Lipedema Awareness Month's mission is to provide resources, raise awareness, educate and create a more open conversation around the condition. Frequently, lipedema is still not taken seriously or is mistaken for obesity or lymphedema. That's why many patients have a long and often challenging journey to a correct diagnosis and holistic treatment. Giving patients and healthcare professionals the chance to share experience and knowledge lays the groundwork for a more open-minded and unbiased approach to the topic. Some campaigns also support research initiatives to fill the gaps in understanding the causes of lipedema. If you want to know how JOBST supports Lipedema Awareness Month, you'll find more information here.
How Can Research Improve Lipedema Management?
In 1940, Dr. Edgar Hines and Dr. Edgar Allen, both physicians at the Mayo Clinic in the United States, were the first to describe lipedema. In the decades immediately after this, not much research was done on the condition. This situation has significantly changed within the last few years. Recently, a group of healthcare professionals from different disciplines and European countries agreed on a consensus document about lipedema that cleared up several mis-understandings or 'myths' about the condition.1 The current understanding of the condition is also reflected in a patient fact sheet, which has been created by the newly founded International Lipedema Association (ILA) that you can download in several languages.2 Still, more research activities are needed to further improve patient care.
What Can You Do To Raise Awareness?
While researchers and healthcare professionals gain more insight into the causes of lipedema and improve treatment strategies, how can we contribute? Join us in raising global recognition of lipedema. Take the opportunity to inform your family and friends that this condition affects more women than most people think. If you want to improve your understanding and knowledge of lipedema, you can find more information here. Do you have any ideas for this important month? Share your ideas and thoughts with the LymphCare community here.
1 Bertsch T, Erbacher G, Elwell R. Lipoedema: a paradigm shift and consensus. J Wound Care. 2020 Nov 1;29(Sup11b):1-51. doi: 10.12968/jowc.2020.29.Sup11b.1.
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Lipedema Awareness Interview with Shana Grantham
Shana Grantham is a Medical Advisor for Essity in Northern California and is a lipedema patient who was diagnosed with lipedema in her mid-40s, even though she noticed at 13-14 years old that as she was trying to find clothing to wear and that fit her, she could not find clothes that fit. Her body shape is small waist, large thighs and hips. Trying to find pants to fit her was almost impossible. Here are some excerpts from the interview with Shana on Facebook live with Lymphie Strong.
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Don’t sit around and go through this in silence. Share your story. Doing that was a real eye-opener for me
Claudia Lymphedema patient