He lipedema is a disorder that mainly affects women and is defined by a abnormal accumulation of fat in the lower and even upper extremities, which can cause significant deterioration.
produces an important inflammation of adipose tissue, resulting in swelling of the afflicted regions, soft and spongy fat, tiredness, heaviness, as well as sensitivity to cold and shock.
Lipedema can cause discomfort and possibly lymphedema, which is a fluid buildup what cause swelling or edema in the extremities due to changes in lymphatic flow.
Degrees of lipedema according to the ailment
Grade I: the skin surface is regular but soft, with small palpable nodules of fat.
Grade II: Due to the growth of the nodular structure, the surface of the skin is uneven and hard.
Grade III: The surface of the skin is fatty, especially on the hips and ankles, where nodules of all sizes proliferate.
Symptoms and causes
Lipedema is always accompanied by a series of symptoms in addition to the increase in volume. These differ and grow stronger over time. The following are the most prevalent manifestations:
- Swelling: The patient may experience constant pressure and heaviness in the legs. Leg lifts or targeted massage usually do not help.
- Spider veins: They are red, purple or blue marks on the surface of the skin caused by the dilation of small capillaries.
- Hard subcutaneous tissue: Due to the fatty nodules, the skin on the legs and arms has a hard consistency.
- The volume increase it is most noticeable in the lower extremities (97 percent). This symptom is frequently bilateral and almost symmetrical in both extremities (right and left leg or right and left arm). The feet and hands are usually not affected.
- Increased sensitivity: It is normal for the patient to experience discomfort in response to contact. When they grab each other's arms or lean on their legs, for example.
- The elasticity of the skin is reduced, which makes the fabric appear stiffer. The patient may have difficulty bending the knees and ankles.
- Pain: a feeling of discomfort that worsens over time. This discomfort is unpredictable and can appear at any time. In addition, it usually increases with the practice of physical exercise.
- trophic changes in the skin they occur in the last phases. Hyperpigmentation and dermatosclerosis are the most prevalent.
The true cause of lipedema is not clear at this time. It is commonly assumed that the main cause is a unhealthy lifestyle that promotes the formation of fatty tissue. Could not be farther from the truth. Although the reasons are unknown, it is suspected that its development is related to hormonal imbalances.
This is because it manifests and worsens after puberty, pregnancy, menopause, or use of the pill. Similarly, it has been established that there is a hereditary component that influences the propensity to lipedema.
The absence of an origin makes it difficult to identify the condition. As a result, many patients feel dissatisfied when they see a specialist and receive diagnoses such as “tired legs”, “poor circulation” or “obesity”.
The diagnosis of lipedema is difficult, however it can be achieved. Therefore, it is essential to put yourself in the hands of a specialist in this pathology. The health professional must perform a complete physical exam of the patient and research your medical history (background and evolution). If the final test confirms that the person has the condition, two methods of therapy are available:
- Conservative: it helps the patient with some symptoms and pain relief, but the disparity decreases somewhat. Manual lymphatic drainage and treatments are used to reduce fibrosis and improve fluid flow through the skin. It is also recommended to wear lymphatic compression clothing and perform physical exercise in water (swimming)
- Surgically: Water Jet Assisted Liposuction (WAL) is the most widely used procedure in the treatment of lipedema. Unlike traditional liposuction procedures, the fat is gently separated from the tissue structure using a flat, fan-shaped spray of water and then suctioned out during the WAL operation. The intermittent lymphatic vessels, connective tissue, nerves and blood vessels will be considerably less stressed, which is essential in the treatment of lipedema.
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