What Is Lipoedema?

Lipoedema is a condition that is often misunderstood or mistaken for obesity or lymphoedema. In contrast to lymphoedema, there is no fluid collection in the tissue. If you break down the word ‘lipoedema’, it means ‘fat swelling’.

What Is Lipoedema?

Lipoedema usually appears symmetrical in shape and size and affects the legs and, sometimes, the arms. The body above the hips, and the hands and feet, remain unaffected. This often results in shape disproportion – a narrow waist and larger hips and thighs.

Learn more about other signs and symptoms of lipoedema

The cause of lipoedema is unknown and the diagnosis can be difficult. It mainly occurs in women and often appears around times of hormonal change and weight gain. There are different types of lipoedema, depending on where the lipoedema is located.

Lipoedema is a condition with no known cure, but there are ways to prevent your lipoedema from progressing. It is important that you understand the condition, recognise the signs and symptoms, and are aware of complications and consequences of lipoedema. Early treatment is important to managing your lipoedema effectively.

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Claudia Lymphoedema patient