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Maybe I should reconsider judging the book by the cover!

Happy Feet Pedorthics attended Lymphoedema conference recently. A 70 year old grandmother gave the first presentation, setting the tone for the program. The speaker, by the end of the talk was outwardly emotional. She had shared her story and shown pictures of herself – “her fat legs” – in her bathers. Her motivation was that for her grandchildren and beyond that there be increased knowledge, understanding, and diagnoses within the medical profession of her condition.

Her condition Lipoedema, not lymphoedema, not odema, not obesity! So from Happy Feet Pedorthics to the world let’s look inside the book!


  • also known as Painful Fat Syndrome
  • affects 5-15% of the population – mostly female
  • mainly affects the legs which appear heavy, swollen, shapeless and can be painful to the touch.

  • the accumulation of excessive amounts of protein-rich fluid resulting in swelling of one or more regions of the body
  • due to a mechanical failure of the lymphatic system and occurs when the demand for lymphatic drainage exceeds the capacity of the lymphatic circulation
  • usually affects the limb(s) although it may also involve the trunk, breast, head and neck or genital area.

  • accumulation of excess tissue fluid in distal limb tissues
  • associated with e.g. local inflammation/infection, abnormallymphatic drainage, abdominal mass or cardiac/lung/renal dysfunction

  • a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have a negative effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems.
  • increases the likelihood of various diseases, particularly heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, certain types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.
  • most commonly caused by a combination of excessive food energy intake, lack of physical activity, and genetic susceptibility
  • a few cases are caused primarily by genes, endocrine disorders, medications, or psychiatric illness
  • Dieting and exercising are the main treatments for obesity. or surgery may be performed to reduce stomach volume and/or bowel length, leading to feeling full earlier and a reduced ability to absorb nutrients from food.
  • Obesity is a leading preventable cause of death worldwide, with increasing rates in adults and children.
Judging the book by the cover

So what does knowledge give but understanding. At Happy Feet Pedorthics what does understanding do but inform and enable us to complete a thorough assessment and fitting, make a pedorthic footwear recommendation and where required work very closely with the client and the members of their allied health team for improved health outcomes, including Happy Feet.

Clare Nelson

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