Are you kicking yourself about being pear-shaped?  Annoyed that you can’t seem to shift that extra weight on the tops of your legs and thighs, and have trouble finding jeans and trousers that fit, let alone flatter?

Well, stop beating yourself up and don’t worry about punishing yourself with another diet or even a ‘target those difficult areas’ workout, because it might not be anything you’re doing that’s causing the extra weight – it could be a little-known condition called lipoedema.

If you’re prone to lipoedema it will probably start to show itself around the time you hit puberty, when the female hormones start to circulate. It’s easily missed; so many women are naturally pear-shaped and teenage girls are told ‘you’ll grow out of it’ or ‘it’s puppy fat’

The trouble with the medical profession being so obsessed with weight loss and obesity, and the media being convinced that the only reason people ( especially women) are bigger than society tells them they should be is that they can’t stop eating chips, is that a real medical condition like lipoedema is easily missed and put down to eating too much. So there are many women not being taken seriously when they notice an extra layer of hard, uncomfortable fat building up on their thighs and hips. No amount of anti-cellulite cream will help; it might make your skin smell nice but this is a medical condition and not just vanity.

The worst thing about lipoedema being ignored by the medical profession is that if it’s left untreated it can get worse and in time develop into lymphoedema which is a really hard condition to manage.  If you think that your exaggerated pear shape might be down to more than inactivity or too many biscuits, and you notice symptoms like:

  • Large lower limbs which are similar in shape and size on both sides.
  • A very distinctive pad of fat below the knees and sometimes on the thighs (like a ‘saddle bag’)
  • Thighs, hips and buttocks which are larger than the rest of the upper body
  • Loose, ‘floppy’ tissue on the thighs which is tender or painful to touch.
  • Easy bruising
  • Skin that feels cold to touch and looks pale,

you might have lipoedema. For advice and help on diagnosis, lifestyle tips and more, and to connect with other women who have the condition, go to Lipoedema Ladies and…stop blaming yourself!

 (image via