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Lipoidemia, which is often confused with lymphedema but completely different, is a chronic disease characterized by an increase in adipose tissue to the legs, starting from the hip after adolescence.
Lipoedema is a disease characterized by uneven distribution of subcutaneous adipose tissue, affecting an average of 10-15% of women. The affected areas are particularly hip and leg areas.
Unlike lymphedema, it is not seen in the foot and wrist. It is accompanied by cosmotic concerns, as well as pain and similar problems in the affected people. Lipoedema is often confused with obesity and lymphedema. When the body structures of these patients are examined, there is a serious asymmetry between the upper and lower half. For example, while the body size of the upper half is measured 8, it can be 16 in the lower half. In the lower half of the body, there is colonic expansion from the hip to the ankle. This table can also influence the arms in the future.
In the advanced stages of the disease, adipose tissue can block the vessels of the lymphatic system, which provides leg fluid balance and protects against infections. It may accompany the event in a similar lymphedema-like picture. Special drainage methods are applied to prevent this lymphedema table.
Image: Lipedema classification
If this table is not intervened in a timely manner, these patients develop infections, permanent connective tissue growth and thick hard skin tissue associated with them.
In long-term lipoedema, disorders in lymph circulation also develop, and an increase in lymph fluid appears in the leg. Increased fat and protein content of lymph fluid stimulates fibrosis (increased hard support tissue). The disease may progress to lipolymphedema.
Lipoedema often confuses with obesity and lymphedema. In obesity, the disease participates in the arms, together with the legs. In lymphedema, the disease starts from the feet, while in lipidema, the disease starts from the upper legs and hips. The disease often affects both legs.
The cause of my lipoedema has not been fully revealed. The disease affects women, usually begins at puberty and may increase during pregnancy, after gynecological surgery, or in menopause.
In lipoedema, vascular fragility increases and due to minor traumas, ecchymosis and hematoma may develop. Pretibial petechiae can develop.
Even against minor stimuli caused by inflammation of the autonomic nerves scattered between the fat cells, the skin develops pain and tenderness. Nodules of various sizes are palpated in the subcutaneous adipose tissue.
It is thought to be a familial genetic disorder because the disease affects many individuals in the same family.
Treatment of Lipoedema
Diet and exercise are the first applications that come to mind due to the participation of adipose tissue in patients with lipoedema. However, they do not have any effects on the lipoedema tissue. However, they can provide a reduction in non-lipoedematous tissue. In patients who lose weight with diet, there is no change in the legs, but wraps occur in the abdomen, arms and breasts.
Treatment in these patients often involves attempts to reduce the liquid content in adipose tissue. At the beginning of these, there are lymphatic drainage massages made by hand. With this process, lymph fluid that causes permanent hardness accumulated in the tissues is removed and its passage into vein is provided.
Compression therapy also benefits. Elastic bandages or compression stockings reduce fluid buildup in edematous legs.
In these patients, regular exercise is of great importance to reduce tissue fluid.