Many people with lipoedema find it difficult and embarrassing to discuss their symptoms with their doctor, but as Lipoedema is often a progressive condition it is important to obtain an early diagnoses so GPs and patients can work together to prevent symptoms getting any worse.
Symptoms are often mis-diagnosed for lymphoedema or obesity and if left undiagnosed lipoedema can develop into lipo-lymphoedema.
A number of factors are taken into consideration when making a diagnosis of Lipoedema:
- Disproportionately larger/fatter legs and hips compared to the upper body
- Swelling is symmetrical (both sides of the body are affected equally)
- Hands and feet are not affected
- Loose, floppy connective tissues around the knee joints
- Fat that looks like cellulite and feels soft
- Tenderness/pain and easy or spontaneous bruising to affected areas
- Skin of affected areas may be pale and cold
- Upper arms may also be disproportionately fatter
- Patients may report increased swelling in hot weather
The Royal College of General Practitioners eLearning course on Lipoedema takes 30 minutes to complete and enables GPs and healthcare practitioners to diagnose lipoedema. To learn more about this eLearning course then click here.