Rare Diseases You Didn’t Know Existed

/ Lifestyle

It’s scared to be diagnosed with a disease that has a painful, long or costly treatment but it’s even scarier to be diagnosed with a disease that has no treatment at all. And, to top it off, even if a treatment exists, the baffling disease is so rare, that the specialists are often hesitant to start the procedure without ruling out other possibilities first.

Hakeem fact: 4% of the population has a rare disease!

Here is a list of strange diseases that you probably didn’t know existed:

1.      Cotard Delusion

A person suffering from walking corpse syndrome (also known as cotard delusion) believes that he or she is dead. The beliefs vary from having failed organs to being partially dead or fully a corpse. Psychologists say that people who usually think that it is their body and personality that changes their behavior rather than their surrounding environment have a tendency to develop this disorder. Research suggests that people with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and borderline personality disorder are at risk of developing this eerie disease.

Image of a dead body's feet in a mortuary.
Fact: Severe depression can cause cotard delusion too. (Yikes!)

2.      Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

This is a disorder of the connecting tissues in the body that support our bones, skin, tissues and various organs. People suffering from it have elastic-like skin and very loose, oddly bendable joints. There is no treatment for it at the moment and though most of the time it does not impact the life expectancy of the person, in severe cases, dislocation, internal bleeding, and permanent bone damage can occur. Usually, the patients easily get cuts and wounds and experience joint pain and spine deformity. Babies whose motor skills develop after a long period (they take time to sit, stand, walk and respond), are at risk of having this syndrome.

Boy getting his injured arm treated by a doctor.
Ehlers-Danlos can be life threatening! 

3.      Landau-Kleffner Syndrome

In this strange disorder, children do not develop the ability to decipher verbal or non-verbal language. Many of the diagnosed suffer from severe seizures. They do not react, communicate and respond. It is said that they ‘acquire’ deafness. It affects boys more than girls. Various drugs are available to treat the syndrome and some parents also opt for therapy.

Asian girl having a seizure.
This syndrome only occurs in children!

4.        Encephalitis lethargica

Characterized as a sleeping disorder, it causes the person to develop a high fever, a sore throat, and fatigue. Eventually, the person ends up falling into a slumber anywhere and everywhere. Research suggests that encephalitis lethargica is contagious and may carry on for the person’s entire life. There is no treatment available for it but people suffering from it sometimes miraculously wake up cured.

Teenage girl sleeping whilst studying.
Their sleeping patterns are not in their control!

5.      Xeroderma

You might want to thank your dermatologist for treating those acne scars and unwanted hair because xeroderma has no cure. Also known as the vampire disease, it makes the person’s skin and eyes react terribly if exposed to the sun and other things that emit UV rays. Early diagnosis of the disease can be done in childhood as xeroderma patients get severe sunburns by staying in the sun for even less than a minute. Moreover, during their lifetime most people with this disease get cancer. If that wasn’t haunting enough, as this disease progresses, abnormalities such as hearing loss and inability to walk occur.

American boy with rashes and freckles on his skin.
Even if you're skin is normal, apply sunscreen to prevent sunburns.

6.      Argyria

If you’re using products that contain a lot of silver, stop! If silver sediment gets stored in your body, you can literally turn blue. Several cases have been reported of this irreversible condition. One man actually went by the name Papa Smurf because his entire body had turned silverish-blue. Lucky for you, this disease is the rarest in this list and was dominant in the 19th century.

The character Papa Smurf.
Blue only looks good on a cartoon!

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Rare Diseases You Didn’t Know Existed
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