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All About Lipoedema With Katie Angwin

Are you one of the 11% of Australian women suffering from this condition?

For years Katie Angwin didn't understand why her legs appeared and felt so different to the rest of her body. Earlier this year she finally received some answers. She was diagnosed with a condition that you may have never heard of, called Lipoedema.

What is Lipoedema?

Not to be confused with the more commonly known Lymphodema, Lipoedema is considered to be a genetic condition. It causes fat cells to pool within specific areas of the body, from the hips to the ankles and in the arms.

Lipoedema often arises due to female hormonal changes in the body such as puberty, pregnancy or menopause. As well as after traumatic events. Lipoedema also tends to be more prevalent if earlier generations of your family have Lipoedema. 

Unfortunately, Lipoedema is a life threatening condition that affects 1.3 million women in Australia. If untreated, it can cause mobility loss, extreme pain, depression and infection. So, it is important to raise awareness of this health condition to encourage early diagnosis for Australian women. 

Lipoedema Australia ambassador, Katie Angwin, shared with us her story of discovery. Now this condition has given her renewed energy to bring awareness of it to more Australians.

What are some Lipoedema symptoms?

“I was fortunate to discover I had Lipoedema in its early stages–the earlier it’s discovered, the better the prognosis” Katie explained.

“Symptoms can include bilaterally enlarged legs that look bigger in comparison to the rest of your body. Feet and hands are exempt from the condition, so it can form what they call a bracelet affect. Legs and arms can be painful to touch and can bruise easily” Katie describes.

Other common Lipoedema symptoms include:

  • Affected areas feel soft, spongy and cool
  • Skin may look ‘dimply’ in appearance
  • Affected areas bruise easily
  • Affected areas may have varicose or spider veins
  • Affected areas may be sensitive to touch or pressure
  • Affected areas feel uncomfortable and may hurt due to swelling
  • Loss of skin elasticity

How do you know if you have Lipoedema?

Katie shared some good advice if anyone thinks they may have the condition. “Go to the Lipoedema Australia website, read the factsheet. If symptoms match, print it out and present it to your GP. Lipoedema Australia will also be able to recommend a specialist in your area”. 

If you recognise you may have some of the symptoms associated with Lipoedema, it is important to seek medical support as soon as possible. Whilst it may be a bit scary to go to the doctors and discuss a diagnosis, early prevention can help with the treatment and management of this health condition. So, it’s important to seek assistance as soon as you notice these changes or common symptoms in your body.

How to treat Lipoedema?

Katie explains the ways she deals with her symptoms is with “massage, diet, exercise and wearing Active Truth compression tights!”.

Massages

Who doesn’t love a massage? But they are perfect for those with Lipoedema as it can help to improve your mobility and move fluid build-up from the affected areas. In particular, lymphatic massages can help with drainage of the fluid in the body. Other at-home massage methods include a roller and self-massager to assist with treating symptoms.

Healthy Diet

Sticking to a healthy diet also helps with treating Lipoedema as it aims to reduce non-lipoedemic fat in the body whilst reducing inflammation. Particualrly anti-inflammatory foods such as berries, fish, avocadoes, mushrooms, grapes and tomatoes work well for reducing the inflammation caused by swelling.

Exercise

Consistent low-impact exercise is also important for women with Lipoedema as it helps to increase blood circulation and mobility. This could include activities such as yoga, walking or swimming.

Compression therapy

Compression tights and compression therapy put a very slight pressure on the skin and the Lipoedema tissues which can improve the movement of blood, particularly in the leg veins. It can also help to reduce fluid from leaking into the tissue and reduces inflammation in the legs. This is a common form of everyday treatment for people with Lipoedema.

At Active Truth, our compression tights are popular for women with Lipoedema as they help with compression therapy whilst also featuring a flattering fit, stylish design and fun colours!

Our compression tight range also offers inclusive sizing for every body from a size 8 up to 26 with petite and tall ranges. So you can find your perfect fit! On top of this, we also have maternity compression leggings in pregnancy and postnatal styles for women who have Lipoedema throughout their motherhood journey.

Other forms of Lipoedema treatment can be very expensive and not easily accessible.

Seek support

Katie also recommends “those with Lipoedema can join a closed Facebook group. It provides helpful support, information about local meet-ups and recommendations”.

When going through the diagnosis of a new health condition, having people to talk to who have gone through the same experience and have tips and tricks for treatment can be so valuable.

 

June is Lipoedema Awareness Month. At Active Truth, we want to show our support in generating awareness of the condition that affects 11% of Australian women.

 

If you have any concerns, then head to lipoedemaaustralia.com.au to find out more information.

Help us spread the word and bring greater awareness of this disease to Australian women.

Nadia and Stevie x

 

Reviews of our compression tights from women with Lipoedema

Many women with Lipoedema wear compression garments to help reduce fluid collection, and support vascular function and lymphatic drainage.

"Love My Tights
I have Lipoedema and Lymphoedema and these tights are well made and so supportive with their high waist band and overall compression on my legs."
- Jennifer T

"Amazing product!!
I can’t possibly be happier with my Active Truth - Training Pocket Full Length Tights. They are so comfortable and as a plus sized woman with Lipoedema , it’s great to feel confident and secure."
- Natalie T

"Comfortable and they stay put
The tights stay in place. No rolling down at the waist and no bunching around knees. I bought them because I have Stage 1 lipoedema and I can wear them like anyone else wearing active wear when out and about. Can wear all day with no issues."
- Robyn H

"Couldn’t be happier - pregnant mamma with Lipoedema
I’m in my third trimester of my second pregnancy and being an overweight pregnant woman who suffers with Lipoedema, finding compression stockings that fit me had been impossible until now. Not only do they fit, they are comfortable, supportive and look and feel great. Bonus… they are a reasonable price for the fantastic quality that they are!! I already told/showed all the staff at the OB’s office, who were tirelessly trying to help me find something that would both fit and support me." 
- Natalie T 


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