Dercum's disease, Adipositas dolorosa 3.5/5 (14)

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Painful fat globules characterize Dercum's disease / obesity dolorosis. Lipom Sikander Iqbal - Own work, CC BY 3.0

Dercum's disease / Adiopsitas dolorosa / Anders disease


Chronic pain and fat bullets beneath the skin. Typically, tenderness and pain are especially localized in fatty tissue. It is controversial whether the condition is an own disease or a combination of chronic pain at, for example Fibromyalgia and overweight with fat clusters (lipomas). There are (as per 2017) no systematic studies of the condition, only descriptions of individual cases.

Disease Cause

The root cause of causation is unknown


Combination of

  • adipositas (increased fat tissue and obesity)
  • Chronic pain in fat tissue, especially related to lipomas

A number of other symptoms are described


Pain located in or around lipomas

  • No results in blood tests
  • No special findings in the event of a tissue investigations (biopsy)

Incorrect diagnosis (Similar conditions, differential diagnoses)


No special therapy

  • Pain medication
    • Avoid long-term use of addictive drugs in chronic disease (the effect decreases over time and side effects can outweigh the effect)
  • High doses of cortisone (Prednisolone) may relieve but for a long time, side effects exceed the usefulness
  • Surgical removal of lipomes can relieve transiently
  • Measures to master chronic pain are important
    • Regular physical activity
    • Relaxation if tension is available
  • Weight reduction by overweight


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