Increase Liquids to Reduce Symptoms

Although the cause of lipedema still mystifies medical professionals, there has been great progress in managing symptoms of this chronic disease. Dr. Marcia V. Byrd at the Lipedema Surgery Center in Roswell, GA, recommends therapy, exercise, and liposuction to relieve symptoms, but she also encourages her patients to make dietary changes, which can provide relief from pain and inflammation. Dr. Karen Herbst, an endocrinologist and leading lipedema specialist has designed a simple, yet effective, diet for lipedema sufferers. The Rare Adipose Disorders Diet (RAD) recommends anti-inflammatory foods that are easy to digest. One pillar of this diet involves eating foods in liquid form, which allows the intestinal tract to rest and slows inflammation.

An Anti-Inflammatory Program of Eating

The diet is described in detail on the Lipedema Awareness & Support Website. Recommended liquid-based meals include soups, stews with minimal or no meat, protein shakes, and smoothies. Avoid processed foods or those with high-sugar content including honey and agave. And remember, alcohol is pure sugar and should not be added to your recipes. The RAD diet recommends limiting pasteurized milk products. Thankfully, there are a number of alternatives available in grocery stores.

Change is Good

If you have never experimented with soups and smoothies, it will be fun to research recipes and experiment with new ingredients. Dietary changes can make a big difference in the way you feel. Eating recipes loaded with fresh, organic ingredients will definitely have an energizing effect on you.

Let Google Help

Google can help you find a fabulous selection of smoothie and soup possibilities. Once you locate a recipe, check out the ingredients and compare them to the RAD diet guidelines. You can eliminate or modify the recipe if needed. Single servings usually fall under the guidelines for limiting the use of some ingredients on the RAD plan. Finding and trying new recipes can be a wonderful adventure; just be mindful of serving sizes. Super-sizing the servings can be counterproductive.

photo of a healthy pina colada smoothie in glassThe Smoothie Sensation

One site listed a yummy-looking pineapple drink. This recipe includes fresh ingredients that will fill you up and satisfy a sweet tooth:

Pina Colada Smoothie

Ingredients for 1 serving

  • 1 cup light plain yogurt
  • 1 cup fresh or canned pineapple cut into small chunks
  • 1 tsp. non-alcoholic coconut extract or coconut flavor
  • 1 cup crushed ice

To prepare this diet smoothie, put all the ingredients in a blender. Process on high speed until the ice is liquefied and the mix is smooth. Try to use fresh pineapple, as it has lower sugar content and no preservatives. If you don’t want to slice and clean a fresh pineapple, canned will be fine.

Soups Can Fill You Up

You can really get creative with soups. Every type of cuisine has a variety of soups to consider. One recipe looks good:

Asian Shrimp and Vegetable Soup

Ingredients for 6 servings

  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen large shrimp in shells
  • green onions
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces fresh shiitake or oyster mushrooms, stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 14 – ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup frozen shelled sweet edamame
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 1 cup trimmed sugar snap peas and/or coarsely shredded bok choy


  1. Thaw shrimp, if frozen. Peel and devein shrimp. Rinse shrimp; pat dry with paper towels. Set aside. Diagonally slice the whole green onions into 1-inch-long pieces, keeping white parts separate from green tops. Set green tops aside. In a large nonstick saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add white parts of the green onions, the carrot, and mushrooms; cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add ginger and garlic; cook and stir for 1 minute more.
  2. Add chicken broth, the water, soybeans, soy sauce, and, if desired, crushed red pepper to mushroom mixture. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 5 minutes or just until carrot is tender.
  3. Add shrimp and pea pods and/or bok choy. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp are opaque. Stir in green onion tops just before serving.

Vary Your Meals to Get Relief

Give your system a rest. Two or three days a week take a day off “heavy eating.” Try weaving in liquid type foods which include smoothies, protein shakes, applesauce, juiced vegetables, and fruits. Weight maintenance is important to reduce swelling and alleviate inflammation which can cause pain.

Dr. Marcia V. Byrd is a nationally-renowned lipedema expert. Individuals come from all around the country for consultation and treatment. If you have lipedema or think you have been misdiagnosed, call The Lipedema Surgery Center and make an appointment. Dr. Byrd is a caring doctor who wants to help you get the relief you need.

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