It is often a painstaking process for women who are struggling with Lipedema. They are commonly told by medical professionals that they have excess weight or fat in their legs or other areas due to a lifestyle issue and should diet and exercise. Lipedema is a chronic adipose tissue disorder that affects nearly 11% of adult women. No amount of exercise or diet can curtail this disease from progressing. That is why seeking help from a lipedema specialist is crucial. With a condition that strikes nearly 1 in every 9 adult women with changes to mainly their lower extremities, finding a specialist like Dr. Jaime Schwartz at Total Lipedema Care should be the first step to getting help.
Dr. Jaime Schwartz is founder of Total Lipedema Care center in Beverly Hills, CA. One of the leading medical specialists and plastic surgeons in the country, Dr. Schwartz is devoted to giving women answers to this chronic disease. There are certain target areas on the body that lipedema strikes. Here is some information on what to look for and how getting an early diagnosis is helpful.
Not solely a weight issue but a disease
Lipedema has been recognized as a medical disease that is passed down genetically through females in a family. It is a condition of fat fluid that goes unchanged even with diet and exercise, which if left untreated, can build up to excessive amounts and eventually become debilitating. Women who suffer from this disease notice a progressive weight gain in their lower extremities specifically the legs and hips. Women who take drastic measures with exercising or dieting begin to get concerned when there is no change in the excessive fatty buildup in those certain areas.
Seeking lipedema help
Lipedema is a progressive disorder that evolves into different stages over time. As each stage occurs, a woman experiences more pain, swelling, tenderness, and fat accumulation. Even though these stages are used as a gauge by lipedema specialists, like Dr. Schwartz, it can evolve for each woman in a different way. Each stage gives a general overview of symptoms but doesn’t take into account the impact of lipedema on each woman with their joints, loss of mobility, pain, and their overall quality of life.
General overview of each stage in the common target areas
Women across the country and the Beverly Hills area who are struggling with Lipedema have a common factor, which is the buildup of excess fat in the subcutaneous tissue layer. This fat is most often seen in the legs, hips, and buttocks. In some rare cases, it can be seen in the upper arms.
In stage 1, women will still have smooth skin texture but begin to see an enlargement or increase in subcutaneous fat tissue. Lipedema is most common in the lower extremities such as the legs, buttocks, and hips. Some women may only see it in their upper legs just above their knees while some experience the buildup from their buttocks to their ankles.
In stage 2, women no longer have the smooth skin texture all over their target area. As fat buildup continues in the subcutaneous tissue, a “lumpy” skin texture forms which is a common trait with lipedema. The uneven skin indentations, commonly mistaken as cellulite, are actually mounds of fatty tissue (lipomas) that are not only seen but physically felt.
In stage 3, women begin to suffer the more visual and physical adverse effects of lipedema in their target areas. Fatty deposits become extremely large and intrusive, causing skin deformities. This extreme buildup seems to take hold especially on the hips, thighs, and around the knees. Legs begin to look more like solid columns. Fatty tissue buildup also becomes hardened and extremely heavy in those target areas.
In stage 4, women are severely inhibited by large skin folds of tissue and typically experience their lipedema symptoms progress to their upper body. Large overhangs of fatty tissue now appear on the lower extremities and arms. The concern with this stage is that a woman will develop lipo-lymphedema which can have an irreversible effect on a woman’s life.
Where lipedema symptoms mainly occur
One of the common factors about lipedema patients is that they have regular and at times even petite upper torsos but have larger lower extremities. As the disease progresses, those target areas get worse. In most instances, women experience the onset of lipedema in their legs, hips, and buttocks which stops at the ankles. In rare cases, some women experience symptoms of lipedema in their upper arms which stops at the elbow. This medical disorder remains located to certain areas of the body for only women leading more specialists, like Dr. Schwartz, to try and find out more answers to help.
It may feel like women suffering from this disease have no hope but seeking out a lipedema specialist like Dr. Schwartz can be life-changing. The professional staff at Total Lipedema Care in Beverly Hills, CA can provide treatment options and surgical help to reduce the signs of lipedema. It can range from medical devices like compression garments, massage therapy sessions, support groups, to surgical help from Dr. Schwartz that can offer you relief and a way to live with this condition.
Let Dr. Jaime Schwartz and the team at Total Lipedema Care help you put the brakes on lipedema. If you are concerned about changes you see in your lower extremities or are experiencing excess weight gain with no explanation, then we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Schwartz at Total Lipedema Care today.