What Is Lipedema?

Lipedema is a disease that is often misunderstood or mistaken for obesity or lymphedema. In contrast to lymphedema, there is no fluid collection in the tissue. If you break down the word ‘lipedema’, it means ‘fat swelling’.

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Lipedema usually appears symmetrical in shape and size and affects the legs and, sometimes, the arms. The body above the hips, and the hands and feet, remain unaffected. This often results in shape disproportion – a narrow waist and larger hips and thighs.

Learn more about other signs and symptoms of lipedema

The cause of lipedema is unknown and the diagnosis can be difficult. It mainly occurs in women and often appears around times of hormonal change and weight gain. There are different types of lipedema, depending on where the lipedema is located.

Lipedema is a disease that can’t be cured, but there are ways to prevent your lipedema from progressing. It is important that you understand the disease, recognize the signs and symptoms, and are aware of complications and consequences of lipedema. Early treatment is essential to manage your lipedema effectively.

What You Should Know