Unexpected health issues associated with obesity


Full Member
Hi there everyone!

I know most of us are probably fed up to the back teeth with all the negative stories in the media re obesity and health issues and are very well aware of the well known problems - diabetes, stroke, heart problems, increased risk of cancer etc.

I'm interested in hearing about the little known health problems associated with obesity as it was my realisation that I had such a condition that finally brought me to the VLCD brink - and I thank goodness it did and wasn't as serious as it could have been.

Anyway - my story in brief is as follows -

Approx 2 years ago my chiropodist noticed a small red mark on my lower left calf - round the back so I hadn't noticed it. It was about the size of a 50p piece and as red as a strawberry.
My chiropodist said I needed to see a doctor about it as she thought it might be a DVT, I just went "yeah yeah" and ignored it as I hate the GPs. Anyway, as I couldn't get my feet seen to again before I'd had the all clear from my GP I went about 2 months later. The doc I saw said "DVT - nonsense - it's an infection site - take these antibiotics" which I did, nothing got better or worse. Six months later the mark had spread to about the size of a satsuma and was a darker red and did itch a bit. I saw another GP who prescribed a cream - again no improvement. Six months after that (approx 1 year ago) the mark was the size of a tea plate, as dark red as a beetroot and concave and the entire lower leg was swollen and almost twice the size of my right leg. The leg was extremely sore to touch and the dark red skin was shiny and very very hard - touching it was like touching a brick wall not a normal leg.
I insisted on being referred to a specialist and upon paying his fee (good old NHS - 6 month waiting list) and within 1 minute of looking at my leg he explained it was lipodermatosclerosis (LDS)(Lipodermatosclerosis) and that I was weeks away from chronic leg ulcers and I needed to get my varicose veins (the cause of LDS) operated on BUT I was too fat for surgery! Hmmm, talk about bring me up sharp!

He prescribed some very unflattering compression stockings - they are pale brown, very stiff and as thick as gardening gloves and the devil of a job to pull on. They go from my toes to my knees and I have to wear them whenever I'm not in bed. Sexy they are not and have definitely put paid to me wearing skirts/dresses/basically anything other than full length trousers. Good job too as I'm not allowed to shave/depillate etc as that might break the skin and once that happens it's leg ulcers for life. The stockings appear to have helped, along with the weightloss and although I still have varicose veins that resemble the London Tube map - and knobbly to the point that they can be felt under my trousers (nice eh?) the LDS is a lot better and a lot less angry red.
When I am absolutely sure that I can stand on my GPs scales, clothed and last thing at night and still have a BMI of less than 25 I will go back and request a referral to get my varicose veins sorted out.
But, I wish if either of my GPs had known what it was and told me what to do about it I may have come to weightloss earlier and not given myself such a problem. I wonder whether I now have a permanent area of weakness in my legs and will I always worry about ulcers? I don't know, time will tell.
So there it is, I guess I was lucky it wasn't diabetes, a stroke or cancer. Never thought all those bars of choc/cheese/cakes/bread etc would do this!

Anyone else out there know of or have experience of similar "minor" health problems that we could share? - it was me finding the word lipodermatosclerosis on the Discovery Health Board that got me into these boards and fixed my mind on doing a VLCD. I'd love to think that other scared and desparate people out there might be "googling" away and find answers to their questions on Minimins!


Fabulous post and strange how if you join the dots you ended up on a vlcd and losing all that weight!!!

Now that you have how is your leg do you still have swelling and what size is the red mark or is it now gone. What does your own doctor think of how you lost the weight?

Sorry so many questions.

Love Mini xxx
Hi Mini,

Well, I've not been back to the GPs in over a year, as all my old lovely GPs have retired and I have no idea who my new GP is, I don't suppose they'll say anything much. Two of the receptionists know me quite well so I hope (big headed that I am) that they'll notice a difference and be bowled over!

As for the leg - well it's no longer swollen to twice the normal size and the red mark is a lot less livid and about half it was at its biggest. The skin is still quite hard but only on the red bit rather than the entire back of my calf.
Sadly my varicose veins are much worse particularly on my thighs - to be expected I suppose as the compression stockings are squashing my legs below the knee. Another downside is the fact that by the afternoon my knees are like camel knees - really big - cos the lower leg is compressed I guess - makes my size10 jeans look silly tho, I'll need to start wearing them without the stockings but don't know if I dare!

Like I said when I know I can stand on the GPs scales - fully clothed and even last thing at night and STILL be below BMI 25 (10.5 for me) then I'll go and see them about these veins. I don't know what's in like in Ireland but getting a GP appt here is a right pain - they no longer make appointments in advance. You have to ring up the day you want to see a doc and then you are given a time (which they NEVER stick to). If you are not quick enough on the phone in the morning, by the time you get thru all the appts have gone so you have to go thru the same charade the next day! It's a right nightmare, everyone gets stressed before they are even in the surgery - luckily neither my boy nor I are ill often so we don't have to suffer it too often! That's us jinxed now - you see!!!!

Scales said 10.8 this morning and 10.7 is my lowest ever on CD so am hoping tomorrow I'll be lower as back on SS now - I reckon a few more weeks and I'll be jumping on the GPs scales! Will let you know when I do!

Lots of love,

I was just looking at your photos in the Gallery and Honestly you have come a long way and fair play to you, you look absolutely terrific!!!

In this country I have found it pretty good at getting a doctors appointment.

A year is a long time not to have had a check up? Hopefully you will get one soon and write down all you want to talk about on a sheet of paper so that you don't forget once your in the surgery as often you can feel intimidated and don't let them make you feel rushed you are as entitled as the next to get proper treatment and attention.

I know that our legs have carried us around and therefore do take a lot of the stress and strain of our weight and as such it does take some Mons after you have lost weight for them to find their own new shape...as they no longer have to carry such a large load they shrink to accommodate the new weight.

I wonder if that will make a difference out here to how they are now?

Good luck with SSing again!

Love Mini xxx