CARLYLE - Lipedema is a progressive, debilitating disease that affects thousands of women in Saskatchewan. Often mis-diagnosed as obesity, it affects 11 per cent of women around the world, which is approximately 60,000 women in Saskatchewan.
If you have stubborn fat on your thighs, butt, hips or maybe upper arms that won’t go away with diet or exercise, you may have lipedema.
The Saskatchewan Lipedema Association was formed in 2019 by a group of women who are trying to create awareness and support for fellow lipedema sufferers. Members of the board met with the caucus policy human services committee in Regina on May 17.
They provided the committee with information about the chronic disease and shared their individual journeys. The association has been approved for a meeting with Saskatchewan Health Minister Paul Merriman.
We hope to be able to set up a working committee to help ensure proper diagnosis and treatment is available in Saskatchewan.
There are standards of care established in the U.S. and Europe that can help in the diagnosis and treatment of lipedema.
Other symptoms include pain, swelling, loose skin, and easy bruising. The texture of fat beneath the skin can feel like peas, rice or walnuts. Symptoms often begin at times of hormonal change, such as puberty, pregnancy and menopause.
As the condition worsens, fat deposits can grow bigger, and a person’s lower half can become heavier. Over time, these fat cells can block vessels in the lymphatic system. This can prevent the lymphatic system from draining lymph fluid, which can cause a buildup of fluid. This is called lymphedema.
When you suffer from both conditions it is known as Lipolymphedema.
Lipedema does not occur because of how much you are eating or how much you’re exercising. Lipedema is a medical condition that millions of women have inherited. There is no cure for lipedema but the disease can be managed through conservative treatments, surgery and eating a strict anti-inflammatory diet.
Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can make a huge difference in the life of affected women and reduce cost to the medical system.
The most important first step is for women to find out they have lipedema and for those in the medical system to recognize the disease and have treatment options available to patients.
For further information, please look up our Facebook page - Saskatchewan Lipedema Association, or visit our webpage at sasklipedema.com. Dianne Wilson or Connie Young are also available to discuss lipedema.