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Medical Marijuana and Lipomatosis

What Is Lipomatosis?

Familial Multiple Lipomatosis, or Lipomatosis for short, is a heredity condition that causes groups of fat cells to grow in the subcutaneous tissue of your body, resulting in many fatty lumps just below the skin’s surface, referred to as a “limpoma“. Although these lipomas may grow deeper in the body or in the organs, they are most commonly found on your torso, upper arms, shoulders or neck but can also appear on the head, buttocks or other body areas. The deeper limpomas, when present, can be found in your throat, chest, stomach, intestines or in other organs within your body. Limpomas can vary significantly in size as well as other characteristics such as whether or not they are surrounded by connective tissue and whether or not they are attached to nearby skin or muscles. Although the limpomas that make up Lipomatosis are benign, they can be painful and can directly affect a sufferers self-esteem due to their appearance.

Symptoms of Lipomatosis can vary widely depending on where the limpomas are located, their size and other individual characteristics. Visible symptoms include the presence of one or more lumps that are soft, round, movable or painful underneath your skin. Blood or the presence of small lumps of tissue in your stool may also be an indication of Lipomatosis. Voice changes, choking or trouble swallowing as well as trouble breathing, snoring or tiring easily are also symptoms of Lipomatosis.
Conventional treatment for Lipomatosis is aimed at reducing or removing the lipomas. Steroid injections may work to reduce the lipomas; however, liposuction or surgical removal of the lipomas is often required.

Familial Multiple Lipomatosis, or Lipomatosis for short, is a heredity condition that causes groups of fat cells to grow in the subcutaneous tissue of your body, resulting in many fatty lumps just below the skin’s surface, referred to as a “limpoma“. Although these lipomas may grow deeper in the body or in the organs, they are most commonly found on your torso, upper arms, shoulders or neck but can also appear on the head, buttocks or other body areas. The deeper limpomas, when present, can be found in your throat, chest, stomach, intestines or in other organs within your body. Limpomas can vary significantly in size as well as other characteristics such as whether or not they are surrounded by connective tissue and whether or not they are attached to nearby skin or muscles. Although the limpomas that make up Lipomatosis are benign, they can be painful and can directly affect a sufferers self-esteem due to their appearance.

Symptoms of Lipomatosis can vary widely depending on where the limpomas are located, their size and other individual characteristics. Visible symptoms include the presence of one or more lumps that are soft, round, movable or painful underneath your skin. Blood or the presence of small lumps of tissue in your stool may also be an indication of Lipomatosis. Voice changes, choking or trouble swallowing as well as trouble breathing, snoring or tiring easily are also symptoms of Lipomatosis.

Conventional treatment for Lipomatosis is aimed at reducing or removing the lipomas. Steroid injections may work to reduce the lipomas; however, liposuction or surgical removal of the lipomas is often required.

Medical Marijuana and Lipomatosis

Lipomatosis and Medical Marijuana

For patients who hope to avoid surgery for Lipomatosis, steroid injections are an option. Steroid injections work by reducing the inflammation, which in turn reduces the size of the lipoma when successful. As with many prescription medications, however, steroid injections also have some potentially serious negative side effects. Steroid injections can elevate blood sugar levels as well as suppress the body’s ability to fight infections or mask an underlying infection by suppressing the signs of inflammation that often point to an infection. Long term, or frequent, use of steroid injections can result in thinning of the skin or bones, weight gain or puffiness, acne, elevated blood pressure, easy bruising and even the formation of cataracts. Medical marijuana is an alternative to the use of steroids as an anti-inflammatory medication that does not carry with it these potentially serious side effects.

For patients who require surgical removal of lipomas, conventional treatment often includes the use of opiate based pain medications following the surgery. Opiate based pain medication, while effective at combating pain, carries with it the risk of overdose, dependency and addiction. As Lipomatosis sufferers typically have numerous lipomas, multiple and frequent surgeries may be necessary, increasing the risks associated with opiate based pain medications. Medical marijuana has been used for centuries to treat pain and allows a Lipomatosis suffer to alleviate pain without the need for opiate based pain medications.

Medical Marijuana and Lipomatosis: Clinical Evidence

Many people are unaware of the anti-inflammatory properties found in medical marijuana. Recent research, however, has confirmed that medical marijuana contains Cannabidiol, or CBD. Along with THC, CBD is an important component of marijuana which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Medical marijuana has been shown to reduce tissue inflammation as a result of the presence of CBD in conjunction with another compound known as β-caryophyllene. CBD and β-caryophyllene work together in medical marijuana and have been proven to reduce inflammation in soft tissue. A Lipomatosis sufferer may prefer to combat the inflammation associated with the disease by using medical marijuana instead of risking the negative side effects associated with repeated steroid injections.

For those Lipomatosis sufferers who face surgery to remove the lipomas, medical marijuana may be a better alternative for pain relief following the surgery than traditional opiate based pain relievers. Of all the clinical evidence available regarding the use of medical marijuana, evidence regarding its effectiveness as a pain reliever is the most prominent. Study after study has shown that medical marijuana is not only an effective pain reliever by itself, but it can also be used in conjunction with traditional narcotic pain relievers to reduce the dosage needed to control the pain.

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