Symptoms, cont. 11. Pitting edema can happen with prolonged orthostasis and should resolve when legs are elevated 12. Caloric restrictive diets have little effect on lipedemic fat 13. Easy bruising 14. Negative Stemmer’s sign on feet and hands 15. Decreased skin temperature in the limbs 16. General fatigue 17. Sensitivity to pressure
Symptoms, cont. 18. General fatigue 19. Sensitivity to pressure 20. The limb texture is rubbery 21. Age of onset is usually during puberty, pregnancy or menopause 22. Onset or exacerbation can present after surgery with general anesthesia 23. Feet and hands are generally unaffected before development of Lipo-Lipedema (Stage IV) 24. Early stages: The upper body may remain slender as the lower body enlarges and fat accumulates in the hips, thighs and legs (fatdisorders.org)
Symptoms, cont. 25. Later stages: lipedemic fat also may accumulate in the chest, torso, abdomen and upper extremities 26. Obvious lymphatic involvement is present in the later stages 27. Chronic pain and embarrassment may lead to depression and/or eating disorders 28. Progressive deterioration of mobility if left untreated 29. Fat may become fibrotic 30. Low Vitamin D, iron and/or B12 31. Sometimes pockets of fat/fluid appear below the knee (fatdisorders.org)
Treatments. Treatments vary, depending on the stage of the lipedema and severity. Lymphatic drainage and compression are common methods.
Liposuction. Liposuction has proven to be quite effective against lipedema. Unfortunately, it is not covered by insurance if it is considered a cosmetic procedure.
Bariatric surgery. Not even bariatric surgery will help lipedema patients. The fat deposits will continue to disappear from the unaffected areas only.
Avoiding fluid buildup. Proper skin and nail care is important because it helps to prevent infection. Infection can increase the buildup of fluids.
Diet. If a women with lipedema does undergo liposuction, it is not a permanent solution. She still has to maintain her weight with diet and exercise, or the lipedemic fat will build up again.