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What is symmetric lipomatosis? Rare disease makes man look like Hulk [Representational Image]Reuters

A Chinese man was left looking like Marvel's big green superhero The Hulk after drinking strong liquor every day for three decades. However, it's not a really a good thing. He suffers from multiple symmetric lipomatosis, which causes fatty tumor growths on the upper part of his body, especially his neck.

The 68-year-old man, identified as Tan, from Xiangyang City in China reportedly started drinking at the age of 13 as his family allowed him. By the time he turned 40, his daily diet included at least one liter of strong rice wine, which he drank like water, Metro reported.

Heavy drinking on a daily basis led to the growth of those fatty tumors. Tan was later diagnosed with multiple symmetric lipomatosis.

What is Multiple symmetric lipomatosis?

It is a rare condition characterized by the symmetric growth of fatty tumors (lipomas) around the neck, upper arms, shoulders, and/or upper trunk.

The signs and symptoms of the condition vary greatly from person to person. Usually, the accumulation of fatty tissue increases over time, which can lead to loss of neck mobility and cause pain.

The exact cause of the rare condition is unknown, but it might be associated with mutations in mitochondrial DNA, according to the US National Institute of Health.

Tan's neck is currently wider than the size of average man's waist. He started noticing small fatty lumps developing on the upper part of his body in 1997. He visited doctors but was told not to worry about it, unless it started affecting his breathing, which started towards the end of 2017. 

Doctor Xiao Xuping at Hunan Provincial People's Hospital in Changsha, who diagnosed Tan with multiple symmetric lipomatosis, is planning surgical recession to remove the growths. The surgical process may include liposuction. However, fatty lumps might reoccur if Tan doesn't stop drinking.

"There are only 400-something cases of this disease worldwide some 200 of them have happened in China," Doctor Xiao said.