Ehlers Danlos Syndrome
Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is a disease that weakens the connective tissues of your body. These are things like tendons and ligaments that hold parts of your body together.
Causes of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome
EDS happens when your body doesn’t make a protein called collagen in the right way.
Collagen helps form the connections that hold your body’s bones, skin, and organs together.
If there’s a problem with it, those structures can be weak and more likely to have problems.
EDS is a genetic disorder.That means it’s something you get from your parents.
If one of your parents has this condition, you’re likely to have it, too.
Symptoms of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome
Each type of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome has its own symptoms. The most common type of the condition is Ehlers-Danlos hypermobility, or hypermobile EDS.
Its symptoms include:
Hypermobile (overly flexible) joints
Soft skin that is thinner and stretches more than normal
Diagnosis of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome
The most common way to identify the condition is to look for a faulty gene.
In some cases, a doctor will use a test called a biopsy. In this test, the doctor removes a sample of skin and examines it under a microscope to look for signs of the condition, such as specific genes and gene mutations (abnormalities).
During a physical exam, doctors can see how much the skin stretches and how far the joints can move.
Tests that provide images of the inside of the body can help doctors identify abnormalities including heart function problems and curved bones. These tests include X-rays and computerized tomography (CT) scans.
Treatment of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome
Treatment for Ehlers-Danlos syndrome aims to prevent dangerous complications.
It can also help protect the joints, skin, and other tissues from injuries.
An individual’s treatment depends on many factors, including the type of the disorder and symptoms.
To protect the skin, doctors recommend using sunscreen and mild soaps.
Taking extra Vitamin C can help reduce bruising.
Physical therapy (exercises to strengthen the muscles supporting the joints) can help prevent joint injuries.
Braces also help stabilize joints.
Because blood vessels are fragile, doctors will monitor people with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and may use medication to help keep blood pressure low and stable.
Dislocated joints and other joint injuries are common among people with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
For this reason, doctors recommend they avoid:
Strenuous (heavy) lifting
High-impact exercise where the body pounds the ground