How would you feel if what you thought is excess fat is actually more than that?

There are cases of individuals who thought they just have to try harder to lose their excess fat. They tried different diets, work out excessively, but only to find out later that what they actually have a condition called lipedema.


Lipedema is a condition on which fat is distributed irregularly beneath the skin. Initially, it's a cosmetic problem but eventually, it can lead to pain and other problems.

How to know if it's lipedema?

One of the most common dilemma of women, who are the most commonly affected by lipedema, is that how would they know if it's lipedema or just fat?

Diagnosing lipedema can be tricky especially that it doesn't  have a standard exam like a blood test.

Doctors would usually start with physical assessment. A person having a tree trunk-leg and slim upper body is typically suspected of having lipedema. Aside from these signs, doctors would also look into the texture of the skin.

With lipedema, the skin usually feels like sand, pebbles, or stones, depending on the severity of one's condition. This unusual texture results from fat cells that keep on enlarging and increasing.

You'll know that it's more than just weight gain if you tried different diets and workout routine, yet your lower body doesn't seem to respond.

The fat cells in lipedema behave abnormally. Typically, when you eat, the fat cells increase. When you go on diet, they decrease. But this doesn't happen in lipedema. They keep on increasing. Hence, no matter how hard you try in getting rid of the excess fat, you don't see any progress at all.

What causes it?

Lipedema is a mysterious condition. Until now, doctors still don't know what exactly causes it. However, there are factors that can increase one's chance of having it. These include a familial history of the condition and being female (it's more common in women than in men).

Liposuction is the only long-term solution to address the discomfort and cosmetic issue associated with lipedema. Many patients resort to this treatment option as lipedema brings so much discomfort, that it impedes with their day-to-day life.

Image: Rachel McKay via Flickr
0 Items