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Lipedema – Ever heard of this? Most health care providers haven’t.

Lipedema (Lip = fat; edema = excess fluid) is a lymphatic disorder. If you fight fat in specific areas such as hips, thighs, buttocks, and/or upper arms, you may have this disorder. It’s very hard to lose this type of fat. Lipedema runs in families, almost always in women. It was first identified in 1940; people think it’s rare but it isn’t. If the condition progresses, lymphatic vessels are impaired, and lymphedema may occur. I have approaches that work to reduce lipedema fat.

unique looks of Lipedema
unique looks of Lipedema 2

Illustrations with Permission from The Lipedema Project

For details of the characteristics of Lipedema, you can go to:



but that’s pretty technical.


  • Fat distribution is usually from the waist down, equal on both sides. Sometimes it’s in the arms, but generally people find they take a smaller size in tops and a significantly larger size in pants or skirts.

  • Often tender to the touch.

  • Bruises easily.

  • The fat can be lumpy or granular.

  • The fat does not extend into the feet. There may be a clear line, like a cuff, at the bottom of the calves. (Over time, the feet can become swollen but that means that lymphedema has become an additional problem.)

  • Onset usually during times of hormonal changes: puberty, pregnancy, or menopause; or after a major stressor.

  • Hereditary; about 90% of the time, it goes through the maternal line.

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