Independence means many things to many people, for me (in regards to this post) it means taking a stand for myself. I sent the following "letter to the editor" to my local paper and it was not published, but instead of leaving it in their hands, I've decided to take action myself and started this blog. In upcoming posts I will share my journey with Lipedema in the hopes of helping others like me.
For most people losing weight involves eating healthier and exercising. While not everyone can do so easily, most can lose weight if they try. But what if you couldn’t? What if no matter how strong your will, how sincere your efforts, you couldn’t? What would you do?
Lipedema is a fat disorder primarily found in women, and while first diagnosed in the 1940’s at the Mayo Clinic, over 70 years later it is still grossly unknown and regularly misdiagnosed as obesity.
Around 11% of the female population has Lipedema, which equates to around 17 million women in the US, most of which probably don’t even know they have it. The harsh reality is that these women are being told they are just fat and they need to lose weight. Bariatric surgery seems to be the answer they are given, but sadly a Lipedema patient who undergoes weight loss surgery will lose weight almost entirely from the upper half of their body. It will not touch the Lipedema fat.
Luckily, people are starting to pay attention. The New York State Assembly recently introduced a bill to establish a grant program for all Lymphatic disease research (which includes Lipedema). We need to train our doctors to recognize and properly diagnose Lipedema, so we can ensure future generations take action to prevent the later stages of this disorder.
June was Lipedema Awareness Month so I am bringing this to your attention in the hopes that we can enlighten you dear readers and spread awareness. With greater awareness we can hopefully someday even find a cure.