Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome: A connective tissue disorder
Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is a group of disorders that affect the connective tissues that support the skin, bones, blood vessels, and many other organs and tissues. Defects in connective tissues cause the signs and symptoms of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which vary from mildly loose joints to life-threatening complications.
More than 1.5 million people around the world have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS). EDS may be one of the most under-diagnosed disorders because there is no cure and many doctors consider it too rare for anyone to have. People with EDS usually have overly flexible joints and stretchy, fragile skin. In a more severe form, the vascular EDS, it can cause the walls of the blood vessels, intestines or uterus to rupture. On the other hand, people with the kyphoscoliosis form of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome experience severe, progressive curvature of the spine that can interfere with breathing.
The most common form of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome are:
- Over flexible joints. The joints with loose connective tissues can move far the normal range of motion.
- Stretchy skin. Skins can be pulled or stretched much more than the usual and feels velvety or extra soft.
- Dainty skin. This causes the damaged skin to not heal well. Stitches that means to help close a wound will tear out and leave a gaping scar because of fragile skin.
Since there is no cure found yet for EDS, doctor's advice treatment that can help in managing the symptoms to prevent further complications.
- Medications. Doctors may prescribe drugs to help lessen the pain and lower blood pressure.
- Physical therapy. Exercises may be advised to strengthen the muscles around a joint and stabilize it. Braces can also be suggested to prevent further joint dislocations.
- Surgery. Surgery is sometimes recommended to repair the joints that was damaged by repeated dislocations.
People with EDS faces a lifelong challenge and should be supported in coping with it. They still should be treated like a normal person but take into considerations the activities they engage in as this may affect their situation.
Published at: 08/24/2016