History

Graphical representation let suggest,
that lipedema already occurred 5,000 years ago.

A short historical review

The word lipoedema comes from ancient Greek and means “fat swelling”, composed of the words lípos “fat” and oídēma , “swelling”. It is incorrectly referred to in colloquial language as “riding breeches obesity” or “riding breeches syndrome”. The term lipohyperplasia dolorosa (painful overgrowth of fatty tissue) is more appropriate.

The first description was in 1940 by the two physicians Edgar Van Nuys Allen and Edgar Alphonso Hines Jr. , who described the clinical picture as lipoedema. For this reason, the term Allen-Hines syndrome is sometimes also used for lipoedema.

The classic symptoms of lipedema were first described in 1951 by Wold et al. described and are still valid today.

However, the first graphic representations are much older. A 5,000-year-old statue of the Great Goddess in the Hal Tarxien Temple in Malta shows changes in the lower legs typical of lipedema (see image above).

An Egyptian relief that is more than 3,500 years old shows the Queen of Punt at the temple of Hatshepsut (approx. 1479 to 1458 BC) with the typical changes of a pronounced lipoedema.