Lipedema is a painful, progressive condition involving the excessive accumulation of fat under the skin. Lipedema is primarily seen in women, affecting almost 17 million. It can occur in men, but it is very rare. Women with lipedema are primarily affected by this disorder in their lower extremities, such as the buttocks, hips, and legs. In some cases, women may experience lipedema symptoms in their upper arms. Although there is no known lipedema cure, patients who have been diagnosed should seek treatment options with a lipedema specialist like Dr. Jaime Schwartz.
Dr. Jaime Schwartz is a board-certified plastic surgeon and renowned lipedema specialist. Dr. Schwartz founded Total Lipedema Care (TLC) in Beverly Hills, CA, as part of his private practice, solely dedicated to helping women with this progressive disorder. With the right support system and treatment options, lipedema symptoms are manageable, and experts like Dr. Schwartz can give women a new outlook on living with this disease.
Traits of lipedema disease
Dr. Schwartz strives to get women with this condition properly diagnosed. Total Lipedema Care in Beverly Hills is a resource and treatment center focused on giving women the right tools and treatment options after being diagnosed. Whether a woman is dealing with the early stages of lipedema or a later stage of this progressive disorder, professional guidance from a specialist like Dr. Schwartz can help. The definitive traits of lipedema include:
- Lipedema is primarily seen in women and affects all body types
- The cause of lipedema is unknown, but there is evidence of hereditary influences
- The legs, buttocks, hips, and upper arms are consistent target areas
- Lipedema fat is never present in the hands or feet
- It is marked by a bilateral or symmetrical buildup pattern in the lower extremities
- Lipedema fat buildup is unaffected by a healthy diet and regular exercise
Treating lipedema indirectly
Even though lipedema fat is not altered by regular exercise or a healthy diet, these habits will help women with lipedema maintain their weight and reduce any unnecessary fat not caused by the disease. A diet consisting of healthy food choices will also help fight lipedema by reducing painful inflammation or swelling. Avoiding fried food, fast food, and other highly processed options can mean fewer lipedema flare-ups. New research shows that women who maintain a low-glycemic diet high in vegetables, fruits, healthy proteins, and whole grains experience less inflammation and swelling while maintaining their current weight.
Lipedema weight gain
In addition to following a healthy diet, women need to remain active. Women in earlier stages of lipedema should exercise or walk 3 – 4 times a week for a minimum of 30 – 45 minutes. Those with lipedema in the later stages can turn to water aerobics or swimming. Since lipedema is a progressive condition, areas of fatty fluid buildup can become extremely heavy and cumbersome. Additional weight gain due to an unhealthy lifestyle or lack of exercise will put more strain on a woman’s lymphatic system and circulation, and may inhibit her mobility. Staying active can also limit painful swelling or inflammation flare-ups, giving women a better overall quality of life.
With new lipedema research and treatment options, women living with this disease have more options than in the past. If lipedema is left untreated, the excessive fatty fluid buildup increases, which can lead to extreme pain, an increasingly inactive lifestyle, and a myriad of other health problems. Total Lipedema Care offers help with additional lipedema treatment options like the following:
In the earlier stages of lipedema, compression garments can help by promoting blood flow while providing the necessary support. Compression garments also encourage excessive fluid to leave the target area and adequately drain, which reduces swelling.
Manual lymphatic drainage
Research shows that manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is an effective form of gentle massage that can encourage the breakup of painful lymphatic fluid in order to increase circulation. When combined with compression therapy by a trained professional, painful swelling can be reduced.
Complete decongestive therapy
A therapy treatment for lipedema patients that involves two phases of combining compression garments, lymphatic drainage, and other exercises to reduce swollen areas over a period of time. During the first phase, patients receive in-office help, while in the later phase, they perform self-massage and wear compression garments at home to slow this progressive disease.
Working with a lipedema specialist and plastic surgeon like Dr. Schwartz allows patients the option to treat target areas surgically. Liposuction breaks up lipedema congestion and gives patients in the later stages of lipedema relief from painful swelling. Water-assisted liposuction or lymphatic-sparing liposuction are two treatment options that can increase circulation, provide pain relief, increase mobility, and give women cosmetic help with their condition.
Lipedema can be a painful and potentially debilitating disease for women struggling with it. Although there is no known cure for lipedema, diagnosis and early intervention can reduce symptoms and decrease discomfort or painful swelling. Total Lipedema Care offers a wide variety of services and treatment options for patients, along with much-needed emotional support. Lipedema can be an embarrassing condition that leaves some women feeling alone or prone to avoiding social situations. It is essential to find the right outlets and support groups to cope with difficult emotions that may come with living with this disease.
Treatment and intervention are possible for the many women living with lipedema, and Dr. Jaime Schwartz and his professional staff at Total Lipedema Care in Beverly Hills, CA, are here to help. Please call today to schedule a consultation.