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Lipedema and CVI conditions 

The importance of Manual Lymphatic Drainage (CDT/MLD) in the management of the condition's progression

Lipedema

Lipedema  is very unfamiliar to many physicians, which is the reason why it is often misdiagnosed as bilateral primary lymphedema, Cellulitis or morbid obesity.

Lipedema is a chronic disease, which is marked by bilateral and symmetrical swelling of the lower extremities, caused by extensive deposits of subcutaneous fatty tissue.

Lipedema is a chronic medical condition characterized by a symmetric buildup of adipose tissue (fat) in the legs and arms. A common but under recognized disorder, lipedema may cause pain, swelling, and easy bruising. 

For people who have lipedema, the swelling is caused by an overgrowth of the fat storage cells (adipocytes) that are normally found in a layer of the skin. These cells grow abnormally in size and number when someone has lipedema.  Because body fat has a liquid consistency at normal body temperatures, the fat accumulation can resemble other causes of fluid retention in the tissues.

The causes of lipedema are not well understood. It is reported to start or worsen during puberty and other periods of hormonal changes, such as pregnancy and menopause. Research is underway to determine the biological role of hormones, genetics, inflammation, and metabolism in the condition's development.


WHAT TO DO ABOUT LIPEDEMA 

Dealing with lipedema can be a lonely and confusing journey. Typically, individuals with lipedema are encouraged to:

  • Improve lymphatic flow 
  • Reduce inflammation with a healthy eating plan
  • Liposuction can be valuable for some people to manage pain and improve mobility.
  • Help your body deal with lipedema with specific exercise program
  • Get emotional support in groups in Facebook and search lipedema or lipoedema.


The problem of lipedema is that the fat is resistant to diet and exercise. We all are trying to help to illustrate patients and let them know what are their options.

Manual lymphatic Drainage (MLD) as a major component of Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT), and is extremely effective in helping prevent the progression of lipedema to another stages called Lipo-lymphedema.

 Lymphatic drainage is recommended if lipedema is combine with lymphedema. In some cases, wearing garment after they respond well to CDT is beneficial.

keeping active and detoxifying your body is important to keep balance of the condition.


Stages of lipedema 1-3 &2
Stages of lipedema 1-3 &2


Contact me if you have any questions and if in any way I could help, I would be happy to help.


Lipedema Vs. Obesity
Lipedema Vs. Obesity

Table courtesy of the book Lymphedema Management, the comprehensive Guide for Practitioner. Joachim E. Zuther & Steve Norton

Chronic Venous Insufficiency Edema

This refers to insufficient venous return. It is an advanced stage of venous disease where the veins and muscles pump activities become incompetent. Venous insufficiencies affects directly the lymphatic system.  This occurs when the venous wall and / or valves in the leg are not working properly causing blood to pool in the legs, resulting in swelling. 

Chronic Venous Insufficiency won't get better if left untreated and can become very serious, potentially leading to venous stasis ulcers.

Who is At Risk for Chronic Venous Insufficiency?

While anyone may develop CVI in their life, there are several risk factors that increase the probability of developing it.

  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
  • Varicose veins or a family history of varicose veins / CVI
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Pregnancy
  • Inactivity
  • Prolonged periods of sitting or standing
  • Female sex
  • Age over 50

What are Symptoms of Chronic Venous Insufficiency?

Symptoms of Chronic Venous Insufficiency can include:

  • Swelling in the lower legs, especially after prolonged sitting or standing
  • New varicose veins
  • Aching, heaviness, or tiredness in the legs
  • Flaky or itchy skin of the legs
  • Skin of the legs appears leathery
  • Venous stasis ulcers

If you notice any of these symptoms or suspect that you may have CVI, please consult with your medical professional.

Is Chronic Venous Insufficiency Treatable?

Chronic Venous Insufficiency has a variety of treatment options available, depending on the stage of the condition:

  • Compression stockings
  • Exercise regularly
  • Complete Decongestive Therapy
  • Avoid extended periods of standing or sitting
  • Elevate your legs while laying down or sitting (so that your legs are above your heart)
  • Lose weight if you are overweight
  • Antibiotics or medicine (to treat infection)
  • Practice good skin hygiene
  • Non-surgical treatment (i.e. sclerotherapy or endovenous thermal ablation)
  • Surgical treatment (i.e. ligation and stripping, microincision / ambulatory phlebectomy, or vein bypass)

Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) is used primarily in the treatment of lymphedema and Venous Insufficiency edema. Manual Lymphatic Drainage in conjunction with compression garment, a good healthy balanced diet, and exercises can help control the progression of Lymphedema, lipedema and the control of the edema in CVI.



There is not cure for Lymphedema, Lipedema or CVI conditions; but doctor specialized in lymphatic system and scientific research suggest the importance and the impact of Manual lymphatic drainage MLD/CDT in the management of the condition's progression.


Tables and picture courtesy of the book Lymphedema Management, the comprehensive Guide for Practitioner. Joachim E. Zuther & Steve Norton


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