What is Buffalo Hump
The term buffalo hump is related to a lump of fat that develops at the top of the neck between the shoulders. It may be related to a wide variety of conditions, most of which involve the hormones that are produced by the adrenal glands and are found in the blood. Anyone can develop a buffalo hump, so it is important to understand the possible causes, symptoms and treatments.
Buffalo Hump Symptoms
There are many symptoms that are associated with the buffalo hump. Every patient may experience different symptoms. These symptoms are caused by excessive cortisol production and may include but are not limited to:
- Elevated blood sugar levels
- Excessive hair growth
- Increased and excessive thirst
- Facial swelling
- Reddening of the face
- Frequent urination
- High blood pressure
- Changes in the menstrual cycle
- Obesity or weight gain
Buffalo Hump Pictures
Picture 1: Buffalo Hump
Photo source: Healthwise
Picture 2: Buffalo Hump on neck
Photo source: wilshireaesthetics
Picture 3: Buffalo Hump Photo
Photo source: hivandhepatitis
Buffalo Hump Causes
There are many different causes of the buffalo hump, although it is usually caused by hormonal imbalances or excessive fat accumulation in the body. The hormonal imbalances can be caused by a wide variety of factors including medications, endocrine disorders and Cushing’s syndrome. The buffalo hump may also be closely linked to obesity and osteoporosis. Some of the medications that are closely associated with the development of the buffalo hump include but are not limited to:
- AIDS medications
Some patient will experience just one or two of these symptoms, in addition to the buffalo lump on neck, while others will experience most or all of them. Working closely with a doctor will determine if the symptoms are directly related to the buffalo hump on neck or not.
Some of the glandular conditions that may cause the buffalo hump include but are not limited to:
- Adrenal hyperplasia
- Adrenal tumors
- Pituitary dysfunction
- Pituitary tumor
- Cushing’s syndrome
Buffalo Hump Diagnosis
The diagnosis for buffalo hump is made through asking a serious of questions as well as doing any blood tests and imaging that will help locate adrenal problems and high levels of cortisol. Some of the questions that will be asked by a doctor will include but are not limited to:
- What symptoms do you have?
- How old are you?
- Have you been diagnosed with osteoporosis
- Have you been diagnosed with any endocrine disorders
- What medications are you currently taking?
- What medications have you taking in the past?
- How long have you been taking your current medications?
These questions will be asked to help a doctor determine what, if anything, is causing a buffalo hump. Knowing the cause will help the doctor avoid continued problems. The buffalo hump needs to be addressed, which is why diagnosis is so important. If left untreated the buffalo hump is not of medical concern on its own, but it may be associated with other complications that can be caused by the same medications and hormonal balances that cause the hump.
Possible associated complications of a buffalo hump include but are not limited to:
The buffalo hump itself will not cause any medical issues, but the specific cause of it may cause continued issues. While the hump may not cause any direct issues, it is often a cause of embarrassment for the individual who develops this lump on the neck area of their body. As such, many people seek treatment despite the fact that it is not of health concern.
Buffalo Hump Treatment
Again, it must be made clear that the hump itself does not cause any health related issues, but many people choose to have it removed for aesthetic reasons. This is because the buffalo hump can be quite unsightly and may cause one to be self conscious. Many people are able to do away with the hump simply by discontinuing the medication that may be causing it. For others, it may require surgery for it to be removed and take back their previous appearance.
Buffalo Hump Removal
Buffalo Hump Surgery
Surgery is very common for the Buffalo hump, as it allows for many people to feel much more comfortable with their appearance. The surgery requires making an incision in the skin and through the muscle, if necessary, to remove the accumulation of fats or tissues that are causing the hump. This can be problematic for those who have HIV or AIDS as they are more prone to infection and this is major surgery.
Buffalo Hump Liposuction
Buffalo hump liposuction is becoming more and more popular. In the past it was frowned upon, but today it is found to be one of the most efficient and effective means of the hump. This usually involves the use of the VASER Lipo Technology that will allow for the surgeon to remove all of the accumulated fats and deposits and also sculpt the area so that it is not readily obvious that the patient ever suffered from a buffalo hump.
If surgery is an option for a patient, they may find that they are helped by exercises. These exercises will naturally treat the hump as it moves the muscles, joints, and skin and will help to avoid the accumulation of the fat deposits. When combined with a discontinuation of the medications that are causing the buffalo hump, the exercises can be very effective. Others find that having the area massaged in addition to regular exercise will help to alleviate the appearance of the bump and may also help to do away with the fatty deposits.
With so many treatment options, there is no reason for an individual to feel bad about their appearance if they have a buffalo hump. While one treatment option is not the best option for all, one can choose what is most convenient for them so that they can begin to feel comfortable in their own body again.