Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome: When The Joints Are Hypermobile And The Skin Bruises Easily
What is Ehlers-Danlos syndrome?
Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is an inherited condition that affects connective tissue, including the skin, joints, and blood vessels walls. There are several forms of this condition, depending on what area in the body is involved. Doctors distinguish 13 major types of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
The disorder may lead to problems with the skin, blood vessels, and bones. However, all types of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome may have several things in common: an increased range of joint movement and stretchy or fragile skin.
Ehlers-Danlos syndrome may have been inherited from parents. In some cases, the faulty gene develops in an individual for the first time without a family history of this сondition. The syndrome affects people in different ways. Typically, symptoms are mild, but sometimes the condition can result in serious health problems.
According to scientists, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome affects 1 in 5000 people in the world. Hypermobile type of the disorder is the most common. The other forms are relatively rare.
Symptoms of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
The signs of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome may vary from person to person. However, the symptoms of classical Ehlers-Danlos usually include the following:
- loose joints;
- very elastic and fragile skin;
- skin that bruises easily;
- stretchy skin;
- muscle pain and fatigue;
- extreme tiredness;
- joint pain;
- problems with digestion such as constipation and heartburn;
- dizziness and a high heart rate when standing up;
- problems with bladder control.
Vascular type of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome can lead to the problems with blood vessels. This form of the condition can weaken aorta as well as the arteries to the other area of the body.
Ehlers-Danlos syndrome has some potential complications that include the following:
- chronic pain;
- joint dislocation;
- scarring as wounds heal very slowly;
Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is a genetic condition, so doctors can’t treat it. At the same time, there are several options to relieve the symptoms. They include:
- surgery to fix damaged joints;
- medications to ease pain;
- physical therapy to rehabilitate joints and muscles.
If you have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, you may also take certain steps to protect your muscles and joints:
- don’t play contact sports;
- avoid lifting weights;
- avoid harsh beauty products that can overdry your skin;
- don’t forget about sunscreen.
If you think that you may have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, see your doctor. He or she will be able to diagnose you with several tests. An accurate diagnosis will help to develop an effective treatment plan. Many of the symptoms are manageable.
It is very important to adapt your usual activities to lower the risk of injury. There are also several ways to conserve the energy if a person with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome experiences fatigue.
This article is purely for informational purposes. Do not self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information stated in the article.