Treatment for Lipedema
Lipedema is progressive, meaning it usually gets worse. Like Lymphedema, Lipedema can be managed, or controlled.
Lymphatic drainage helps greatly with the extreme sensitivity associated with Lipedema and usually results in a reduction of leg size. However, lymphatic drainage alone is not enough to combat the disease.
Myofascial Release is the second step in Lipedema treatment.
Once extreme sensitivity has been reduced through lymphatic drainage, a deeper tissue technique known as Myofascial Release is used to break up the adhesion-like fascia and fat cells that are characteristic of Lipedema.
This form of Myofascial Release can start out light, but the goal is to work quite deep into the tissue. Yes, it can be uncomfortable. Yes, people often bruise with this treatment. (Lipedema legs are already prone to easy bruising.)
Most people who have this form of therapy, despite the discomfort, can’t wait until their next session. Why? Because it really helps.
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A popular diet known to reduce “Lippy” fat is the ketogenic diet. It does not come without its own risks, however. You should speak with a knowledgeable physician and dietician to determine if this diet is safe for you.
In essence, the ketogenic diet eliminates most carbohydrates from the diet. These carbohydrates are the body’s normal source of energy. In their absence, the body will go into a state known as ketosis which forces it to use fat as fuel.
On the surface, this sounds good, but this diet is not without risk as it can cause your body to become very acidic.
An article published with the National Institutes of Health called Low-carbohydrate diets and all-cause mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies stated the following in their conclusion:
“Low-carbohydrate diets were associated with a significantly higher risk of all-cause mortality.”
They also cautioned that the of low-carb diets over the long term have not been thoroughly studied, meaning that there may be more bad results of low carb diets that we do not yet know.
Always consult your physician before beginning any new diet.
Eating to Starve Lipedema (and Lymphedema):
A Better Alternative
Two quick notes about this “diet.” First, it’s not a diet in the common sense of the word. It is a way of eating. Second, you aren’t starving yourself in this “diet” (quite the opposite). You are starving the condition.
In the book, Lymphedema and Lipedema Nutrition Guide: Foods, Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements, Ehrlic, and others (including the famous Dr. Karen Herbst) describe how to eat to positively impact major lymphatic organs and related processes, including:
They also describe in great depth the vitamins, minerals and supplements that have a positive impact on both Lipedema and Lymphedema.
This way of eating to starve out Lipedema and Lymphedema is primarily (but not exclusively) a whole foods, plant-based diet tailored to combat these conditions.
The book provides a number of sample recipes, meal plans, a shopping guide, a list of ingredients to avoid, and practical tips such as how to eat when you are not at home.
Lipedema and Exercise
“Lippy” fat is exercise resistant and will not reduce even under the most strenuous exercise programs. Exercise is recommended, however, as it does help to keep the body’s normal fat at normal levels.
While exercising despite the inability to reduce Lipedema fat may seem unimportant, there seems to be a clear link to obesity and the more severe cases of lipedema. Although exercise does not reduce Lipedema fat, it does reduce normal fat elsewhere on the body.
Women who are not obese typically have an easier time keeping the Lipedema from progressing as rapidly. So, keep exercising because it is helping to keep your Lipedema from getting worse faster.
Liposuction for Lipedema
As was mentioned before, Lipedema is a progressive disease, and due to the fact that most women do not get a diagnosis until it is far progressed it often does require specialized liposuction for reduction of the leg size.
The type of liposuction used is referred to as lymph-sparing liposuction because it uses very small tools that do minimal damage so as not to further impair the lymphatic system.
Is Liposuction for Lipedema Covered By Insurance?
Liposuction for Lipedema may be covered by insurance, but it is an uphill battle.
Start by getting a diagnosis from a recommended physician who is familiar with Lipedema.
Document EVERYTHING you are told by EVERYONE. Write out a detailed personal story on how it has affected your life and how having surgery would change your everyday activities.
Expect to be denied. Most women are. Plan on going through an appeal. Expect a fight, but don’t back down.
Find help in support groups on Facebook and other social media sites.
Don’t give up hope.