Dr. S Chidambaranathan

"Any substance that produces specific toxic symptoms in a healthy person when given in its full strength form, will cure a sick person with those same symptoms when given in a very diluted, minute form."

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Mahatma Gandhi
"Homeopathy is the latest and refined method of treating patients economically and nonviolently."
Rabindranath Tagore
"It is not merely a collection of few medicines, but a new science with a rational philosophy as its base. "

Lipoma – Fatty swelling

TUMOURSLipoma – Fatty swelling

lipoma clip image002 Lipoma – Fatty swellingThere are many things in the world which are not fully understood. One among them in the medical world is lipoma. Lipoma is a benign (non-malignant or non-cancerous) tumour of adipose tissue (fat). It is a soft, localised, well circumscribed, painless swelling located mainly in the subcutaneous tissues (i.e. just under the skin) of the head, neck, shoulders, hands, legs and back.

What is adipose tissue?
Adipose tissues are nothing but fat. It is a combined product (esterification) of fatty acids (contains carbon, hydrogen and oxygen) and glycerin. Humans are usually covered with adipose tissue as a blanket which gives beauty and keeps the body warm and soft. The adipose tissue not only functions as an insulating layer which prevents heat loss but also acts as a reservoir and source of energy release with fat metabolism.

Nowadays, food is mostly prepared with oil since it improves taste. Oils are very rich sources of fat. Even though fat is essential for absorbing fat soluble vitamins vitamin A, D, E and K, excess fat often causes high cholesterol level, obesity, endocrine hormonal disorders, arteriosclerosis, coronary heart diseases, etc., confirming the proverb, anything in excess makes waste.

Incidences – Even though lipoma can occur in all ages, it is more commonly seen in the third and lipoma clip image003 Lipoma – Fatty swelling fourth decade of life. Women suffer more than men; and usually from single lipoma than multiple lipomas. In the case of men, it is mostly multiple. The multiple occurrence of lipoma is called Adiposa dolorosa which can run in families. Childhood (congenital) lipomas are mostly inherited and rare.


Common Sites
– Lipoma can occur anywhere in the body. The common occurrence sites are fat depositing areas like nape of the neck, shoulder, back, trunk, buttocks, hips, thighs, arms, forearms and belly (abdomen muscles). Most of lipoma is subcutaneous, but it can also occur in deeper tissues like subserous (liver, lungs, heart, etc.), subsynovial (joints), submucous (oral, oesophagus, etc), subperitoneal (inside abdomen), intramuscular, etc.


CAUSES
– Unknown. Many people relate the causative factor with eating fatty things and being obese, but nothing is true or scientific. They are sometimes supposed to run in the family.


SYMPTOMS
– Except swelling or mass which causes cosmetic disfigurement, no other symptoms are usually seen.

Characteristics of lipoma:

  • Usually it will be round or oval in shape with variable size
  • It is freely movable and is not attached to the skin or deeper tissues
  • It is smooth in surface, rubbery in consistency and slippery in the edges
  • Their margins are well-defined and feel as if the swelling is enclosed in a capsule
  • It grows very slowly.

COMPLICATIONS – Usually it is nil. It never gets malignant or cancerous unlike other tumours. Infection and calcification (hardening) can occur in a constant pressure area or movement area. Rarely, it causes a fatal condition by complicating the functioning of the lungs. Lipoma can occur in the breast, liver, digestive organs, oesophagus, etc., producing symptoms according to the situation. Adiposis dolorosa or dercum’s disease is a rare condition characterised by multiple painful lipomas. Lipomas may rarely undergo sarcomatous changes to cause liposarcoma.

Diagnosis – Even though lipoma can be confirmed by clinical examination with its texture, freely movable nature, slippery edges and lack of attachment to adjacent tissues, confirmation may be necessary with biopsy and histo-pathological reports, to rule out other complications or diseases. CT, MRI and soft tissue radiographs can give an idea about lipoma. Cholesterol level is often found to be within normal limits, even though lipoma is supposed to be a tumour of fatty tissue (deposition of fat).

TREATMENT – In general, lipoma is left untreated because there is no known method of treating it or because it is harmless. Doctors and patients opt for surgical removal if there is a large or small single lipoma and if it disturbs functioning. For small lipomas, nowadays, liposuction is often preferred and followed to have minimal scarring. But most of large ones are excised only with incisions. Even when removed, there can be recurrences. Liposuction has more recurrence rate due to left residuals, whereas in surgical incisional removal, since it is removed completely, including the capsule, the recurrence rate is less.

Homeopathic Approach on lipoma – Lipoma is a cosmetic illness. Does surgical excision cure the condition? No. So, never go for surgical options to get it removed unless it gives any persistent symptom due to localised pressure. Usually surgical removal causes it to spread to other places for unknown reasons. So surgeons never assure non-recurrence in the same or other places.

Some people think that the lipoma is due to excess fat content of the body or obesity and so they keep on doing exercise and diet restriction to reduce weight. Even after reducing weight considerably, there won’t be any change in the lipoma. Also, sometimes they are noticed with more visibility or prominence than before, since they might have been in the fat.

lipoma clip image004 Lipoma – Fatty swelling Even though nobody thinks of Homeopathy for lipoma, considering it as a pure surgical disorder, Homeopathy can treat lipoma. Like other systems of medicines, there is no guarantee for complete cure in Homeopathy also. But Homeopathy treatment can surely arrest new lipoma formation and continued growth of existing lipomas. Also there will be reduction in size of the lipomas to residuals i.e., swelling gets softened and flattened, so that visibility can be reduced. Better results can be attained if treatment is started earlier – just after diagnosis. If it is in initial stages, it will disappear completely. The treatment procedure will be a slow process. There is no other go for fast relief except surgery. In Homeopathy, removal of lipoma by surgery is considered removal of the effects of the disease and not removal of the cause or disease itself. So there will be recurrence of the disease. Homeopathy treatment can abort this tendency by improving the immune system.

Commonly prescribed Homeopathic remedies for lipoma are – Baryta carb, Bryonia, Calc Ars, Calc carb, Calc flour, Hepar sulph, Lapis alb, Nux vom, Phytolacco, Radium brom, Silicea, Spigelia, Thuja, etc. These Medicines should be taken under the advice and diagnosis of a qualified Homeopath.

(Disclaimer: The contents of this column are for informational purpose only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional healthcare advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of healthcare professional for any health problem or medical condition.)

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