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Learning about Lipoedema: How Can Support Socks Help You Reduce Fat Cell Fluid

We have previously discussed the wide variety of conditions that can be treated and prevented with the use of support socks, and this week we take a look at a condition that many people may have, but do not realise it: lipoedema.

What is lipoedema?

The Daily Mail recently published an article about a woman named Alison who, try as she might, could never seem to shift the fat on her legs. Although she had tried many diets and lost a total of two stones over the course of her dieting regime, her legs remained the same size. She then discovered details of lipoedema, which is the abnormal placement of fat in various areas of the body. People suffering with the condition have a larger number of fat cells in the affected areas as opposed to those without the condition, and the weight is often evenly distributed.

How can you tell if you have it?

It has been said that up to 11% of the female population inherit this condition, although many do not realise that it is a medical issue and believe they simply cannot drop the weight. A recent survey conducted by Lipoedema UK found that less than 5% of those suffering with the condition were actually diagnosed. The condition usually manifests itself during puberty or after pregnancy, which suggests it is triggered by a change in the balance of hormones. Unfortunately, those who are left undiagnosed find themselves desperately trying to lose weight, however regardless of how much a person diets, it cannot reduce the number of fat cells. Many confuse the condition with lymphoedema, which attacks the lymphatic system causing swelling in arms and legs, however a way to tell the two conditions apart is the ‘ankle bracelet’ effect left by lipoedema. This is a line across the ankle where the fat collects and leaves off before it reaches the feet.

Oroblu What can be done?

Unfortunately, little is known about what causes lipoedema and there are no physical tests to diagnose it, so it is case of ruling other conditions out until lipoedema is the only one left. The soft skin on the legs can be treated through draining the fluid inside, which should be done every few months to keep the symptoms at bay. However, support socks and other types of support hosiery have been proven to have a marked effect. Lipoedema patients often suffer with aches and pains in their joints, which can be suitably relieved using support socks. Moreover, support socks can be used to reduce the amount of fluid within fat cells, making it both a preventative tool, as well as one for pain relief.

Here at The Leg-Care Company, we have a wide range of support socks at a variety of pressure levels, to help with all manner of conditions. Some of our most popular brands include:

Sigvaris – these support socks are perfect for many conditions and remain fashionable so they can be worn both out and about and at home.
Oroblu – with a range of graduated compression levels, Oroblu has become one of the most well known names in support stockings, with great styles to suit everyone.
Medilast – Medilast maintain excellent relationships with the medical and pharmaceutical communities to offer top quality products for a range of conditions, all at excellent prices.

If you are suffering from aches and pains, or if you feel you may be suffering from lipoedema, then support socks could help you find relief. Be sure to speak with your GP before trying any compression garments in order to stay safe and use them effectively.

Susie Thickpenny

6th November, 2014