- by Dr. Vivekanand N Bhat
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- Feb 05 2018
Dercum Disorder: Causes and Symptoms
It is an extremely rare disorder characterized by multiple, painful growths consisting of fatty tissue (lipomas). This growth mainly occurs on the trunk, the upper arm and upper legs and are found just below the skin. It causes severe pain and pain may be caused by these growths pressing on nearby nerves. The pain increases with increase in fatty tissue and in connection with menstruation.
It is also called as “Adiposis Dolorosa”, “Fatty Tissue Rheumatism”, “Juxta-Articular Adiposis Dolorosa”, and “Lipomatosis Dolorosa Morbus Dercum’s”. It mainly occurs in adults and more women are affected than men.
The causes are not clear yet, but experts think Dercum’s may come from a mutated fat gene that is passed down in families. Some believe that it is an autoimmune disorder, or it could be a result of as hormone or nervous system problem.
- Fatty deposits
- Easy bruisability
- Sleep disturbances
- Impaired memory
- Difficulty concentrating
- Rapid heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Weakness and joint aches
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and do a thorough physical exam.
There is no cure for Dercum’s, but the doctor may suggest treatments to ease your symptoms.
Surgery: Doctor may decide to remove your fatty growths, to relieve your pain for a while.
Medicines: Medicines are prescribed to reduce swelling and pain.
Alternative Therapies: Acupuncture, hypnosis, and biofeedback could all make a difference in how you feel.
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