Lipidema is a chronically progressive, symmetrical accumulation of fat in the subcutaneous tissue with orthostatic edema. It occurs almost exclusively in women with the onset of hormonal changes (puberty, pregnancy, perimenopause, menopause). Diagnosis is challenging at early stages of disease; often assumed to be simple weight gain.
It presents with disproportion between the upper and lower body, due to pathological fat deposits and primarily affects lower extremities. Unlike normal fat, lipedematous fat can’t be lost through diet and exercise. It is characterized by tenderness and vascular fragility leading to excessive bruising in the affected area.
In addition to an increase in fat cells (some of which are hypertrophic), a high volume of capillary blood vessels is found in the interstitial tissue. Decompensation occurs when the increased lymphatic load has exceeded the available transport capacity (over years or even decades).
MLD treatment protocol
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MANUAL LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE THERAPY