Lipodystrophy: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/24/2021

Lipodystrophy refers to an abnormal distribution of fat in the body. It can involve both loss of fat and abnormal accumulations of fat tissue anywhere in the body.

Lipodystrophy can affect all or part of the body. Signs and symptoms can include areas of the body that appear thin while other areas may appear to be enlarged. Children with the genetic form of lipodystrophy may have symptoms and signs including

  • prominent musculature,
  • protruding belly,
  • voracious appetite,
  • early puberty,
  • cognitive deficiencies,
  • growth faster than their peers, and an
  • increased bone age.

Causes of Lipodystrophy

The disease may be caused by a genetic condition such as familial partial lipodystrophy or acquired. The acquired form typically develops after an infection, autoimmune illness, trauma, or repeated pressure or injury on a specific area of the body.

Other lipodystrophy symptoms and signs

  • Cognitive Deficiencies
  • Early Puberty
  • Growth Faster Than Their Peers
  • Increased Bone Age
  • Prominent Musculature
  • Protruding Belly
  • Voracious Appetite

From WebMD Logo

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Children's Health & Parenting Newsletter

By clicking "Submit," I agree to the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. I also agree to receive emails from MedicineNet and I understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet subscriptions at any time.

Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.