflammatory messenger substances. On the other hand, when you lose weight or maintain weight, more adipokines are produced, which have an anti-inflammatory effect.
We should therefore - with reference to the issue of volume enlargement - assume that a stage of the disease lipedema which is stable according to the current definition, also remains stable with regard to other symptoms. However, this observation cannot be made.
The assumption is therefore that the degenerate adipocytes in the case of lipedema deviate from the norm in that they have little or no control over the release of adipokines, which act in the directly surrounding tissue (skin, connective tissue, fascia, blood and lymph vessels) and promote inflammation. However, such assumptions have yet to be verified through scientific research.
Progression - but based on the current state of knowledge, we can state:
- The progression of lipedema cannot be defined by an increase in volume with accompanying tissue changes.
- The increase in volume, previously defined as progression, cannot be attributed to lipedema, but to general weight gain.
- The disease lipedema requires further research with the participation of biologists and histologists.
- The definition of the disease lipedema needs an urgent revision, which reformulates the stages of the disease and fully includes current knowledge of the disease itself and the therapy.
Image source: pa / OKAPIA / Gladden W. Willis