Dermatology/Dercum's Disease

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Question
Could you please tell me if you think I may have Dercum's?
I recently found that an Aunt was diagnosed with DD many years ago. There is no way to find out about her medical hx. and she is deceased. I am a 48y/o white female with multiple painful lipomas. There are several bilaterally on my lower back, one large one (R) lower scapula, sides and back of both knees. I first noticed them about 6 months ago, after receiving steroids (ESI) for lower back and leg pain. Many other symptoms include, painful joints, weakness, tiredness, morning stiffness, problems concentrating, and much pain. I fell like I just worked out all the time with pain and stiffness. I don't have insurance so medical care is a challenge. I made an appointment to see you this month but don't know if I will be able to come due to financial reasons.  Please help!!!

Answer
Dercum's disease is an extremely rare disorder characterized by multiple, painful growths consisting of fatty tissue (lipomas). These growths mainly occur on the trunk, the upper arms and upper legs and are found just below the skin (subcutaneously). Pain associated with Dercum's disease can often be severe. Pain may be caused by these growths pressing on nearby nerves. Dercum's disease mainly occurs in adults and more women are affected than men. In some cases, affected individuals may also experience weight gain, depression, lethargy, and/or confusion. The exact cause of Dercum's disease is unknown. From your description you could have Dercum's disease.

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Michael S. Fisher, <B>Ph.D., M.D.</B>

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