Lipedema and Genetics
It’s still not quite clear why and how lipedema develops. However, many lipedema patients report a positive family history. This means that if your mother or other female relatives are also affected by lipedema, your situation is a very common one. Genetics are likely to play a role in the development of lipedema. However, research on the exact mechanism of why and how lipedema develops is still ongoing.
Hormonal Changes and the Onset of Lipedema
No matter when the first lipedema symptoms occur, they usually coincide with weight gain and hormonal changes. These can be related to puberty or starting to take birth control pills, as was likely the case in your situation. But it can also affect pregnant or menopausal women.
Challenges with Lipedema
Living with lipedema can be difficult, but it’s a particular challenge for young adults. Social media promotes the beauty ideal of slim legs and a trained body. It can be difficult not to feel unsettled by this. If your mother is also affected by lipedema, you may fear that your own children could develop lipedema in the future. All this makes it so important to get support from your family, friends, a community, and an experienced team of healthcare professionals.
Manage Your Lipedema Together
Every woman’s lipedema journey is different, so everyone’s struggles are different too. Therefore, it’s slightly challenging to say that what works well for one person will also work for you. The good news is that you can benefit from the experiences of others to help you learn how to live your best life, with lipedema.
Take advantage of your relative’s knowledge and experience when you get your first compression garment, or consult your healthcare professional. You could also consider exercising or cooking together. Although lipedema is considered to be a rare disease, there is a great and supportive community of lipedema patients. Have a look at our Starting Program on LymphCare for more information.
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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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Claudia Lymphedema patient