Lipoedema is a chronic condition characterised by a painful and abnormal accumulation of fat cells in the hips, thighs, buttocks, legs and sometimes arms. The legs may become swollen, bruise easily, feel tender and uncomfortable. The diseased fat cannot be reduced by diet or exercise. Many women have this disease and grow increasingly frustrated by not understanding why their bodies are changing, and often receive a misdiagnosis of obesity. To raise awareness of Lipoedema please share.
What is Lipoedema?
There are 4 stages of Lipoedema with the condition often worsening as the patient progresses through the stages. The rate of progression is different for each patient, with the most severe cases leading to further complications including reduced mobility, lymphoedema due to scarring of the lymphatics due to the inflammatory nature of the lipoedema tissue; as well as depression, anxiety, body dysmorphia or eating disorders. Lipoedema sufferers receive little or no government support with the condition not currently being recognised by Medicare.
Why it’s important to raise awareness:
It is important to raise awareness for Lipoedema for many reasons, some of which include:
- Helping to distinguish obesity and Lymphoedema from Lipoedema, which are very different conditions. This includes doctors, specialists, allied health practitioners, politicians, sufferers of Lipoedema, and the general community.
- To ensure that Lipoedema sufferers receive an early diagnosis. There is currently a generation of women that are stuck with diseased fat in their legs, who given an opportunity at a younger age could have a totally different presentation through early diagnosis and intervention. Early diagnosis can reduce or remove the burden of fat both physically and emotionally.
- To upgrade Australia’s Lipoedema awareness and management to world standard. Dr Lekich’s experience working in Germany for training with Dr Heck was that in Australia we are 15 years behind Germany with our awareness of Lipoedema. Dr Heck visited Australia to establish his surgical protocol with Dr Lekich and they arranged Information Events around the country for Lipoedema patients with the two doctors presenting alongside the Lipoedema Warriors Support Group. At these Information Events Lipoedema sufferers were attending with advanced Lipoedema without any compression, without an understanding of manual lymphatic drainage and conservative management options.
- To assist women with Lipoedema feel less isolated and stigmatised by ignorance about the condition; and being dismissed as obese and/or lazy.
- To provide women with Lipoedema with a voice, so they can receive the vital recognition and support from government, medical professionals, allied health practitioners, as well as their family, friends and the general community.
How can you help to raise awareness?
SHARE YOUR STORY with your friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances. Use offline and online methods to share including social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. If you share your story on social media, make your story ‘public’ and encourage your friends to share it too. We will also help raise awareness by sharing stories of women with Lipoedema. Use our hashtag #walkwithfreedom so that we can follow your journey and share it too. Contact us if you would like to share your story on our Case Study page.
ORDER A PACK OF AWARENESS CARDS to give out to other women in the community that you suspect may have Lipoedema. The cards are a discreet personal way to educate women about the disease and highlight the support that is available to them.
Click here to order your FREE pack of cards.
DOWNLOAD OUR SUPPORT CARDS and honour women with Lipoedema through ongoing support and influence. We have made a series of SUPPORT CARDS for you to print out and take a selfie with… or screenshot and post to your page or stories. These cards highlight how you will honour women with Lipoedema and are a great way to share more posts and awareness on your social platforms. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #walkwithfreedom
TALK TO YOUR GP, SPECIALISTS AND ALLIED HEALTH PRACTITIONERS and encourage them to learn more about Lipoedema so they can distinguish it from Lymphoedema, obesity and other conditions. Direct them to ‘Resources for Practitioners’ page on our website so they can learn more about the condition and better serve their patients.
CONTACT YOUR LOCAL MAYOR, COUNCILLOR, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT AND STATE MEMBER. Encourage them to learn more about the condition by directing them to online resources such as those available on our website, highlight to them how the impacts of this disease are devastating and costly, challenge them to wear weights around their legs for a week, make some noise, ensure they recognise that Lipoedema is not even recognised under Medicare, and use the voices of these people who have louder and more influential voices to strengthen your own voice.