Managing Lipedema

It's different than you think

Lipedema in the early stages is often mistaken as a weight problem. In fact, it’s a disorder of fat tissue and lymphatic system dysfunction affecting about 11% of women. Hormones trigger lipedema, with onset at puberty, after pregnancy and during menopause.


Lipedemous fat is different from ordinary fat in two ways: it can’t be lost through diet and exercise; and it accumulates in an uneven way on the body. Typically there’s a smaller upper body and a larger lower body with thick, column-like legs. In later stages a cuff of fat may form at the ankle above a normal-sized foot.


Other symptoms include swelling, a tendency to bruise, tenderness and growing fat deposits. Lipedema is a chronic, progressive condition so early treatment is key.

There is help

Lymphatic therapy stops the advancement of lipedema. This is important because without treatment the increasing fat deposits will continue to damage lymphatic function and lead to lymphedema. Therapy consists of a swelling reduction phase (CDT) followed by fitting for compression garments. The benefits are many:

  • Eliminates swelling, which reduces leg size
  • Softens fibrosis (hardened tissues) causing your tenderness and pain
  • Increases overall flexibility and mobility so you can be more active
  • Improves your lymphatic system function to avoid more swelling