Maybe a few pounds too much or is there an illness behind it? Lipedema camouflages itself in the early stages. But there are clear signs that you should be aware of.
Lipedema runs in different stages. Detecting the disease early requires increased body awareness. Initially the legs are almost perfect. Some cellulite may be visible here and there. On the whole, your feminine curves are by no means a cause for concern.
In the second stage, you will probably not miss a change. Nodules form in the fatty tissue. Your legs get slight dents. The term “mattress skin” is used here. The first pain in the legs will become noticeable and you will probably worry more and more about where the many bruises on the legs come from.
When the third stage is reached, looking in the mirror becomes an ordeal. There is hardening in the connective tissue. The pain is clearly noticeable. In addition, it is not uncommon for there to be open skin areas that can quickly become inflamed. As it becomes more and more difficult to evacuate the lymph fluid in the swollen legs, lymphedema can also occur.
Do I have lipedema?
Women are often faced with various figural problems. This seems to be in our nature and need not worry you. Almost every woman knows the nuisance of trousers and skirts that still pinch after completing a diet. If the clothes fit perfectly on the thigh, but stick out at the waistband, this can already indicate a fat distribution disorder.
Now it’s time to be honest with you. Take a closer look at your reflection. If you can determine the following flaw, the suspicion of the disease is obvious:
- Dents form on the legs and arms, which have little in common with normal cellulite.
- You have no idea where the bruises on your thighs are coming from.
- There is actually nothing wrong with the upper body, but the legs are just too fat.
- Your figure resembles a pear.
If you have lipedema, physical symptoms will not be absent. At first you won’t notice much of it, but there are clear signs here too:
- Your legs feel heavy.
- The legs burn and threaten to burst.
- The legs hurt especially on warm days.
- Your boots no longer fit over your swollen legs.
- After jogging, the areas between the thighs are very sore.
Is there a lipedema self-test?
Nowadays, if you are not sure, you can carry out various tests and find out whether you have your disease or disorder. If you do some research on the internet, you will actually find various lipedema tests. For example, clinics also offer online self-tests. This allows an initial assessment to be made. The final diagnosis must of course be made by your doctor and this is exactly where the path should lead you if the tests suggest a disease.
The lipedema sisters Madeleine, Diandra and Chayenne have been suffering from the pathological fat distribution disorder for several years. After years of torture in everyday life and enormous psychological stress, the three sisters have decided on the surgical route. You can follow the fight against lipedema on their Instagram account and be inspired by the self-confident and strong-willed women in dealing with lipedema.
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How can I test myself?
The online tests differ in scope and content, but all work according to a uniform principle.
You are clicking through a number of questions that you will probably be familiar with by the time you read the beginning of this article. Honesty is important when answering. Consider carefully whether the statement made applies to you or not.
A lipedema self-test could look like this:
- Do your legs feel tired and heavy?
- Have you seen frequent bruises lately?
- Do your legs swell when you stand and sit?
- Are your legs painful when you are lying down?
- Is your body shape out of proportion?
- Are you not losing weight on your legs despite diet and exercise?
In the end, the number of questions answered with “yes” is important. The more questions you answered in the affirmative, the higher the probability of a possible illness. To get certainty, you should contact a specialist. Only a doctor can make the diagnosis and work out an individual therapy plan with you.
Lipedema or not?
Lipedema cannot always be recognized without other factors being completely excluded. There are symptoms that can indicate other diseases as well.
The first signs include tired and heavy legs. This symptom indicates inactive venous activity. Weak veins and connective tissue can be congenital. It is therefore not uncommon for young people to struggle with heavy legs as well. There is no lipedema. A weak vein can lead to varicose veins or, in the worst case, to thrombosis.
The so-called key symptoms are important for a clear diagnosis. With lipedema, this includes that both legs are always affected. It is also characteristic that hands and feet always stay slim and are not affected by the disease.
For example, lipedema is difficult to differentiate from extremity lipohypertrophy. Here, too, the symptoms appear on both legs and the fat defies diets and exercise . However, those affected have no pain. Therefore the “fat leg of the healthy woman” is not counted among the diseases.
When making the diagnosis, the doctor must also be able to rule out the following findings in order to make the diagnosis of lipedema:
- Peripheral obesity
- Dercum’s disease
- Benign symmetrical lipomatosis
- Edema due to other causes
It is particularly difficult to distinguish it from Dercum’s disease. This condition mostly affects women going through menopause and is accompanied by depression and headaches.
Lipedema should not be confused with lymphedema, because the latter does not occur on both legs at the same time.
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