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What is Lipoedema?

Lipoedema is a common yet under-diagnosed and poorly understood chronic disease of the subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) predominantly in women. It is often mistaken for obesity and is associated with many life-altering symptoms. It was first described in 1940 by Dr Allen and Dr Hines and their description is still widely used today for clinical diagnosis (Herbst et al 2021, Herbst, 2019). 

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Recognising Lipoedema


The "Unknowns" of Lipoedema

Why Lipoedema remains under-diagnosed and poorly understood in the medical field. 

Genetic involvement

Up to 60% of women with Lipoedema report having another affected immediate family member. 

Genes are thought to pass from parent to offspring and Lipoedema has been reported in children and even as early as infancy (Herbst, 2021).

A gene has been identified but more research is required to develop a genetic test and highlight biomarkers or imaging results to confirm diagnosis. 


Watch this short video from ITV news in the UK about Lipoedema.

Lipedema – The Disease They Call FAT:

An Overview for Clinicians is a monograph that provides a clinical synopsis of this condition. This monograph covers the history of lipedema and includes sections on epidemiology, etiology, pathogenesis, clinical features, diagnosis and how to differentiate between lipedema and other disorders, such as lymphedema and obesity. Treatment options, both conservative and surgical, and prognosis are also reviewed.

This video give a short explanation of this book. 



The Lipedema Project Website is a great source of information click the button below to explore.  

If you are interested in finding out more, you can access the research papers, articles and journals we use to provide the evidence-based information on this page by clicking here.

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