What is it?

Dercum disease (Adiposis Dolorosa, Anders' syndrome and Dercum-Vitaut syndrome) - is a rare condition characterized by multiple, painful growth of fatty tissues called lipomas. It is much more common in obese women and usually affects the torso, upper arms, or upper legs. Dercum disease is a chronic, progressive disorder. The etiology and prognosis are not known.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Lipoid Metabolism Disorders

Signs & symptoms

The main symptom is painful lipomas. Lipoma's size can vary in size. Other symptoms e may include: obesity, fatigue, weakness, depression, headaches, easy bruising, irritability, morning stiffness, cognition problems like memory, concentration or thinking and difficulty sleeping.


There is no specific test to check for Dercum’s. Doctors will seek for symptoms and signs in physical exam and will run exams to rule out other conditions such as lipedema. Further exams that can be done to rule out other conditions are CT scans, MRI and a biopsy.


There is no specific cure for Dercum's but some drugs can be suggested to alleviate the symptoms such as pain relievers, cortisone injections, calcium channel modulators, methotrexate, infliximab and interferon alpha. Combination of drugs can also be helpful. In severe cases, surgery will be suggested, but there is still a chance some of the lipomas will grow back. Liposuction, balanced diet, acupuncture, and emotional support may also be suggested.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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