What is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?
What is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome? It is a group of conditions that are all related to tissues. The different ailments are differentiated on their causes and how these are able to affect your body.
In fact, there are 13 different types of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Each has their own clinical criteria and the symptoms and consequences differ based on the type. Continue reading to know more about this condition.
As mentioned, there are 13 types of EDS. But what will be tackled in this article are only the most common ones. Learn more about these below.
- Classical EDS (CEDS)
It is considered the first major criterion. If you have this condition, you are most likely to have skin hyperextensibility, atrophic scarring, and joint hypermobility.
- Classical-like EDS (CLEDS)
It has 3 major criteria with autosomal recessive transmission and family history compatible. This condition can give you spontaneous ecchymoses, joint hypermobility, and skin hyperextensibility. You can expect your skin to be easily bruised when you have this condition.
- Cardiac-Valvular EDS (CVEDS)
This condition can give you joint hypermobility, especially in your small joints. It also has skin hyperextensibility, thin skin, easy bruising, and atrophic scars.
If you have not found your condition in any of those mentioned, it is best that you consult with your doctor first or get a diagnostic.
Symptoms of EDS
Of course, signs need to show up first before you can think that you have this condition. As such, you need to look out for the following symptoms:
Expect a lot of changes in your skin if you have EDS. You will have soft velvety skin, fragile skin that can easily give it bruises, poor wound healing, skin hyperextensibility, and severe scarring.
Other than your skin, your joints will slowly show symptoms as well. You will feel joint hypermobility, and hyperextensible joints wherein the joints move more than the normal range. You will also experience frequent joint dislocations, joint pain, and even early onset of having osteoarthritis.
There are also other symptoms that may appear from this ailment. There will be musculoskeletal pain, scoliosis, poor muscle tone, and gum disease. Take note, each condition will have a different set of symptoms so do not worry if you get a different symptom from other patients.
If you feel that you have the abovementioned symptoms, then it is best that you go to your doctor. Your doctor will then refer you to a geneticist for an accurate diagnostic. You will undergo a physical examination first. The doctors will check your joints: how these work and if there are complications with these.
After that, the skin will be tested next. The doctor will check the texture of your skin and what happens when it expands. There might even be additional tests required, depending on what the doctor thinks is needed for your body. You might be even required to bring your medical history for the doctor to see if you have past experience with EDS.
Once the doctor was able to get the results of your test and your medical history, he or she will then see if you do have the condition. That is not all as the doctor will also see to it that you know which type of EDS are you included. This way, you will be able to know the right ways to treat this condition.
Unfortunately, there is no official cure for this condition. But the doctor will recommend you different ways to treat this disease. You can do any of the following:
Expect that the doctor will prescribe you some medicine for your sickness. It can be medicines for pain such as Tylenol and ibuprofen. If you have acute injuries, the doctor might advise that you take stronger medications.
Another type of medicine that you are most likely going to buy are for blood pressure. This is because if you have EDS, your blood pressure tends to be more fragile so it is best that you maintain the pressure low.
Since your joints are weak during this time, it is suggested that you undergo physical therapy. This way, you have a chance to stabilize your joints and strengthen your muscles. Expect that the physician would recommend that you have specific braces during the therapy for better results.
This would be the worst case scenario if your joints are severely damaged. But remember, your skin will not be able to heal that easily if you undergo surgery. So if you do not have a ruptured joint or blood vessel, then you should not have surgery at all.
In conclusion, EDS is a condition that involved your connected tissues. It mostly affects your joints and skin. This disease has various types, each with different causes and symptoms. But the most common would be seen in your skin and felt in your joints.
Once you see that there is something wrong with your body, immediately consult with your doctor. You will then undergo several tests and would require you to provide your medical history. Once you are diagnosed with EDS, the doctor will give you two ways to treat the condition: medicines and physical therapy.
In the worst cases, you might have surgery. But this is not advisable as your skin will not be able to heal afterward. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this condition yet so you would have to stick with the suggested treatments.