Amongst the list of several autoimmune diseases is the name of Dercum’s Disease also designated as Adipose dolorosa. Dercum’s Disease is a relatively rare disorder illustrated by the occurrence of several lipomas in the body. These highly agonizing tumors are most commonly seen in the trunk area of the human body and the anterior extremities of the appendages.
The age groups most vulnerable to the onset of this disease are those between 35 and 50 years. Medical research showcases higher incidence in the female gender. Although, initially it was suggested that most women in their menopausal years are prone to this disorder, the concept seems to have been shattered. A study conducted in the year 2007, highlighted that amongst women affected by this disease, 85.7 percent were still in their reproductive phase.
What Causes This Disease
Unfortunately, as in the case of several deadly diseases striking mankind in recent times, the cause of Dercum’s Disease also remains a mystery.
The medical fraternity has not been able to identify the real cause inflicting this disorder. However, certain hypothetical findings point towards abnormal functioning of the nervous system and the fat tissues, unwarranted exertion of pressure on the nerves and even extremely stressful living conditions as the causal agents. There are studies that indicate heredity transfer also as a potent cause.
The Indications of the Disease
The symptoms could vary in intensity amongst patients. Some of the common symptoms witnessed in patients include:
- Formation of benign and extremely stressful fat tumors
- Unexplained gain of weight, especially post menopause
- Perpetual feeling of tiredness
- A depressive attitude towards life highlighted by unstable emotional quotient
- Occurrence of epilepsy
- Confusion in thought process to the level of dementia
- Increased heart beat and breathlessness
- Chronic pain in the muscles and joint areas
- Burning sensation in the affected areas
- Vulnerability to other infections
- Stiffness of the limbs
- Lack of proper sleep
- Onset of diabetes
There is no specifically laid out diagnosis procedure for this disease. The doctor evaluates the extent by means of previous medical history, gravity of symptoms and conduct of blood tests, ultrasounds and MRI.
Most physicians prefer to channelize their treatment towards pain alleviation. The medical fraternity in general prescribes analgesics and non- steroidal anti inflammatory drugs for facilitating pain relief in patients. Surgery is also not canvassed as the probability of recurrence looms large in most cases. Sufficient evidence has not been furnished on the correlation between diet and the treatment of Dercum’s Disease.
Since the fundamental issue associated with Dercum’s Disease is chronic pain. It is cardinal for patients to adhere to the prescription medication to go through the day with respite in pain and get some sound sleep.
Patients could also explore other sources offering alleviation of pain. Methodologies such as acupuncture, massage, and sitting in warm water tubs could also offer some respite from the intense pain levied by the tumors.
Since certain studies relate stress to the onset of this disease. Therefore, it is advisable to practice yoga or other relaxation regimes.
Surviving With Dercum’s Disease
Those living with Dercum’s Disease find it extremely agonizing to endure the persistent pain. In fact, for many it gets immensely frustrating to be perpetually sick without any way out. It is a tough spot to be in, with no potent remedies vouching elimination of the disease. Although progressive forms of the disease call for regular medications, no insurance covers are available.
Since there are no visible forms of the disorder, seldom can others empathize with the patient. Even minor chores such as wiping the windows, doing the laundry, opening a tap or even carrying a normal bag can become colossal for a patient suffering from this disorder. A nutritionally potent diet can be the only possible answer to enhance one’s powers and pave way for a better quality of life.