Ehlers Danloss Syndrome (EDS) is a medical condition that is inherited. The disorder can be marked by the patient having very loose (stretchy) skin that has a tendency to bruise easily. The life expectancy of a sufferer is normal.
There are five minor and six major types of EDS. Mutation of genes can lead to problems with collagen, which is the material that gives structure and strength to skin, bone, blood vessels and internal organs. The abnormal collagen gives rise to symptoms that are associated with Ehlers Danloss Syndrome. In some cases, the syndrome can lead to the rupture of the body's internal organs or problems with the valves of the heart.
Many types of EDS will overlap so it may well be difficult to determine one from the other. The common feature that is shared is fragile skin and laxity in ligaments and joints to a lesser or greater degree:
This is the most common type that is often never diagnosed. This can be linked with psychological symptoms like panic attacks and anxiety.
Minor features with this include skin splitting and multiple bruising that attacks the legs.
The symptoms with this appear as 'thin skin' with visible venous patterns. Premature skin aging with large eyes, nasal thinning and little ear lobes. This is EDS at its most severe. Life expectancy is reduced to around 48 years for people with this form, and sudden death can occur due to the rupture of the colon or arterial rupture. Studies on women who are pregnant with this condition show a mortality rate of 15 per cent due to complications.
This syndrome variation can cause abnormal spinal curves, fibrosis and severe motor delays.
In children, this can lead to problems with growth and hip dislocation.
This is a highly rare condition that is typically diagnosed in children by the age of two. Symptoms are the rupturing of membranes, bruising, puffy eyelids and short fingers. Rupture of internal organs and dental complications.
With EDS every person will have a different 'mix' of common symptoms and even though life expectancy is not affected, members of the same family can have a huge difference in symptoms. One could well be living a relatively normal existence while another is in a wheelchair with a feeding tube. Some common symptoms are:
There is no definitive cure for EDS because of the variety and diversity of symptoms. These are evaluated on an individual basis, and the appropriate actions are taken by medical professionals. There are, however, a number of complications that can occur for sufferers of the syndrome and these include:
The life expectancy depends on the type of Ehlers Danloss Syndrome that is present. If the diagnosis of vascular type EDS is early, then this will typically improve life expectancy. The sudden death of patients with vascular perforation or rupture is something that is not uncommon, and the complications can also happen with children. For somebody suffering from hypermobile-type EDS, the life expectancy is normal. However severe cases can lead to motor development delays, so the quality of life may be an issue.
Many disorders that are not well known have false assumptions associated with the, and the same goes for Ehlers Danloss Syndrome.