The effect of diet on improving lipoedema symptoms.





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European Society of Lymphology



Peer reviewed


Title: The effect of diet on improving lipoedema symptoms. Yannan Jin1*,Sharie Fetzer2, Mary Warrilow2, Rawdha Benzine1, Louise Dunford3 1 Leicester School of Allied Health Sciences, De Montfort University 2 Lipoedema UK 3 Warwick Medical School, the University of Warwick Objectives Lipoedema is a chronic fat disorder involving an excessive abnormal deposition of subcutaneous fat in the thighs, legs, hips and buttocks mainly (Wounds UK, 2017). The importance of healthy eating in lipoedema management has been recognised (Wounds UK, 2017), yet dietary guidelines specific for lipoedema are lacking (Bertsch et al., 2020). The study aimed to investigate the self-reported dietary effect on improving lipoedema symptoms among a representative lipoedema population in the UK. Study methods The study used an online questionnaire that consisted of multiple-choice and open-response questions to collect data on symptoms and diagnostic status of lipoedema and self-reported dietary and lifestyle impact on lipoedema management among participants. The questionnaire was developed using the Survey Monkey software. An active online survey link was sent to Lipoedema UK’s members and contacts via e-mail and also made accessible via the study flyer advertised on Lipoedema UK’s website and newsletters. Ethical approval was obtained from the De Montfort University Faculty Research Ethics Committee of Health and Life Sciences prior to the study. Participants had given their consents before starting the survey. Data collection was anonymous. Data were analysed using SPSS v26.0. Results Out of 165 participants who had used diets for improving their lipoedema symptoms, 52% (86 participants) experienced positive effects. Anti-inflammatory (AI) and ketogenic diets were reported to be the most effective diets that improved lipoedema symptoms (either single or multiple). Notably, AI diet appeared to alleviate more lipoedema symptoms compared to ketogenic diet, including heavy and painful legs, thick swollen legs, tiredness and lack of energy, difficulty in losing weight, anxiety and cold skin, whereas the latter only influenced the most on painful legs and tiredness and lack of energy. The positive effects of each diet lasted for 4-6 months on average, among those who experienced them. Conclusion The study results will help inform the development of future research on finding a dietary solution to effective lipoedema management for the UK lipoedema population. Fund source De Montfort University funded the recruitment of a Research Assistant to support part of the data analysis work.



Lipodema symptoms, diet


Jin. Y., Fetzer, S., Warrilow, M., Benzine, R. and Dunford, L. (2023). The effect of diet on improving lipoedema symptoms. European Journal of Lymphology.


Research Institute