Xantia Efthymiou was ecstatic when she started downsizing her dress until fans started pointing out something unusual about her new body.
A Gold Coast woman has revealed how her online followers saved her life by noticing a key detail in her body.
Xantia Efthymiou began documenting her weight loss journey online after a doctor’s appointment for her sore back pointed out that her size 22 physique could lead to future health problems.
At the time, she was only 17 years old, and she began to reconsider her lifestyle.
“I think my main motivation was my future, I wanted to be active, healthy, I could barely walk up the stairs without being out of breath and it bothered me,” the 22-year-old told the news. .com.au.
However, she began to notice that the way she managed her food was getting dangerously close to eating disorder symptoms, and so Xantia turned to a specialist to help her better continue her journey.
She began exercising and managing her diet in a healthy way, which led to her achieving her goals and documenting her journey. tik tak page.
But when she reduced the size of the dress, Xantia noticed that the shape of her legs had not changed at all.
“It wasn’t until I got close to my minimum weight that I realized my legs hadn’t changed, and that made me frustrated,” she said.
“It was so hard to train, eat well and do everything you thought was ‘right’ only to see no progress.”
However, her online followers supported her, and dozens of people sent messages to her to ask if she knew she had lipedema, a condition that mostly affects women.
Lipedema is an abnormal accumulation of fat under the skin that causes painful swelling in the legs, thighs, buttocks, and even arms.
Xantia was stunned and confronted with complete strangers asking her about a chronic illness she had never heard of.
“First I went to my doctor and he said he didn’t know much about this disease and encouraged me to try and lose some more weight,” Xantia said.
“I ignored him, just looked on the Internet and found that there is a specialist in my area and made an appointment with him. In fact, I was diagnosed on the spot.
“Lipedema has a certain look and you can tell when someone has it.”
But it wasn’t just swollen feet, as there are many other things that accompany lipedema.
“I had to go through several tests to confirm that I didn’t have other things associated with lipedema, such as varicose veins and a hole in my heart,” she said.
“Those tests were so scary and I think that’s what scared me the most, it was very overwhelming.”
Prior to her diagnosis, Xantia thought that everyone was living with the pain she was experiencing and that her difficulty in moving was normal.
The hardest pill to swallow is knowing that this is something Xanthia will have to endure for the rest of her life.
One of the few treatments for lipedema is surgery, which removes fat deposits under the skin.
While Xantia waited for the operation, which cost $30,000 for a hospital stay, surgery and anesthesia, she managed the illness by following an anti-inflammatory diet, walking, wearing compression stockings and doing manual drainage massage.
Ksantiya recently had surgery and is now in her second phase of recovery and everything looks good.
“The first three days after the operation were very difficult, I felt very weak, and I also had a bad reaction to strong painkillers, so I could not take anything strong,” she said.
“But on the third day, the recovery was actually quite easy. I can walk a lot; my bruising has lessened and I am now entering the second phase of recovery, which means things will be a lot easier from here.”
She said that now she will be able to move better and her daily life will improve.
Xantia plans to take a break from operations to assess her future and what her body needs.
“Now I know that I have this disease and I know what I need to do to maintain it, so I think life will be much easier after this,” she said.
Since learning about her diagnosis, Xantia has been open about how lipedema is affecting her life on her TikTok account to her 1.7 million followers.
“I think my main goal is to spread the word about lipedema without making it scary. I try to keep it as light and positive as possible, and share how it can affect the average person,” she said.
“Every day I get so many messages from people sharing that they’ve been diagnosed after watching my content and that’s my main intention as to why I’m posting about it.”
She said she was pleased to see how young people use their voice for early diagnosis.
“Too many times I’ve heard stories of older women being diagnosed when it’s too late and they can no longer walk,” she said.
“Lipoedema has many stages and can progress to what is called lipo-lymphedema and I hope that by sharing my story I can help people get a diagnosis before it’s too late.”
Originally published as “I lost weight, but one thing didn’t change – now I know why”