Select Page


Dercum’s Disease, also known as Adiposis Dolorosa, is a rare disorder that affects the fatty tissue of the body. It is characterized by multiple painful fatty growths, or lipomas, that can be felt under the skin. It is believed to be a genetic disorder and typically affects middle-aged women. Symptoms of Dercum’s Disease may include pain in the affected areas, fatigue, depression, and difficulty sleeping. Other symptoms may include difficulty walking and joint stiffness. While there is no cure for Dercum’s Disease, treatment plans can be developed to help manage symptoms and reduce pain. Dercum’s Disease, also known as Adiposis Dolorosa, is a rare disorder characterized by multiple painful lipomas (tumors composed of fatty tissue) on the trunk, arms and legs. These lipomas are usually tender to the touch and may cause other symptoms such as fatigue, headaches and depression. There is no known cure for Dercum’s Disease, but there are treatments available to help manage pain and reduce the size of the lipomas.

What is Dercum’s Disease?

Dercum’s Disease, also known as adiposis dolorosa, is a rare condition characterized by multiple painful fatty tumors. These tumors are made up of fatty deposits called lipomas and cause a variety of symptoms, including chronic pain and swelling. The condition is named after French doctor Maurice Dercum, who first described it in the late 1800s.

Causes of Dercum’s Disease

The exact cause of Dercum’s disease is unknown. It is thought to be related to hormonal imbalances, genetics, and environmental factors. Some researchers believe that it may be caused by an overactive immune system that causes inflammation in the body. Additionally, it has been linked to certain diseases such as diabetes and thyroid disorders. It has also been suggested that trauma or injury may play a role in its development.

Risk Factors for Dercum’s Disease

Dercum’s disease affects more women than men and usually occurs after the age of 40. Other risk factors include being overweight or obese, having a family history of the condition, and having an underlying medical condition such as diabetes or an autoimmune disorder. Stress may also trigger the development of this condition.

Symptoms of Dercum’s Disease

Common symptoms of Dercum’s disease include chronic pain and swelling in various parts of the body. The pain can range from mild to severe and can affect any area where fatty deposits are located such as the arms, legs, face, neck or abdomen. Other symptoms may include fatigue, weakness, depression and difficulty sleeping.

Diagnosis and Treatment for Dercum’s Disease

A doctor will diagnose this condition based on physical examination results and an individual’s medical history. In some cases, tests such as blood tests or imaging studies may be ordered to rule out other conditions with similar symptoms. Treatment typically includes medications to help manage pain as well as lifestyle modifications such as maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly.

Signs and Symptoms of Dercum’s Disease

Dercum’s Disease, also known as Adiposis Dolorosa, is an extremely rare disorder characterized by multiple painful fatty lumps. These lumps are typically located on the arms, legs, abdomen, and back. The cause of Dercum’s Disease is still unknown, though some believe it to be inherited or caused by hormonal changes or lifestyle issues. Here are some common signs and symptoms associated with Dercum’s Disease:

• Painful Fatty Lumps: The most common symptom of Dercum’s Disease is the presence of multiple painful fatty lumps on the body. These lumps may be small or large and can occur anywhere on the body. The pain associated with them can range from mild to severe and may be constant or intermittent.

• Fatigue: People with Dercum’s Disease often experience extreme fatigue due to their constant pain. This fatigue can make it difficult for them to complete daily tasks or engage in physical activity.

• Weakness: People with Dercum’s Disease often experience muscle weakness due to their severe fatigue and pain. This can make it difficult for them to move around easily or participate in activities that require physical strength or endurance.

• Cognitive Issues: Some people with Dercum’s Disease experience cognitive issues such as difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and difficulty processing information quickly.

• Depression/Anxiety: Many people with Dercum’s Disease also experience depression and anxiety due to their constant pain and lack of mobility.

• Weight Loss: People with Dercum’s Disease often experience unintentional weight loss due to their decreased appetite caused by their pain and fatigue.

It is important to note that not everyone who has these symptoms will have Dercum’s Disease as they are also associated with other conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and polymyalgia rheumatica.

Diagnosing Dercum’s Disease

Dercum’s Disease is a rare disorder that affects the fatty tissues in the body. It is characterized by painful fatty lumps that can arise anywhere on the body. Diagnosis of this condition is difficult due to its rarity and the wide range of symptoms. Here are some steps that can be taken to diagnose Dercum’s Disease:

• Gather family history: A doctor will ask questions about family history to determine if any relatives have had similar symptoms or conditions in the past. This can help narrow down possible causes and lead to a more accurate diagnosis.

• Physical examination: The doctor will perform a physical exam to check for lumps and other signs of the disease. He or she may also order tests such as an MRI, CT scan, or X-ray to look for abnormalities in fatty tissue.

• Blood tests: Blood tests such as a complete blood count (CBC) and chemistry panel may be ordered to check for signs of inflammation or other underlying conditions that could be causing symptoms.

• Lipid profile: A lipid profile helps determine if there is an imbalance in the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, which can be an indication of Dercum’s Disease.

• Genetic testing: Genetic testing may be recommended for patients with Dercum’s Disease as it can help confirm a diagnosis and provide valuable information about how the disease may progress over time.

• Tissue biopsy: A tissue biopsy may be necessary in some cases to confirm a diagnosis of Dercum’s Disease. During this procedure, a small sample of fatty tissue will be taken from an affected area and examined under a microscope.

By going through these steps, doctors can diagnose Dercum’s Disease effectively. It is important for patients to have patience as diagnosing this condition can take some time due to its complexity. With proper diagnosis and treatment, patients with Dercum’s Disease can find relief from their symptoms.


Dercum’s Disease is a rare disorder characterized by painful fatty tumors and localized adipose tissue deposits. It is also known as Adiposis Dolorosa, or Anders’ Syndrome. The symptoms of Dercum’s Disease include: pain in the limbs and joints, fatigue, weakness, difficulty sleeping, depression, and weight gain. Treatment for Dercum’s Disease is aimed at relieving the symptoms associated with the disorder.


The diagnosis of Dercum’s Disease involves a physical examination by a physician. The physician will look for signs of fatty tumors in areas such as the neck, arms, legs, abdominal area, and other areas of the body. The physician may also order laboratory tests to rule out other medical conditions that could be causing symptoms similar to those of Dercum’s Disease.


Treatment for Dercum’s Disease includes medications such as analgesics to reduce pain and anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling. Other treatments may include physical therapy to reduce stiffness and increase flexibility in affected areas. Surgery may be recommended if the fatty tumors are causing severe pain or restriction of movement.

Dietary Changes

Making dietary changes can help improve symptoms associated with Dercum’s Disease. Eating healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains can help reduce inflammation in the body and help control weight gain associated with Dercum’s Disease. Limiting processed foods can also help improve symptoms associated with the disorder.


Regular exercise can also help reduce symptoms associated with Dercum’s Disease by increasing flexibility in joints and reducing stiffness in affected areas. Swimming or water aerobics are good exercises for people with joint pain because they are low-impact exercises that are easy on joints while still providing an effective workout.

Alternative Therapy

Alternative therapies such as acupuncture, massage therapy and yoga may be used to help relieve symptoms associated with Dercum’s disease. Acupuncture has been found to be particularly effective at reducing pain levels in people with chronic illnesses such as Dercum’s disease.

General Dietary Recommendations for People with Dercum’s Disease

People with Dercum’s disease should follow a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight to reduce the risk of complications. A well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins is essential for people with this condition. It is also important to limit or avoid processed foods, sugar, and saturated fats. Additionally, it is important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.

When it comes to specific dietary recommendations for those with Dercum’s Disease, there are some key points to keep in mind.

  • Eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, whole grains and lean proteins.
  • Limit processed foods and foods high in sugar and saturated fat.
  • Include healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids found in fish like salmon or tuna.
  • Choose whole grain carbohydrates instead of refined carbohydrates.
  • Consume adequate amounts of calcium-rich foods such as low-fat dairy products.

In addition to eating a healthy diet, people with Dercum’s Disease should exercise regularly and get enough sleep each night. Exercise can help reduce inflammation in the body while also improving overall health. Regular physical activity may also help improve mental health which can be beneficial for managing symptoms associated with this condition. Finally, getting enough sleep is important for physical and mental wellbeing as well as helping to reduce inflammation in the body.

Exercise for People with Dercum’s Disease

Exercising is important for people living with Dercum’s Disease. Not only can physical activity help reduce pain and fatigue, but it can also improve overall fitness and quality of life. Here are some tips to help you stay active while living with this condition:

• Start slowly: When beginning an exercise program, it’s important to start slow. Begin with low-impact activities such as walking, yoga, or gentle stretching. This will help you gradually build up your strength and endurance without overdoing it.

• Listen to your body: It’s important to listen to your body when exercising and take breaks when needed. If you start to feel pain or fatigue, take a break or slow down. It’s better to go slow and steady than push yourself too hard and risk injury.

• Incorporate balance exercises: Balance exercises are important for people with Dercum’s disease as they help improve coordination and stability. Try incorporating activities such as tai chi, yoga, or Pilates into your routine.

• Try low-impact sports: Low-impact sports like swimming or biking can be beneficial for people with Dercum’s disease as they provide an aerobic workout without putting too much strain on the joints. Swimming is also beneficial because of the buoyancy of the water which helps take the weight off the joints.

• Choose activities that are enjoyable: It can be difficult to stay motivated when exercising with a chronic condition like Dercum’s disease so it’s important to choose activities that you enjoy doing. This will ensure that you stick with your exercise routine in the long run and get the most out of it!

Overall, exercise is an important part of managing Dercum’s disease and should be incorporated into your daily routine if possible. It’s important to start slowly and listen to your body, ensuring that you don’t push yourself too hard in order to avoid injury or worsening symptoms. Incorporating balance exercises into your routine can help improve coordination and stability while low-impact sports provide an aerobic workout without putting too much strain on the joints. Finally, make sure you choose activities that are enjoyable so that you are more likely to stick with them in the long run!

Complications of Dercum’s Disease

Dercum’s Disease is a rare and complex disorder that affects the fatty tissue around the body. This condition can cause a number of complications, including pain, fatigue, depression, and difficulty with mobility. While there is no cure for this condition, it is possible to manage symptoms and reduce the risk of developing further complications. Here are some of the potential issues associated with Dercum’s Disease:

  • Pain: Pain is one of the most common symptoms associated with Dercum’s Disease. It can occur in various areas of the body, including the arms, legs, back, neck and head. Patients may experience sharp or dull pains that come and go in intensity.
  • Fatigue: Fatigue is another frequent symptom of this condition that can significantly affect quality of life. Patients may feel unrefreshed after sleeping for long periods of time and may experience a lack of energy throughout their day.
  • Depression: Depression is often seen in patients with Dercum’s Disease due to their physical limitations and inability to perform certain activities. Those affected by this disorder should seek professional help if they are dealing with depression.
  • Mobility Issues: People with this condition often have difficulty walking or performing daily tasks due to pain or fatigue. Physical therapy or other forms of exercise may be recommended to help improve range-of-motion and strength.

Living with Dercum’s Disease can be challenging but there are ways to manage symptoms and improve quality of life. Working closely with a doctor to develop a treatment plan that works for you can be beneficial in reducing some of these complications. Eating healthy foods, exercising regularly and getting enough rest are also important components for managing this disease. Although there is no cure for Dercum’s Disease at this time, it is possible to reduce the risk of developing further complications by following these tips.

Last Thoughts on Dercum’s Disease

Dercum’s Disease is a rare and complex condition that affects many people worldwide. While it can be a debilitating disorder, patients and their families can take action to help manage the pain and other symptoms. Treatment options vary depending on the individual, but may include lifestyle changes, medications, physical therapy, and surgery. Additionally, emotional support from family and friends can be very beneficial in helping individuals manage their symptoms.

Overall, Dercum’s Disease is an unpredictable disorder that can cause chronic pain and disability. Although there is no cure for Dercum’s Disease, patients have access to treatments that can help alleviate the symptoms and improve quality of life. With proper medical care and support from family and friends, those living with Dercum’s Disease can enjoy a better quality of life.

It is important for those with Dercum’s Disease to create a comprehensive treatment plan with their doctor. This should include lifestyle modifications such as exercise, stress management techniques, proper nutrition, restful sleep habits, etc., as well as any other treatments recommended by your physician. With the right combination of treatments and support from family and friends, those living with Dercum’s Disease can lead healthy lives despite this challenging condition.

Xanthelasma Treatment