Arm Yourself Against Upper Body Lipedema Difficulties


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While lipedema is most characteristically known to affect the lower region of the body – and most exclusively in women – it can also affect the arms, specifically in the fatty area of the upper arms.  Here’s how to successfully manage lipedema progression that sometimes settles in this lesser common area.

Just like in the legs, when lipedema strikes the arms, the hands are often left completely unaffected by the disproportionate distribution of fat.  If left untreated, lipedema in the arms can lead to potential vascular and lymphatic complications. This summer, you’ve got the right to bare arms with these tried-and-true tips to help keep the fat deposition disorder under control in the upper body region.  

  • Diet and Exercise

Pile your plate with loads of fresh fruits, crisp veggies, lean protein picks, and other anti-inflammatory foods, such as fish, nuts, and avocados.  Stay hydrated by guzzling 8-10 glasses of water each day.  If plain water is just too hard to swallow, infuse a pitcher full of cold water with fresh slices of cucumber, juicy strawberries, and a bit of mint and refrigerate it for a refreshing twist on H2O.  Also, be sure to get your steps in each day by taking strolls and moving your body as much as possible.  Try incorporating light strength training into your exercise routine, such as bicep curls using 5-10 lb. dumbbells.  Resistance bands are also a great way to sneak in strength training and you can literally pack them in your purse!   

  • Compression Therapy

Getting properly fitted for compression garments is not just a lower body lipedema treatment to-do, especially in the beginning stages of the disorder.  If you’re experiencing an adverse accumulation of fatty buildup around the biceps and triceps, it’s imperative you get fitted for compression garments to help reduce swelling, tenderness, and pain in this upper region.  Just be sure to wear your compression garments for at least 12 hours each day.  

  • Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Manual lymphatic drainage is a specific form of gentle massage that effectively encourages lymphatic fluid flow, which significantly reduces swelling and subsequent pain and tenderness. This is a great way to get things flowing freely, while making you feel relaxed and revitalized.  And, who couldn’t use more of that?

  • Liposuction

Just like treating lipedema in the lower body, using surgical intervention prevents progression, mitigates pain, and restores quality of life in the upper body as well.  Lymphatic Sparing Liposuction is a game-changing technique where a pressurized stream of saline solution helps effectively dislodge stubborn, hardened, and accumulated fat buildup.  The least talked about form of liposuction – in the arm area – uses the same water-assisted method.  Some patients may need or require brachioplasty (removal of excess, loose skin) if their skin’s elasticity has been compromised following liposuction surgery.  At Total Lipedema Care, this is known as Lymphatic Sparing Arm Lift.  

While many women living with lipedema only experience its debilitating effects in their legs and abdomen, there are cases when the arms also become embattled with the disproportionate accumulation of adipose tissue.  It’s crucial to take the above simple steps to help slow the disorder from advancing to the latter stages.

To learn more, please contact our Beverly Hills, California office to schedule a consultation with any of our highly trained specialists.