There are four progressive stages of lipedema. The most common symptom of Stage I lipedema is having disproportionately large, column-like, but symmetrical legs that are tender and bruise easily. It’s difficult to differentiate between this and normal weight gain. But if the fat spontaneously hurts, hurts with pressure, and does not pit when you press into it, then you are showing lipedema symptoms.
Stage II has the same symptoms as early stage lipedema, but you may now be forming fist-sized lumps of cellulite. You may also easily feel fatty nodes, and your skin may have become uneven, textured, and/or discolored.
By Stage III, your legs are no longer symmetrical and feature large lumps of fat. Your skin has become thick and hardened with discoloration, and lymphedema has also developed.
Stage IV is the most destructive phase of the disorder, and by now you may be suffering from the development of lipolymphedema. This is a condition in which both lipedema and lymphedema have taken over. Large overhangs of tissue have appeared on the extremities (arms & legs) and extreme discomfort has set in.