When first discovering Lipedema and getting a diagnosis, it can feel bitter sweet. I know it did for me. On the one hand, there’s finally a reason why your body looks and feels the way it does. An explanation that proves it’s not your fault, a reason why.
This is great, especially when throwing it back in the face of all the people who have told you to ‘just exercise more or go on a diet’ over the years. But after that, I felt a wave of sadness come over me when researching into the options I had to treat my Lipedema and even cure it?
There’s a mountain of information online about Lipedema if you look in the right places, but I always found it a bit sinister. The first thing I typed into Google after my diagnosis was ‘can Lipedema be cured?’, when I read the words ‘there is currently no cure for Lipedema’ my heart sank. How could this be in this day and age?
However, by speaking to other women in the wonderful Lipedema community we have online, I realised it’s not all as depressing as it might seem. Yes, Lipedema can’t be cured. And yes, it is a progressive condition that gets worse over time. But there’s plenty we can do to slow the progression of Lipedema and there are incredible surgical treatments available that were unheard of 10 years ago.
So in a way, we are lucky we have found out about Lipedema now. My mum is 67 years old and has lived with Lipedema her whole life without a diagnosis or any treatment. At first, I felt really heartbroken that I only discovered Lipedema when I was 30, and felt as though I’d wasted 15 years of my life hating my legs!
But the awareness of the condition is so much better now and it gives us a lot more options. I keep reminding myself that if I had gotten a diagnosis 10 years ago, I might have gone down a route that I regretted. I could have wasted so much money and time getting surgery with medical staff who don’t specialise in treating Lipedema.
I’ll be going into detail about my current surgery plans in another blog post, I’ll be sharing everything so make sure you sign up to my newsletter if you haven’t already. I do realise for some people surgery isn’t an option, so while there is no cure for Lipedema, there are things you can do to stop it getting worse:
- Eating a balanced/anti-inflammatory diet – check out my recent blog post ‘ Best diet for Lipedema’ to discover the best diet for Lipedema I have found based on my own experience and research from medical professionals in the field.
- Exercising regularly and living an active lifestyle – exercise can feel like the last thing you want to do after discovering you have Lipedema, but it really does help. It will not make your stubborn Lipedema fat disappear, but it will improve your mood, increase circulation and keep your weight down which will help in slowing the progression of the disease.
- Maintaining a healthy weight – once again, maintaining a stable and healthy weight will aid in keeping Lipedema progression at bay.
- Compression therapy – compression garments can help relieve the symptoms of Lipedema, they won’t change the shape of your legs or remove the fat. But they can help reduce swelling, pain and heaviness which in turn can improve your mental wellbeing allowing you to live a full life despite your diagnosis.
- Dry brushing – dry brushing is considered an effective treatment for Lipedema. Benefits include helping move the venous blood and stimulating the lymphatic system which can reduce swelling, aches and discomfort in the legs and ankles.
Rather than a depressing article from a medical website telling you that you’re stuck with Lipedema forever and there is no cure, I hope this blog has opened your eyes to the various treatments that can help manage Lipedema – it doesn’t have to be as depressing as it sounds online. Of course, we’ll still have our bad days but by incorporating the above treatments into your routine, you can try and slow the progression and then look into surgical treatments if that’s the route you’d like to go down.
Can Lipedema be cured? No. Can Lipedema be treated? Hell yes!
Disclaimer: My blogs talk about Lipedema, diet, surgery and much more. I’m talking from my point of view to help women, and remind them they are not alone. I am not a medical professional, so the content above is from my own perspective with research I have done into the topic. It’s not meant as medical advice, you should always consult your doctor or a specialist for both your diagnosis, and a treatment plan.