By Kristin Osborn
G’day to all my lipoedema sisters across the waters from down under.
My name is Kristin Osborn, for those of you who don’t know me, let me introduce myself. I am a lymphoedema/lipoedema and pre- and post-surgical specialist therapist, nutritionist, author and lecturer (which I have done for the past 17 years), and inventor of NewLymLotion™, a specially formulated lotion for lymphoedema and lipoedema.
I am a stage 1-2, phlebo-lipoedema sufferer with complications of stage 1 Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and stage 4 Epstein-Barr, including chronic fatigue syndrome, cutaneous hypothermia, and sulphate intolerant, so I needed to learn how to manage my conditions, predominately how food affected my body so I could keep working which I like to do.
I have managed, through the knowledge of foods, to lose 35 kilograms (77 pounds) and keep it off. Perimenopause is providing some new challenges which I am addressing. Our lippy digestive systems are not your ordinary systems; we are such special creatures and as such require different foods to function better.
When teaching patients about lipoedema management, many asked me to put the information into a resource book for easy access, and so that is how The Lymphatic-Friendly Diet came about. They also kept asking, “What is he cooking?,” referring to my husband, David, who put together all the recipes in the book, so we added 100 recipes which are the ones we eat as a family on a day-to-day basis. I have also written comments at the bottom of the recipes to convert them to vegetarian or vegan options.
I added abbreviations, such as “ac” and “al,” next to each listed food in the recipes so you can learn what is an acidic food and what is an alkaline food. I usually run my system as I would an oncology patient, 80% alkaline and 20% acid; this doesn’t have to be complicated–just look at how many alkaline foods you have versus how many acid foods you have on your plate at each meal.
When I eat these types of foods, I have more energy, I reduce my inflammation, and my waste works better, which has a flow-on effect on the rest of my body’s other systems. I take no medications because medications can cause inflammation, and they confuse the pancreas, which recognizes food for best optimization.
Lipoedema is mostly inflammation. We need to stop what causes the inflammation early on so we aren’t chasing how to get rid of it when it has already happened. Inflammation can come in many ways–through diet, medication, exercise, stress and friction. I also added at the back of the book a chapter on “I Choose” decisions, which I consciously make every day to stay healthy in both body and mind, the one thing constantly neglected.
We need to keep inflammation low, and a good diet, combined with exercise which is best suited to lipoedema (as not all exercise suits our bodies), helps our bodies function better so we can reduce our medication and stress. Remember one size does not fit all, especially when it comes to this very complicated connective tissue disease.