Lipedema Treatment: Stages, Causes, Types, Diet Plan For Weight Loss

Sanya Singh

Sanya Singh
Jun 2022

2 min read

Table of content

Legs like a tree trunk and upper body slim. You must have often seen people like these. These are actually the signature characteristic of a lipedema. Lipedema treatment is very important, as it does not only change a person physically but also disturbs the state of mind.
Then, with the sudden changes in the body, one starts questioning their body type, and their beauty. Thus, the person gets insecure which further stresses them out. That’s why, for a lipedema patient, it is important to have a positive and motivational surrounding. The main cause of lipedema is a problem in a network of vessels. Also, the glands help fight infection and drain excess fluid from tissues.

Lipedema Meaning

  • Lipedema is a condition in which there is excess fat in the lower part of the body. This most often involves the body parts like buttocks, thighs, and calves.
  • Moreover, it can affect the upper arms but does not affect the hands or feet. Lipedema, however, mostly affects women more than men.
  • The condition lipedema is sometimes confused with lymphedema, but the two are not the same. Even Lipedema can lead to lymphedema.
Lipedema meaning

Symptoms Of Lipedema

Although the exact cause of lipedema is unknown. This condition runs in families and occurs almost in women. Therefore, it starts or gets worse at the time of puberty, pregnancy, or menopause.

However, obesity is not the main cause of lipedema. But more than half of patients suffering from lipedema are overweight or obese. Below are the lipedema symptoms.

  • The main symptom of lipedema is build-up fat in the buttocks, thighs, calves, and sometimes the upper arms. 
  • Also, the water pills elevating your legs and support stockings do not help the affected areas. Also, there is no swelling in the feet or hands. Unless the patient has chronic venous insufficiency or lymphedema.
  • As the condition gets worse, lipedema can affect your ability to walk and causes pain.
  • Another surprising symptom of lipedema is that it has an emotional effect on a person. He/she might feel embarrassed, anxious, and depressed as the lower part of the body grows larger.
  • The gathering of more fat can also block the lymphatic pathway. Further, causing a build-up of fluid called lymph.

Other Symptoms Of Lipedema Are:

  • Fat deposits on both the legs of a person.
  • Minimal fat deposits on the hands and feet create a cuff-like appearance.
  • If there is pain and tenderness on the touch, it can be a sign of lipedema.
  • A feeling of tension and heaviness in the affected limbs.
  • The symptoms seem to worsen over the day.
  • The cooling of the skin and easy bruising.
  • Excessive swelling of the affected limbs even when a person loses weight.
  • If there is pitting edema or small, broken blood vessels on the surface of the skin around the fat deposits.

Types Of Lipedema

Medically lipedema is of five different types based on where it is in the body.

  1. Fat between the navel and the hips, covering the pelvis and buttocks.
  2. The fat around the pelvis and under the knees.
  3. Further, the fat begins at the pelvis and continues down to the ankles. Therefore, a person with this stage may have a prominent cuff of fat at the ankle.
  4. The fat spreads from the shoulders, going down to the wrists.
  5. And, the fat is mainly on the calves.

In some cases, people might have a combination of types. For example, Type 5 is very rare, and the rest are common.

Lipedema Diagnosis And Lipedema Treatment

Doctors diagnose lipedema based on a clinical examination and a person’s specific symptoms. They may ask a person about their symptoms, medical history, or family medical history.

However, using imaging techniques, like ultrasound, and MRI scans can help rule out other conditions with similar symptoms.

Lipedema Stages

Lipedema is a condition that develops over time. It is classified into different stages. There are four stages of lipedema. Let’s go through it in detail.

lipedema stages

1 Stage

  • The skin of a person appears normal and is smooth to touch.
  • Moreover, the person will have nodules of enlarged fat present underneath the skin.
  • However, the doctor can feel the nodules during an examination.
  • A person with stage 1 lipedema may experience some pain and easy bruising too.

2 Stage

  • The surface of the skin of a person becomes uneven and dimpled, depressed, and develops mattress-like patterns.
  • Moreover, the amount of fat also increases in stage 2 as compared with stage 1.

3 Stage

  • A person tends to develop large extensions of skin and fat that are quite visible.
  • The large folds of skin and fat can protrude from the limbs and cause the legs to appear circular.
  • Lumps develop due to inflammation and the thickening of tissues in the limbs causes a loss of elasticity.
  • This further, leads to reduced blood flow and lymph flow out of the fatty tissue. Additionally, these lumps of fat put pressure on a person’s joints and may affect their mobility and balance.

4 Stage

  • In this stage, lipedema and lymphedema both are present in the body.
  • Lymphedema develops when lipedema causes the buildup of fat cells to interfere with a person’s lymphatic system.

Lipedema Treatment

Although, there is no cure for lipedema. There are several ways a person can manage their symptoms of it.

1. Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage For Lipedema Treatment

  • Manual lymphatic drainage massage is a gentle massage. It stimulates the movement of lymph fluid around the body. 
  • It helps drain lymph fluid from blocked areas into healthy vessels in the body. Further, reduces the risk of scarring and increases blood flow to the area. This also helps with pain reduction. 
  • According to the studies, manual lymphatic drainage massage combined with vibration therapy can effectively treat lipedema.

2. Compression Therapy For Lipedema Treatment

  • Compression therapy involves using stretchy bandages or clothing items that increase pressure on the tissues inside the swollen limbs. 
  • This is often a cosmetic treatment and reduces a person’s chances of more fluid building up in their limbs.

3. Liposuction For Lipedema Treatment

liposuction for lipedema treatment
  • When other treatment options fail, liposuction treatment is the best to go for. It involves removing the lipedema fat while sparing the lymphatic vessels. 
  • A surgeon inserts a cannula which is a hollow instrument under the skin during liposuction. It further, breaks up the fatty tissue and removes it from the body using a powerful, high-pressure vacuum.

 Following are the most effective types of liposuction for lipedema treatment:

1. Wet Liposuction:

  • In this, the doctor gives a patient general anesthesia. No matter which area is being treated or how much liposuction they are having.
  • The 15-20% of the tissue that the doctor removes using Wet Liposuction, is the patient’s blood.

2. Tumescent Technique:

  • In this technique, the doctor pump, several liters of saline solution into the area of the skin that requires treatment. This solution is lidocaine. Moreover, this is the most popular form of Liposuction.

3. Dry Liposuction:

  • In this, the doctors don’t use the injections of local Anaesthesia into the fat before the procedure. That is why it is known as dry liposuction.
  • However, this technique comprises only 30% of blood. Doctors remove the tissue by Liposuction using the Dry technique. Certainly, it is one of the best techniques.

4. Super Wet Liposuction:

  • This technique is, however, much like the Tumescent Liposuction. In this, a doctor injects a solution into the operation site and uses less fluid. This procedure also takes less time.
  • During this technique, the surgeon inserts a cannula, after injecting the solution. This removes the excess fat from the asked area of the body by the patient.

Lipedema treatment, however, should be taken on time as might lead to an inability in walking or moving around.

Diet For Lipedema

Everyone’s body is different. It’s not necessary that if something is suitable for you would be good for other one too. A particular meal plan won’t work for everyone. A dietician can help you in a proper way. Following is the meal plan for lipedema patients.

  • Meal 1/Early Morning Meal

Lukewarm water + 5 almonds

  • Meal 2/Breakfast

Poha/oats cheela (no oil)/sprouts/veg.vermicelli/oats daliya/sprouts

  • Meal 3/Mid Meal

Any fruit (except mango, litchi, chikoo, grapes, banana)/Ghia juice

  • Meal 4/Lunch


After a gap of 20 minutes, dal-1bowl/rice-1bowl,curd-1bowl,any veg-1bowl

  • Meal 5/Evening Drink

Milk tea/green tea

  • Meal 6/Evening Meal

Cucumber salad/lemon water/chia seeds water

  • Meal 7/Dinner

Mix veg.soup/tomato soup/dal without tadka/mix veg.raita/any veg with 1 roti,

  • Meal 8/Post Dinner

Hot water(can add lemon)

Do’s And Don’t If You Are On Lipedema Diet

For the best meal plan for lipedema it is important to keep the following points in mind:


  • A meal plan for lipedema can include egg whites. As it is rich in fiber and fiber is important for lipedema patients.
  • Lipedema diet plan should include non-vegetarian food as well but in limit.
  • Moreover, the consumption of lots of green vegetables on a daily basis is important. As these clear out the stagnant protein.


  • People suffering from lipedema, should not add too many dairy products to their diet chart for lipedema.
  • The best diet chart for lipedema will not include any kind of oily or junk food, especially cheese.
  • You must avoid processed meat, bacon, sausages, grain-fed meat, and mass-reared chicken.
  • Lipedema patients should too avoid food items like chips, salted nuts, and processed/packaged portable snacks.

Dietitian For Diabetes

  • There is always someone who will advise you on how to do things better. A doctor may recommend medications to help you fight diseases, a teacher may advise you to study for a brighter future, and a nutritionist may advise you on the best way to live. 
  • A good dietitian can assist us in making better decisions so that we can live a healthy lifestyle. When it comes to diabetes, choosing the best dietitian is important, but difficult too. So, we have made it easier for you. Here you can find out the best dietitian for lipedema treatment.

Dietitian Mehakdeep Singh (Dt. Mac Singh) 

  • The founder of Fitelo, Dietitian Mac Singh’s own weight loss journey, is an inspiration for all. The journey was full of difficulties, but he didn’t give up.
  • In spite of the slip disc, Dt. Mac lost 62 kg with the knowledge he gained from following a sustainable diet. Also, he has changed thousands of lives by suggesting natural foods. So, let’s reach out to the best dietitian who can provide you with the best diet plan for constipation.


Can Lipedema Go Away?

Although there is no cure for it. But, yes, lipedema can be well-taken of with proper diagnosis and treatment. However, many lipedema patients experience a significant improvement in symptoms and do well long-term.

What Is The Difference Between A Normal Fat Or Lipedema?

It is rare that in some cases, women show signs of lipedema in their upper arms. Whereas, fat itself is also different. While fat accumulation associated with being overweight is smooth with a rubbery texture. The lipedema fat is marble-like, knotty, or feels like little pearls to the touch.

What Happens If You Don’t Treat Lipedema?

Well, if you don’t treat lipedema then it tends to cause more noticeable changes within the skin. Particularly, swelling of the limbs or in the lower portion of the body. Moreover, it can make a patient weak if left untreated. This includes chronic pain and the inability to walk or move around easily.

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Why have flavored yogurt when you can have real fruit curd? Yes, Fitelo presents you with a yummy recipe for fruit raita. This will not only satisfy your taste buds but will help you in weight loss also. You can add your favorite fruits to it and relish it without worrying about gaining weight.

Contact Us Today

Your search for a weight loss consultant ends here. So, Contact us today if you are looking for a Diet Plan with cheat meals. Also, we will discuss how we can help you in achieving your weight loss goals.

Bottom Line

As per the discussion, lipedema is a chronic disease that causes a disproportionate fat buildup beneath the skin. However, this condition is most common in the legs but can also affect the arms. Although there is no cure for lipedema, there are ways that a person can manage their symptoms. Therefore, Fitelo provides a proper diet plan, recommended by its best dietitians. So, people suffering from this problem just need to follow it or contact us for any further guidance.

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