« Am I going to pass lipedema to my children? »
Lipedema is a disease that touches nearly exclusively women and whose impact can be very heavy, physically or mentally. It is therefore perfectly natural that its diagnosis raises important concerns for the patient, and particularly on its hereditary character.
A little reminder
Lipedema is a degenerative and chronic disease. Even though there is no scientific consensus on the percent of afflicted population, it is generally accepted that it is around 10%. It is still under diagnosed and often confused with obesity.
Is is possible to transmit it to your children ?
That question is more complicated than it first appears to be. To really answer it, we must consider the causes of the disease, which are also the object of animated debates in the scientific community. It is generally admitted that the origin is multifactorial, and is the result of the sum of different characters rather than of one single cause. The hormonal factor seems to have an important role to play, as lipedema is generally triggered at puberty, but can also happens during a pregnancy or the menopause.
It also touches, as we have seen, nearly exclusively women, which tends to reinforce the importance of that hormonal factor. Some veinous or lymphatic issues can also lead to the disease. Apart from these factors, scientists typically agree on the hypothesis of the « polygenic susceptibility » : in other words, several genes will meet and and form a genetic predisposition to the disease.
A genetic predisposition
If genes are implicated, it seems thus possible that, if you’re afflicted by it, you may pass it to your daughters or your grand-daughters. However, studies on this hereditary character greatly vary, with familial predisposition orders going from 16% to 64%. So, don’t worry : the transmission is not systematic, and it is entirely possible that your children never develop the disease. Studies are still ongoing on this matter, and we should have more information on the years to come.
In any case, don’t forget that lipedema is getting better and better diagnosed, and that many therapies are available. As a reminder, apart from compression bands and pressotherapy (link), surgery is recommended in many cases. As we have seen in another article, there is no minimum age required to go through an operation (link). If your daughters develop lipedema, they can be efficiently treated.