Theresa Fredenburg-Hinds’ Lifelong Leg Pain Blamed on Weight by Doctors

Theresa Fredenburg-Hinds endured lifelong leg pain, wrongly linked to weight by doctors. Discover her journey.

Theresa Fredenburg-Hinds, 36 years old, experienced swollen, painful legs her entire life. Doctors consistently attributed it to her weight. However, a serendipitous meeting with a perceptive shop assistant unveiled the true underlying condition she had been living with.

Theresa Fredenburg-Hinds was consistently informed by doctors that her swollen legs were simply a result of excess fat.

Theresa Fredenburg-Hinds
© theresasweetpeach / Instagram

From a young age, Theresa was aware of a medical condition causing her leg swelling. Despite consulting numerous doctors, she remained undiagnosed. “Lipoedema is often misdiagnosed or overlooked due to fatphobia by the medical community,” wrote Theresa.

© theresasweetpeach / Instagram

She thought she had lipoedema, a condition causing unusual fat accumulation in limbs, predominantly affecting women. Theresa’s struggle with enlarged legs began at age 8, intensifying during puberty. However, her doctors attributed it solely to obesity, recommending compression stockings.

A stranger aided her in uncovering her true medical condition.

Theresa Fredenburg-Hinds
© theresasweetpeach / Instagram

Theresa’s concerns went unrecognized until a store assistant, while she was shopping for compression stockings, finally acknowledged her symptoms. “I went to a specialty store and the woman working there took one look at my legs and told me I had a condition called lipoedema or lymphedema and gave me a pamphlet to give to my doctor,” said Theresa.

© theresasweetpeach / Instagram

She added: “I’d heard of lipoedema and done my research online, but to have it validated by this kind woman in the store I began to cry tears of joy.”

Following the initial visit, Theresa revisited her doctor, only to hear the familiar refrain of “just obese.” However, undeterred this time, she sought out a specialist who provided her with an official diagnosis of lipo-lymphedema, a condition encompassing both lipoedema and lymphedema.

Theresa Fredenburg-Hinds spreads awareness about lipedema by sharing her experience.

Theresa Fredenburg-Hinds
© theresasweetpeach / Instagram

Theresa is currently using her online presence to advocate for lipoedema awareness and promote body positivity. “Society has moved to a love of more curvy bodies, which does make living with lipoedema a little bit easier for me at least,” she said.

As she navigates daily challenges, such as public stares and encountering ableism, Theresa notes a positive shift in people’s understanding. Currently, she’s dedicated to sharing her experiences to support those facing similar conditions.

Written by Dadadel

CEO of @dadadelcreative® | Social Media & Digital Marketing Agency
Software Engineering graduate • Copywriter • Digital Marketer

Dadadel loves to smile and have a fine bottle of red wine. She is very keen on sarcasm and cats.

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