From Biology-Online Dictionary
- chronic swelling, usually of the lower extremities, particularly in middle-aged women, caused by the widespread even distribution of subcutaneous fat and fluid.
- lipedema is a disorder of adipose tissue generally showing the following distinctive characteristics: (1) it can be inherited; (2) it occurs almost exclusively in women; (3) it can occur in women of all sizes, from the anorexic to the morbidly obese; (4) it involves the excess deposit and expansion of fat cells in an unusual and particular pattern – bilateral, symmetrical and usually from the waist to a distinct line just above the ankles; (5) unlikeFat of obesity, lipedemic fat cannot be lost through diet and exercise.
- Usually it is triggered at puberty but can be triggered or worsen during or after pregnancy, at peri-menopause, and post-gynecological surgery. Thus, surgery could possibly make the condition worse. However, if diagnosed early it is possible to prevent a significant expansion of lipedemic fat cells, and to warn patients of their increased risk for obesity.