#047: Breaking the Silence Around Lymphedema and Lipedema: Expert Advice from Jean LaMantia, RD and Cancer Nutrition Specialist


In this week's episode:



Lymphedema and lipedema are two conditions that often go misdiagnosed or overlooked, despite their potential to significantly impact a person's long-term health, especially women.

Our goal today is to break the silence and shed light on the physical and emotional challenges that women face when dealing with these conditions and to promote understanding within the broader community. These are so commonly missed, leading to delayed treatment and unnecessary anguish and unsuccessful chronic dieting in women.

One of the main reasons why these conditions often go misdiagnosed or overlooked is the lack of knowledge and specialization within the medical community. Medical training typically provides only a few minutes of education on the lymphatic system, leaving healthcare professionals ill-equipped to recognize and properly diagnose these conditions. And even today, there is a lack of research. 

Join us for this special conversation with Jean LaMantia, R.D., a cancer nutrition specialist, and an expert in nutritional support for the conditions of lymphedema and lipedema. One of her superpowers is digging into the research that does exist and making connections. Jean is a Registered Dietitian in Canada and the United States with more than 20 years’ experience helping people to achieve their nutrition goals and use food to fight cancer and cancer recurrence. She has researched and authored or co-authored three books on nutrition for cancer, lymphedema and intermittent fasting: the links for them are in the Show Notes for this episode here. 

Although they sound the same, they are very different, and women can up having both at the same time. In this episode, we will explore those differences, the challenges of misdiagnosis, the importance of advocating for proper treatment, the role of the lymphatic system, the benefits of an anti-inflammatory diet, and insights on intermittent fasting and its positive impact on lymphedema and lipedema.

This topic is one where women need to advocate for themselves! If you struggle to speak up or if you're discouraged on your journey to find support, listen to Episode #043.

Key Takeaways:

  • The lymphatic system plays a crucial role in moving fluid throughout the body, and its dysfunction can lead to conditions like lipedema.
  • Lymphedema and lipedema are often underrecognized or misdiagnosed, causing significant physical and emotional distress for patients.
  • The lack of specialized training and awareness among healthcare professionals contributes to the underdiagnosis and undertreatment of these conditions.
  • Seeking a diagnosis from a certified lymphedema therapist is a crucial first step in managing lymphedema and lipedema.
  • An anti-inflammatory diet can be beneficial for both lymphedema and lipedema, as inflammation is a common factor in these conditions. However, the interpretation of what the true anti-inflammatory diet is changes everything. 
  • Intermittent fasting, when done correctly, can support lymphatic health and help manage symptoms of lymphedema and lipedema.

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