The Fat That's Not Your Fault

Lipedema is a fat disorder that affects 11 percent of all women. One in 10 women struggles with this disorder, which causes fat to abnormally distribute in areas of the body like the abdomen, buttocks, hips, legs, and occasionally the arms.

For reasons not yet known, fat becomes irregularly distributed beneath the skin in the aforementioned areas, most commonly in the legs, and is associated with tissue swelling and inflammation. While rare cases have been seen in men, it’s almost exclusively found in women (99%). Research reveals there may be a genetic component to the disease as cases are found in families across generations of women.

Dr. Lindy McHutchison, M.D., an OB-GYN, a vein and lymphatic specialist, founder of The Lipedema Center and medical director of the Carolina Vein Center in Durham, is on a mission to educate the public about this often under-diagnosed and unfamiliar condition. While there is still much to discover about lipedema's cause and a potential cure, McHutchison is empowering and managing patients for this painful fat syndrome called lipedema — the fat that is not their fault.