Weight gain in Lipoedema
Weight gain in lipoedema
As well as changes in ‘lipoedema fat’, generalised weight gain does affect many women with lipoedema who can find it difficult to lose weight. Lipoedema is not necessarily progressive but will worsen when someone gains weight (Bertsch and Erbacher, 2020). Grigoriadis et al (2021) have identified that further work is required to explore the possible genetic influences on weight and generalised body fat in lipoedema. When they do lose weight, most women with lipoedema find that the disproportionate lipoedema shape becomes more obvious. Some women who exercise and build muscle mass may also increase their weight accordingly.
A UK survey of 190 women with lipoedema (Alsop and Smith 2019) showed that 25% had seen a dietician although 80% of these did not find this helpful. Over 45 different diets had been followed by respondents, with disordered eating patterns 3.1 times more likely than in the normative population of women.
Support with healthy weight management is key; stress and psychological conditions may influence motivation, and some women may wish referral to specialist support. At Talk Lipoedema, we understand that short term ‘yo-yo’ dieting will be ineffectual and we recognise the importance of eating to reduce inflammation in lipoedema. Our focus is on supporting women to make health choices around food and physical activity as part of an individualised and person-centred approach to self-management of lipoedema.