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December 2021

Welcome to issue #2 of Lipoedema Matters, a monthly newsletter created by Lipoedema Surgical Solution and Dr Chris Lekich.  

Living with Lipoedema series - Sisyphus 
Elise Miller
@artfromelise https://ko-fi.com/artfromelise
Some days it's like carrying a large rock, others it's like a giant bolder on an uphill slope that can barely be held back, but oh the strength Lipoedema women have, display, we are mighty.

Chatting with Lipoedema Warrior Justine Turner


Justine is a fifty-two-year-old patient from Queensland, who says the purpose of sharing her story is to raise awareness and possibly help someone else. Justine says she struggled with her weight for most of her adult life, and eventually became unable to deal with the painful swelling in her legs.  “The heaviness and aching was unbearable, including while trying to sleep” she says.  

Justine says she now feels as though she has her life back, with a happiness she hadn’t felt for many years.  “I can finally do the things I love, without the constant pain and swelling stopping me” she says.  Following her diagnosis, Justine wore flat knit compression full time for one year as part of her conservative management, she says it made her feel trapped, like her body belonged to Lipoedema.  Now however, it does not have to determine her life.  “It’s so wonderful to feel so happy, and I’m looking forward to enjoying this Summer.  My happy place has always been by the ocean and now I’m back!” Justine says.
Read Full Case Study

Practitioner Profile: Kimmi Katte

Clinical Nutritionist, Fierce Advocate for Women With Lipoedema, Lymphoedema and Lipo-lymphoedema, Nutrition Coach


A Lipoedema-friendly, low inflammation diet is a crucial aspect of conservative management for women with Lipoedema.  This month we chatted with clinical nutritionist Kimmi Katte about her top tips for nourishment, as well as her own experience with the condition.

LSS: When did you first learn about Lipoedema and begin to treat patients who suffer from the condition?
Kimmi:
I first learned about Lipoedema at the end of a Lymphoedema appointment where I was getting a confirmation diagnosis of Lymphoedema – the specialist said “oh, and you have Lipoedema as well … stage two”. I don’t remember very much more about that appointment – I just tried to get my clothes back on without crying so I could get the bill paid and get out of there for a decent cry in my car. I didn’t know what Lipoedema was, but I knew enough about how to break down the medical term for it, and I knew I didn’t want it! I was 44, and that was 12 years ago. I was oh so upset about this diagnosis, and in fact didn’t tell anybody for a long time about it, but I did search high and low for a nutritionist or naturopath who might be able to help me with food – I knew (and still know) without a shadow of a doubt that food was going to be a major factor in the way my body showed up so I decided to complete a Nutritional Medicine qualification. I couldn’t find anybody who had even heard of Lipoedema, so I decided to be the person I was looking for so that I could help myself and help others. Every single class and assignment had me laser focused on anything that might help the lymphatics and connective tissue – I mean it, I literally spent hundreds of hours outside of lectures and assignments running down elaborate rabbit holes looking for ANYTHING that looked like it might remotely help me to understand and manage these conditions.

I began coaching clients with a ketogenic diet and this gradually evolved into developing an 8-week program on helping people with Lipoedema and Lymphoedema on how to use a modified version of keto. My colleague and I have taken over 600 women (and a few men) through this 8-week program with many success stories!

I’m trained to develop dietary protocols of all kinds, so I started my own business to utilise my training in Nutritional Medicine beyond the limitations of keto coaching. A large percentage of my patients have Lipoedema and / or Lymphoedema. Nutritional Synergy has been up and running for just over three years now, and during that time I’ve found that invariably, patients with Lipoedema respond extremely well to some version of a nutrient dense low carbohydrate (frequently keto) anti-inflammatory diet. I’ve built over 200 individualised treatment plans during this time, based on patient pathology, lifestyle, health history, and current presentation. I’m most well known in the ketogenic diet field, but it really does depend on those four elements as to what kind of dietary protocol I build for a patient. I love my work, and it feels like I’ve become the practitioner I was looking for.

I heard about Dr Lekich and Lipoedema Surgical Solution via a very helpful Facebook group that I’m a member of – Lipoedema Warriors. It was founded by an Australian woman with Lipoedema and honestly I believe it’s the best social media group for this condition. Lots of women have seen Dr Lekich for diagnosis, recommendations on conservative treatment as well as surgical treatment.  AHPRA the medical board does not allow any registered medical practitioners to have testimonials associated with their business pages and communications like this one.  If you want to know how great Dr Lekich and his team are for the management and surgery for Lipoedema, ask me or any patients managed by Dr Lekich and his team, you will get the answer quickly!

LSS: What type of patients do you typically see and/or treat? 
Kimmi: 
Typically, I see patients who are around stage 2 or stage 3 (many at stage 1 and stage 4 as well), and usually they are pre-op fulfilling their desire to reduce inflammation in their legs to prepare for surgery and get ready for a beautiful recovery. I help them to lose some body fat and reduce the inflammation in their body with food choice, meal timing, lifestyle modifications, and supplements if warranted. They have usually tried every diet under the sun and by the time they find me, can gain weight on a diet of ice cubes and a bit of dust. They are absolutely confused about what to put on their plate, which ends up in them eating to extremes – either everything, or barely anything at all. I have personal experience in this plight because there are so many loud voices out there about diet in relation to Lipoedema. I’ve been there on the ice cubes and a pinch of dust diet too, and it’s always so gratifying to put people on a diet of real, unprocessed, whole foods where they can enjoy their food and repair the emotional relationship with food that has built up over the years.

LSS: How can patients get in touch?

Kimmi: I am a Clinical Nutritionist with an Advanced Diploma in Nutritional Medicine. I offer a 15-minute phone call (it’s free) so that we can make sure we are a good fit to work together and to make sure that expectations are realistic. All Nutritional Medicine appointments are done via Zoom, and people can book a call or an appointment with me via my website www.nutritionalsynergy.com.au  My email address is kimmi@nutritionalsynergy.com.au

Kimmi's Upcoming events

Katrina (my friend and colleague in the US) and I run a free Facebook group for people who want to learn more about using a ketogenic diet for the management of lipoedema and lymphoedema – it’s called Ketogenic Nutrition for Lymphedema, Lipedema, and Lipo-lymphedema. We’re a lovely community who discuss much more than food and nutrition. We also chat about fashion, annoyances, gratitudes, equipment, and anything else that we feel safe to share in the group related to these conditions.

I always have an online keto course for people with Lipoedema and Lymphoedema coming up! It’s not as individualised as Nutritional Medicine, but it is a very thorough insight into how to use a modified ketogenic diet for these conditions. I run this course with Katrina who is a fellow lipoedema lady in the US – she used keto alone to lose 200lbs and has kept it off. She is an amazingly insightful woman and a master of self-care – we all know how vital self-care is and how difficult it can be for us to implement. Katrina helps us all to make it happen! This course has run 22 times now and is constantly updated with new information and insights. The next one starts on January 2, 2022 and it is filling up already, but I have plenty more scheduled through 2022. Details for this course and some beautiful testimonials from people who have participated are on my website https://www.nutritionalsynergy.com.au/working-with-me
People can find me on social media (Facebook and Instagram) where I’m constantly popping in with helpful tips, tricks, and information on all things related to food and lipoedema and lymphoedema!

Facebook (Nutritional Synergy) and Instagram (@nutritionalsynergy)

Spoiler alert … there are more nutrition and lifestyle projects underway for our Lipoedema community coming in 2022 which will support people who would prefer to use non-keto dietary protocols to support their health and reduce inflammation with Lipoedema.


 

Go to website

Kimmi's Best Tips for Women who live with Lipoedema 

1.       Please please please eat enough food! One of the strongest drivers of Lipoedema is under-eating. One of the questions I ask my Nutritional Medicine patients is whether they have a strong or a weak appetite – and I always get very excited when somebody has a strong appetite because I can do a lot with that! And if a person has a weak appetite, I can do a lot with that too, it just takes patience and strategy to address the reasons behind it – even if the reason is a bariatric procedure, there are ways! Calorically, eat somewhere between your sedentary activity level and your total daily energy expenditure.

2.       Eat real unprocessed food. Many of us have resorted to varying kinds of processed foods so that we don’t have to think about it anymore. Some have such busy lives that nourishing their body is always last on the list and they will reach for a shake that has an ingredient list like a very sad chemical cocktail. Spending a relatively short period of time on the weekends prioritising yourself by doing some meal preparation for the week will keep you on track, help you remember that you are important, and it’s an acknowledgement that food really does change the way your body shows up in the world.

3.       Mitigate your stress. I’m not asking you to escape stress – that’s not possible – but it is possible to put a buffer between your stress hormones and their impact on your body. I mentioned earlier that one of the strongest drivers of Lipoedema in my opinion is under-eating. The other one is unmitigated stress. Cortisol drives a fat storage response in the body, and we all know what that means! Try to get into the habit of practicing some powerful stress relievers – meditation, mindfulness practices, eating regularly, time in nature, practice building your life around the natural light rhythms of the sun, build and guard your sleep routine.

4.       Do whatever you can to break the binge / starve cycle. This cycle contributes to the stress load in your body and drives leptin levels up by creating a condition called leptin resistance. Leptin is a hormone that usually regulates energy intake and expenditure, but when we binge and starve ourselves routinely, the cells become resistant to leptin signalling and our appetite can get out of control especially when there are hyper-palatable foods around. This develops a terrible cycle that involves insatiable hunger, guilt over food intake, the commencement of a starve cycle … and the cycle continues. If you are in this situation, eating three meals a day without snacking, managing your stress, and removing hyper-palatable foods will go a long way towards improving leptin sensitivity.

Grilled Salmon with Ginger Snow Peas (serves 2) 
By Kimmi Katte

Ingredients:

·         230g salmon fillet (boneless and skinless)

·         1/2 tsp good quality Australian salt

·         1/2 tsp chili flakes (or to taste)

·         90 grams butter or ghee

·         5 ml apple cider vinegar

·         20 grams ginger (peeled and cut into thin julienne)

·         150 grams snow peas (string removed, and then weighed)

·         1 tsp fresh thyme leaves (optional)

Directions

1.       Pre-heat the griller.

2.       Place the salmon in a cold frypan and sprinkle the top with chili flakes and salt.

3.       With the pan on the cold cooktop, turn the heat up to medium-high, and cook until you can see that the fillets are cooked one-third through from the bottom up.

4.       Place the pan under a hot grill and cook from the top down until browned and bubbly - remove the salmon to a warm plate to rest while you cook the snow peas. Try not to overcook it!

5.       Replace the same frypan over medium heat and melt the butter or ghee.

6.       Add the ginger and quickly cook in the butter till aromatic, then whisk in the apple cider vinegar.

7.       Quickly add the snow peas and cook for one minute – they should be served while they are still bright green!

8.       Divide portions evenly between two plates and serve. Enjoy!


Want to be featured? 
Please help us raise awareness and education by sharing your Lipoedema journey, art, business or organisation here.

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Media Update

Dr Chris Lekich and Lipoedema Surgical Solution were recently featured on the news program A Current Affair.
Watch the story »

Clinic Updates

Lipoedema Surgical Solution will be closed from 12 noon on Thursday 23rd December for the Christmas and New Year period.  The clinic will reopen at 8 am on Tuesday 4th January.

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LSS patient and Lipoedema warrior Jodie Sawyer shares her favourite self-care tip:

 “A nice warm bath and a beautiful smelling moisturiser afterwards.”


 



I am not defined by my pain

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