Anyone close to me will know I’ve had a bit of a moan lately about women’s lot. Many of us of a certain age watched Davina McCall’s “Sex, Myths and the Menopause” last week and from the comments I’ve seen on social media women are incensed. For fifty percent of the human population to go through so much anguish and struggle as they get older and often without proper acknowledgment or care for their symptoms is nothing short of barbaric.
Ignorance is one thing – but then the lack of funding, means of supporting them is just wrong.
So, I’ve slowly seethed since watching the first of McCall’s programs on the subject earlier this year.
Added to this is my reasonably recent awareness of the mainly female disease called Lipoedema. For those who haven’t heard of lipoedema, you are not alone. In fact, vast numbers of the medical profession are unaware of it too, despite 11% – yes, approximately one in 10 women suffering from the effects of the disease.
It is a condition which mainly affects women and is believed to be triggered at times of hormone changes, so puberty, pregnancy and menopause.
Lipoedema is a chronic medical condition characterized by a symmetric buildup of fat in the legs and arms. It may cause pain and swelling and can be identified by an unusual texture within the fat that can feel like bumpy nodules under the skin. Common symptoms include fatigue, muscular pain, or easy bruising.
It is not currently medically treatable or curable and at present surgery seems the only way to have a chance of permanently removing the diseased cells. The surgery is not available on the NHS and NICE have discouraged surgery in the U.K. pending the outcome of research being conducted in Germany. Very little is still known about it, despite its discovery in the 1940s.
To the lipoedema sufferer this is immense. Many won’t even know they have it until they see something in the internet or a friend tells them about it. It has received next to nothing by way of media attention- despite 11% of at least 50% of the population suffering from this disfiguring, debilitating, shame-causing disease. Those who are unaware are bewildered and often depressed after trying every diet there is. They often depend on social media support to know what to do and how to help themselves. They have often tolerated shaming and humiliation by family and members of the public and even their own GPs who only see fat: the cause often judged to be caused by laziness and gluttony.
Let’s be clear- lipoedema is not discerning. It doesn’t select who it inhabits because of lifestyle or diet choice. There are women who run marathons and eat a clean diet but develop lipoedema after childbirth or at menopause. It is believed to be hereditary.
Lipoedema symptoms include:
- Excess weight on legs and sometimes arms,
- Heaviness and discomfort, often painful of the legs
- The upper body and lower body are disproportionate making clothes shopping difficult
- A small waist, but large hips and thighs
- Excess weight does not include feet or hands
- Weight can be lost from the upper body but not the lower
- The affected areas bruise easily
So, the message I’m sending in this blog is twofold: let’s create awareness and push for a better deal for those who suffer through no fault of their own AND quit the judgement. Give the fog-brained forty/fifty year old some space – she has earned her right to be heard, she knows her stuff and she’s a warrior just getting through her day sometimes.
And, don’t judge a fat person. It could easily be you. If it is you,
enjoy this beautiful poem by Rachel Toll which accompanies her painting above (https://www.facebook.com/WatercolorsByRachel)
Three good friends went for a swim.
The one who was fat wished she was thin.
The one who was curvy wished she was clever.
The one who was clever wished she swam better.
The really great swimmer wished she was witty.
The one who was witty wished she was pretty.
All three friends thought the other two were just fine.
If only they could let their own bright light shine.
So throw on your swimsuit if you’re fat or you’re thin.
Enjoy fun and friendship …. love the skin that you’re in!
You can learn more about lipoedema on https://www.lipoedema.co.uk/
Sue at Cardiff Hypnotherapy Solutions https://cardiffhypnotherapysolutions.co.uk/lipoedema/ m:07795964066 can offer hypnotherapy to help cope with the emotional fall out from receiving a positive diagnosis and manage the effects and symptoms. If you’re looking for a way to overcome and manage emotional eating, get in touch.