Lipoedema is a life-long condition. Usually, it can be well managed with conservative therapy, like wearing compression garments, exercise, and weight management. In exceptional cases, treatment may include surgery, for example liposuction. Together with an experienced therapist, you will develop an individual and holistic treatment plan.
What happens after diagnosis?
Diagnosing lipoedema involves a general health checkup. Holistic treatment includes compression therapy, maintaining a healthy weight, balanced nutrition, as well as your emotional well-being.
The main elements of treating lipoedema are:
- Compression therapy
- Improving mobility, posture, gait and exercise
- Psychological support (including realistic and achievable goals and managing expectations)
- Maintaining your weight
- Surgical procedures under certain circumstances (e.g. liposuction)
You probably know that compression therapy is a key element of treating lipoedema. There are different types of compression products. Flat-knit compression garments, including stockings, leggings, and pants, are preferable. The benefits of compression garments are:
- They reduce pain and discomfort
- They support the tissue of your limbs
- They improve your mobility because skin flaps don’t rub against each other
Compression therapy does not change the size and shape of your limbs. This is important to know because many patients are disappointed at the first stage.
Movement and exercise
Movement and exercise help you to maintain your weight. More than that, regular exercise improves your well-being as a whole and has also a positive impact on your emotional wellbeing. Do you need some motivation to start with exercise? Check out our tips and tricks to help you to start or continue with exercising.
A healthy body holds a healthy soul and mind, and vice versa. Lipoedema is a long-term condition. Maybe it already took you a long time to get the diagnosis of lipoedema and to find a healthcare professional you can trust. This journey can be exhausting, and a lot of people with lipoedema have to cope with depression, anxiety, or eating disorders. Living with lipoedema is nothing that you should do on your own. It is important to get support. Here is what you can do:
- Choose a One to One dialogue with a therapist,
- Join a peer group,
- Learn about self-help tools and strategies.
Maintaining your weight
A healthy and balanced nutrition is vital to your overall well-being. You should not focus on diets – most of them are intended to lose weight in a short time. A lot of diets fail in the end and often even lead to a higher weight in the end. This is called “yo-yo effect” and must be avoided. In theory, we all know what it takes to maintain our weight: Movement and healthy eating. But in practice, it is much more difficult.
Lipoedema can usually be treated with conservative therapies, such as compression therapy, exercise, weight management and, if necessary, psychological support. However, when you do not benefit from these therapies, surgical treatment may also be an option. Liposuction may sound like an easy way to treat your lipoedema. But there are a few things that you have to keep in mind:
- Liposuction is only suitable for a preselected patient group and so far, has not shown al long-term effect
- Liposuction has to be done by a specialised surgeon
- Compression therapy is an essential part before and after Liposuction (for at least 6 weeks). It is important to maintain the results of the surgery
Moisturising body lotions or creams protect your skin that is often stressed by wearing compression garments. Get more information about how you can maintain a healthy skin.
You are now aware that there are different options how lipoedema can be managed. You can find more detailed information about the different therapies here.
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Claudia Lymphoedema patient