A Painful Fat Disease called Lipedema

Lipedema Lady by Beverley Carron

If you asked me what Lipedema was before the spring of 2015, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you much about it.

Lipedema Lass
Lipedema Lass by Beverley Carron

I wouldn’t have been able to tell you that it was the reason that kneeling on the floor became painful beyond belief or this condition is why I never enjoyed deep tissue massages on the affected areas of my body.  I wouldn’t have been able to tell you that it was the reason unexplained bruises showed up on my shins, calves, thighs, hips, butt and sometimes my upper arms (and currently my back where my bra strap sits), why I have unsightly bat wing arms, and that my legs swelled up like sausages while my feet stayed relatively normal.

I also wouldn’t have been able to tell you that Lipedema was why I never managed to lose more than 11 kg (26 lbs) over 24 months, even with a carefully tracked diet (low fat, low calorie and finally keto), caloric restriction, and intense training with a personal trainer.

Finally, I’d never have been able to tell you that this condition was why the weight came back with a vengeance between 2012 to 2015 in the form of fluid retention (secondary lymphedema) and massive fat deposits between my upper thighs and upper stomach.

However, now I can give the pain and anguish I’ve suffered for so long a name.

Lipedema, the genetic, progressive, painful fat condition.

Lipedema Lady by Beverley Carron
Lipedema Lady by Beverley Carron

The reason I created WhatIsLipedema.com is because at the time of diagnosis, not many people had heard of this condition.  I know I sure hadn’t! While I’m not a medical professional, nor a Lipedema expert, a lot of the information you will find on this website is self based evidence as a Lipedema sufferer.  There are also experiences of the collective Lipedema community as well as the meager research put out by the medical professionals who have dedicated themselves to treating and researching this condition.


With that being said, What is Lipedema?

  • It’s a genetic condition
  • It occurs almost exclusively in women
  • It’s connected to changes in hormones (puberty, pregnancy, menopause, stress, medical treatments affecting hormones)
  • It doesn’t discriminate
  • It creates abnormal fat deposits on the thighs, calves, butt, hips, upper arms (very typical spots)
  • It can spread to less typical spots like stomach, back, neck, and in very rare cases the face or head
  • It makes fat cells grow to 3-4x the normal size, which makes Lipedema affected areas PAINFUL
  • It causes weird and often unexplained bruising (due to the pressure of the fat against nerves and blood vessels)
  • It wrecks havoc on the lymph system and can cause secondary lymphedema or progress to lipo lymphedema

Next: How do you know if you have lipedema?