Are You Pear-Shaped - read On
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
For years I have tried to lose weight. I was doing all the right things. I was eating the right foods, tracking and staying in my calorie range, and exercising. I spoke to a nutritionist after I found out I had high cholesterol and she helped me figure out a diet and I was working out at the Y and after a couple of months she was stunned that I wasn't losing weight hand over fist. I was frustrated because I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong.
Well, my body shape gave away my problem. I'm a pear. I'm smaller on top than on the bottom. I've had people make the comment to me, "My, your calves are really large!" Oh yeah, they have. I would tell them it came from playing a lot of volley ball. Little did I know that I had a disease called lipedema. I'm 57 years old now, and just this year learned that I have it. That comment was made when I was around 22 years old. I can't even count the number of doctors I've seen in those years who missed this disease - I'm the one who found it when I was looking up information on another disease I have called hyperlymphedema - an astute doctor did find that one when I was about 52 - I've had it most of my life as well.
No one knows what causes lipedema, but it usually shows up in women when they begin puberty. The disease is a "fat disorder", where the body collects fat in the legs and hips and buttocks at the beginning. As it progresses you may notice that your arms are also getting bigger than your torso, which may also eventually become effected if you don't take some steps to stem the disease.
No diet or exercise can get rid of the fat already in your body - so the dieting and exercising I was doing, my body was countering my adding more fat I couldn't get rid of. But, I was also helping to keep my body from adding more fat than it would have had I done nothing. The exercise also was helping to keep my joints and veins healthy.
I'm not sure if the hyperlymphedema is a side-effect of the lipedema, it may be something I was born with. But it is where the fluid in my lymph system becomes viscous and cannot move through on its own, I have to help it move through by a gentle massage. As the lipedema progresses the lymph system becomes effected because the fat is collecting around the lymph system.
The symptoms of lipedema are a small torso and a large lower body, and or arms.
Pain in the legs to the touch, as well as the arms if they are effected.
The legs (and arms) are easily bruised.
When injured, the legs form clots or lumps under the skin.
These are symptoms that you can easily detect, there are others that a doctor will have to detect.
The only thing that helps lipedema is liposuction. You can control the swelling by using compression stockings, but you really need to see a therapist to know how to use them properly.
I had no idea this disease existed and was thwarting my every effort to lose weight. I never gave up trying to lose weight. It took me nine years to lose the 60 pounds I did lose - so don't give up, it is possible - it's just hard! There is an answer, and there is a way to contain it, but that too takes work.
I hope this blog has helped someone out there find an answer to their questions. If you have anymore, I'm here! Kim