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Kim Kardashian Does not have Lipedema

As a physician who diagnoses and treats lipedema disease, I was very concerned and disappointed in the misunderstandings and incorrect information put forward in recent National Enquirer magazine story, “Kim’s bubble butt is going to Burst” (Source ). Not only does this article’s highly exaggerated title reflect a clickbait falsehood rooted in myth and misinformation, the many claims made by the article are also completely false and highly irresponsible.

First off, let’s begin with the highly unrealistic claim that the article makes: “Bottom heavy Kim Kardashian is battling an incurable butt disease that could lead to her lower limbs exploding in a bloated mass of fat.” This is wrong on a multitude of levels, as Lipedema does not cause Limbs to explode or really anything of the sort. Lipedema is a disease that effects fat accumulation, and it does often cause pain, heaviness and tenderness in the affected limbs. In fact, some lipedema patients – certainly not the majority – can be affected by lipedema and its complications to such an extent that the disease impacts their quality of life. However, not only do the majority of women only experience mild symptoms, lipedema has also never caused someone’s buttocks to explode or anything close to that preposterous claim.

The article does stop there with incredible claims, however. It goes on to say that “the bombshell diagnosis of revolutionary medical algorithm that analyzed the reality star’s voice discovered she is afflicted with a horrifying syndrome called lipedema…..”, this according to Sharry Edwards owner of Acoustic Biology (the company that developed this so-called lipedema sensing technology).  Once more, we are greeted by a falsehood in the highest degree.

There is, in fact, only one way to diagnose lipedema, and that is with a history and physical exam after ruling out alternative diseases which can cause similar signs and symptoms. Voice analysis is not an accepted way to diagnose any disease, to my knowledge, and certainly not an accepted way to diagnose lipedema. The diagnostic criteria for lipedema patients were developed by Wold and require a physical examination which would show characteristic changes in the fat under the skin. These changes depend on the stage of the lipedema. To learn more about the stages of lipedema click here []

The Truth About Lipedema Disease

Far from a bottom exploding disease, Lipedema is actually an adipose tissue disorder or fat storage disorder that causes fat to accumulate out of proportion on the legs and arms. Whereas the general population unaffected by lipedema gain weight more in the belly or abdomen and less on their legs and arms, lipedema patients gain the weight in an inverse fashion, with more growth on their legs and/or arms and less on their abdomen. Furthermore, contrary to what the aforementioned article would have readers believe, lipedema is a slowly progressive fat disorder that is only noticeable after puberty, and only slowly becomes more noticeable as the women grow older. This results in most diagnoses not occurring until late in life.

More information / Facts on Lipedema

Lipedema fat is relatively resistant to diet exercise, so women with lipedema who lose weight only experience that weight loss on their unaffected abdomens.  Early on most cases of lipedema does not cause much swelling, but, as it progresses, it can cause a good deal of swelling in the effected limbs. Lipedema fat can also affect mobility and it can lead to early arthritis in the knee and hips. This makes early lipedema treatment important before complications such as arthritis or significant swelling complications occur.

Lipedema accumulates in five characteristics areas that are divided into different types of lipedema. These are:

  • Type 1, which effects on the hips and buttocks causing a fat collection disproportionate from the rest of the body.
  • Type 2, which effects the buttocks, hips and thighs resulting in fat draping over the front of the thighs.
  • Type 3, which effects the buttock all the way to the ankles causing unusually large legs down to ankles.
  • Type 4, effects the arms,
  • And Type 5, which affects just the calves and ankles. This gives a specific look as though they had a pants cuff.

To learn more about the lipedema types and its treatment, contact us!