Giving Smarter Guide: Lipedema
Lipedema is a chronic condition that occurs almost exclusively in women and manifests as symmetrical buildup of painful fat and swelling in the limbs, sparing the hands and feet. A critical issue is the poorly understood disease biology, which for diagnosed patients results in limited treatment options that, at best, ameliorate the symptoms of lipedema. Individuals who suffer from the disease are further impacted by the absence of diagnostic tools, the lack of public and medical awareness of lipedema, and the stigma associated with weight gain. As a result, the true number of women with lipedema, or its epidemiology, is unknown.
Braving these challenges is an active, numerous, and engaged patient community eager to participate in lipedema research. Supported by equally devoted caregivers and researchers, the lipedema field presents an immense opportunity for scientific and medical advancements. To capitalize on this potential, the Lipedema Foundation and the Milken Institute’s Center for Strategic Philanthropy convened leading stakeholders to discuss the current state of lipedema science and identify the key philanthropic research opportunities to advance the field.