"Exercise in combination with a healthy diet is the cornerstone of treatment for people with fat disorders” says Dr. Karen Herbst.

Since 70% of the body's lymphatic system is in the gut, finding the nutrition plan or “diet” that works to reduce inflammation is vital.  Fat disorder experts emphasize the value of anti-inflammatory foods in both managing the discomfort associated with lipedema and Dercum’s disease and maintaining a healthy weight and energy level. A traditional western diet is thought to lead to excessive accumulation of white adipose tissue and the potential for increasing endotoxins and inflammation.  Some patients who reduced their intake of simple sugars, dairy, meat, and gluten, and increased their intake of green leafy vegetables, colorful fruits, and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids (e.g. salmon, walnuts, flaxseed oil), have reported higher energy levels, reduced inflammation, and better responses to exercise and pain management overall.

For people who are prone to retaining fluid through edema, lipedema, or lymphedema, DO NOT GIVE UP if the improvements from your new diet aren't immediately obvious. It may take SEVERAL MONTHS of being reasonably strict with your diet and exercise before you begin to feel the effects.

Patients have reported improvements including:

·       less pain

·       less inflammation

·       more mobility

·       less fatigue

·       less weight


The most comprehensive book on nutrition addressing lipedema and lymphedema:  Lymphedema and Lipedema Nutrition Guide: foods, vitamins, minerals, and supplements.  by Chuck Ehrlich, Emily Iker, MD, Karen Louise Herbst, PhD, MD, Linda-Anne Kahn. CMT, CLT-LANA, Dorothy D. Sears, PhD, Mandy Kenyon, MS, RD, CSSD, and Elizabeth McMahon, PhD