Paola Won’t Let Lipedema Hold Her Down

When Paola hit puberty, the fatty tissue in her legs began to swell without explanation. Despite numerous doctor's appointments and lifestyle changes, a diagnosis remained elusive for years. However, at 35 years old, Paola was diagnosed with lipedema. With a newfound sense of understanding, Paola refused to let her condition hold her back any longer. Dive into her inspiring story below.*

*This is a personal report of the patient and does not necessarily reflect the knowledge of JOBST or the current state of science. Always seek advice from a Healthcare Professional if you experience any symptoms.

“I felt shame because I felt out of control.”

For many years, Paola struggled to find the cause of the fat-swelling in her legs, causing her to feel ashamed and like she had to hide them. And the unrealistic beauty standards in magazines and on TV made it worse. So, when Paola finally got diagnosed with lipedema, it was a relief. She felt back in control and no longer felt isolated. She began to join online communities, started to wear compression stockings, and seek professional help. Today, she advocates for more representation and awareness, empowering others to speak up and get the support they need.

Get the Right Diagnosis

If you recognize signs and symptoms similar to Paola’s, please seek advice from a Healthcare Professional to initiate the right treatment. For now, we have some helpful information available about the existing condition and their potential treatment.

“I’m in a phase where I seek healing and I would like to be part of the change I want to see in the world.”

Paola, what are the signs and symptoms of lipedema?

When I was a teenager, my leg started swelling out of nowhere and I felt shame because I felt out of control. It felt like my body didn't belong to me anymore, or my legs didn't belong to the rest of my body. (…) You have heavy and painful legs most of the time. It's a bit as if you are carrying sandbags around. Lipedema, in my case, is also affecting my arms to a lesser degree, but the pain is mainly in the legs. So, through the day you'll have some pain points starting to erupt and it's like a pulsating pain in your legs.”

How did you learn about your condition?

“For a very long time, I didn't know what was wrong with my legs. I just went to see different doctors and was told that maybe it was just my body shape. Fast forward 2020, first lockdown, I was scrolling mindlessly on Instagram and I saw a picture of a woman whose legs looked like mine. (…) So, I started checking out her profile and I realized that she had something called lipedema. It was the first time I heard about it.”

How do you manage your condition?

“I think that compression is an extremely freeing thing when it is properly fitted. (…) And it's simulating the feeling of being in water in a sense where your leg is held together (…) and you are able to live without thinking about your condition. You're just doing whatever you want to do without thinking of your legs. So that's an amazing feeling.”

How was the synchronized swimming?

“Taking part in this experience is massively stretching me out of my comfort zone. I've been hiding my body for a very long time and I'm in a phase where I seek healing and I would like to be part of the change I want to see in the world.”

Learn from Their Experience – Join the LymphCare Community

Whether you have lymphedema or lipedema, whether you’re looking for your first compression garment or a better one, others who have been there before can help. Learn more about selecting the right compression, get expert advice and meet the growing community on LymphCare.

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