So, the question ‘why are my legs so fat but I’m skinny’ pops up every now and then, I’ve decided to take out time to answer it today.
Why Are My Legs So Fat But I’m Skinny…?
Have you ever seen a skinny person with very fat legs? I have and frankly, I thought it was quite abnormal. To confirm my fears, a little while later, an expert diagnosed the victim of a very rare disease.
According to her account, she visited several healthcare practitioners all to no avail. One of them even wrongly diagnosed her of ‘varicose veins’.
Despite working out in the gym for hours and losing calories, it was only her waist upwards that became skinny that her bones were almost obvious. The story was the exact opposite for her legs – they looked like they belonged to someone else who was triple her weight!
Yes, she was skinny fat.
The psychological effect of this was hiding – she hid her legs all this time. She couldn’t sport dresses or skirts and almost got depressed. However, when she opened up to me, I took her to my doctor and she was diagnosed with a condition known as lipoedema.
So, today, I’ll be trying to I’ll be talking about this fat legs syndrome called lipedema and how to lose weight with lipedema. Let’s begin.
What is Lipoedema?
To best understand why your legs are getting so fat, you need to know what the condition is all about.
Lipoedema is a disease that is also known as ‘painful fat syndrome’. It affects the ankles, thighs, knees, and shins and causes a great deal of pain that can hardly be stopped by regular painkillers or other means. The sort of pain wasn’t even curable by the hugely respected CBD gel or oil.
The condition was first brought to the fur by medical research giant, Mayo Clinic in 1940. The disease was described as a condition where the fat cells in the legs grow abnormally.
This abnormal growth leads to blockage in the lymphatic system and veins, reducing the efficiency at which fluids are drained out. This leads to bloating of the limbs, hence lymphedema.
When this happens, the overgrown cells can press upon the nerves, leading to discomfort and pains associated with the illness.
So, how to get rid of tree trunk legs aka lipodema?
Is There A Cure For Lipoedema?
As a matter of bluntness – NO. There is no cure for lipoedema. That is a big issue. It is a very rare disease and even some medical professionals don’t know of it. Yes, lipoedema is a fat issue, but it is not a regular kind of fat. That is why exercise or any other fat-eliminating regimen doesn’t work on it.
However, lipoedema can be removed by surgery (liposuction), where all the abnormal fat cells are eliminated from the legs.
A lipedema specialist who will take care not to damage the lymphatic tissues and veins that are already affected by the disease must do this surgery.
An expert is also needed because if all the lipoedema cells are not completely removed from the affected area, there is a tendency of them growing back and causing further damage.
Despite not having a cure, lipoedema can be managed using compression garments, MLD (Manual Lymphatic Drainage), and light exercises because any high-intensity exercise will only aggravate the condition.
Generally, women suffer more from lipoedema, and other times, it is genetically inherited. It progresses in different stages, spreading to other areas of the body including the arms.
When there is a hormonal alteration, like when a woman becomes pregnant, hits puberty, menopause or become obese. Actually, it is more common with obese women and the disease factor can be traced to obesity.
Stages of Lipoedema
Lipoedema is a complex disease that progresses in four different stages as it spreads from the legs across to other parts of the arms. It is also of five different types.
Type 1 affects the buttocks, type 2 affects the buttocks, thighs (not to be confused with thigh fat), and hips, type 3 affects the hips, calves, and thighs, type 4 affects the arms while type 5 affects the calves – see photo.
Pictures of lipedema
The photo below shows the four progressive stages of lipoedema.
Not sure if your case is Lipoedema?
Could it be possible that you just have thick legs compared to your body? Or is it a case of the initial stages of lipoedema?
Here are some of the symptoms of the disease so you know exactly where you stand and what your next action should be.
- Easily bruised legs
- Heavy feeling in the legs
- Leg pains
- Legs are hyper-sensitive especially to touch
- Very cold skin on the legs
- Light and transparent leg skin on the legs
- Reduced elasticity in the legs
- Cankles, disproportionate legs (relative to the body) especially knees and ankles,
- Hypothyroidism or other thyroid problems
- Body deficiency of magnesium, iron, vitamin B12, and D
What Is The Treatment Or Management Of This Condition?
Unfortunately, lipoedema doesn’t have a cure yet. However, below are a few things you can do to manage the disease and live your life to the fullest.
- Manual Lymphatic Drainage, gua-sha, trampolines, dry-brushing, vibration – you name any activity that can move fluids or blood in the body.
- Light exercises like cycling, walking and swimming. Swimming is particularly recommended because it is a form of natural compression on the affected parts of the skin and body. However, you should stay away from heavy or high-impact exercises, as they will only make the condition worse.
- There are also supplements that help manage the rate at which this disease spreads throughout the body.
- Paleo and Keto diets have also been said to help manage this condition although there is no medical research to back this statement.
- Liposuction – the act of removal of the abnormal fat cells from the body via surgery.
If you have legs that are fat and disproportionate to your skinny body, chances are that you have lipoedema.
Most women have been affected psychologically by lipoedema and they keep wondering where they got it wrong. Doing a quick search on Google would lead to more confusion as there would be hundreds of articles all spewing different ideas.
You may probably think the reason you’re skinny but your leg is fat is because you do not exercise enough or is being too lazy. You may be recommended to see a nutritionist (those who may think you aren’t eating well) but the worst is going with misinformation from a doctor – you might suffer more depression, anxiety, or even dysmorphia (seeing your condition worse than it actually is).
I advise that you see a qualified doctor because most doctors don’t even know about the existence of this disease. The disease is in stages and the earlier you diagnose it, the better. Yet, I will recommend liposuction as it is the only way you can lead a normal life if you have been afflicted with the disease.