Supporting a Loved One with Lipedema:
7 Wonderful Ways You Can Make a Difference
It’s hard to understand the day-to-day depth of the poorly understood fat deposition disorder unless you’re the one having to deal with it – firsthand. If you have a loved one living with lipedema, there are several ways you can be a source of ending support and help make a difference in the life of your loved one.
Because lipedema is currently a work in progress, being researched and scrutinized by medical professionals and edema experts all over the world, there simply isn’t enough research-backed treatments, nor a conclusive cure. Everyone’s body and lipedema level/stage are entirely different, therefore, there’s no one-size-fits-all fix. Everyone is different, having different physical limitations. If you have a loved one or a family member struggling with the daily debilitating effects of lipedema, here are just some ways you can be a shining light in their fight against (painful) fat.
- Be an advocate
Encourage your loved one living with lipedema to continually seek medical attention/advice, as well as seek out support groups, either online or in-person. Lipedema.net, lipedema.org, and The Lipedema Project are wonderful non-profit organizations that seek to build strong, supportive communities for those living with lipedema, while offering news, medical advancements, and other valuable resources aimed at enriching the lives of lipedema patients. Getting involved and becoming proactive in one’s health challenges is a great first step in living a quality-filled life.
- Be the Voice of Reason
When it comes to diet and healthy eating, encourage your loved one to partake in healthy habits. Encourage them to join a swim or spin class, as well as learning to prepare healthy, wholesome meals filled with antioxidant-rich, anti-inflammatory foods.
- Forget Fat and Focus on Muscle
Help your loved ones shift their focus on fat to that of building, the fat-burning muscle that will help support their joints, which is equally as important (if not more).
- Be Empathetic
Continue to be supportive, understanding, compassionate, and empathetic to your loved one’s unique needs, challenges, and frustrations. Living with lipedema is not only physically challenging and painful, it’s emotionally disquieting, as well. So, be willing to ride that emotional and physical rollercoaster with them. Unless you’re living with lipedema, you can truly never know its infallible way to frustrate – and infuriate. Also, there’s always that looming possibility of losing one’s mobility indefinitely that scares the bejesus out of nearly every lipedema sufferer. Lipedema is painful fat that progresses over time, often leading to a life of physical immobility if left untreated. The thought is a harrowing one, so try to put yourself in their shoes, while also encouraging them to stay proactive with mitigations and staying up to date with the latest treatment options. Finally, gently remind them to wear their compression garments.
- Get Involved
Arguably, everyone could use a little extra exercise in their lives and move more, so why not buddy-up with your loved one with some low-impact workouts like after-dinner walks, strolling along the beach, or taking a yoga class together? It’s a great way to stay connected, engaged, and catch up on all the family gossip!
- Promote Positivity and Ignite Inspiration
Remind your loved one there is so much more to life than lipedema – no matter how unconvincing they may think you sound initially. But, it’s true and they’ll soon begin to agree. While lipedema should always be taken seriously, life still goes on. Encourage your loved one to focus on the positive aspects of life, like love, family, a thriving career, traveling to exotic, fun places, etc. Even meeting friends for a cup of cappuccino or brunch in the middle of a workweek are just some of life’s little, lesser-known pleasures. Be the source of endless positivity and inspiration, while helping your loved one take their mind off their health woes.
- Be Patient
Try to remember your loved one may have days or times where they just simply cannot muster up the strength to go for that post-dinner walk around the block, meet up for a macchiato, or go to that Sunday matinee showing of the season’s biggest blockbuster. Either they’ve reached their pain threshold for the day or they just need a night to process their thoughts. You should also understand that while YOU may be physically adept, lipedema patients have physical limitations. While you should always try to be a source of light, encouragement, and positivity, understand there will be some days that just simply get the best of lipedema patients. But, remember tomorrow is a new day filled with new opportunities – for the both of you.
To learn more, please contact our Beverly Hills, California office to schedule a consultation with any of our highly trained specialists