Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) is a connective tissue disorder which is not good because connective tissue provides support to body parts such as the skin, muscles and ligaments. Unstable joints and fragile skin in those of us with EDS are because of reduced amounts of collagen. There are 6 types of EDS and the types stay within each family. So, for instance, I have hypermobility type, so everyone in my genetic line will have hypermobility type; no one else can have a different type ever in my family.

The main symptoms of EDS are joint hypermobility which means that the joints are really loose and unstable and prone to frequent (daily, hourly) dislocations/subluxations; joint pain; hyperextensible joints (they move beyond the range of what a typical person joint should move); and early onset osteoarthritis. There are also skin symptoms of soft-velvety like skin; skin hyperextensibility; fragile skin that tears or bruises easily; severe scarring; poor wound healing; and development of pseudo tumors. Other symptoms can include chronic, debilitating pain (usually associated with the hypermobility type), arterial/intestinal/uterine rupture (usually associated with vascular type), scoliosis (usually associated with kyphoscoliosis type); poor muscle tone (usually associated with arthrochalasia type); mitral valve prolapse; and gum/tooth disease.

EDS affects anywhere from 1 in 2,500 to 1 in 5,000 people and it could affect even more than that according to some experts. The prognosis depends on the type you have. Vascular type can shorten your life span, but hypermobility type (like I have) doesn't necessarily shorten your life span at all.

The chart below explains how EDS is diagnosed:

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