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10 Rare Medical Conditions That You Didn’t Know

Medicine is a vast field. There are several diseases, disorders, etc. The field of medical sciences has advanced to a great extent. There are treatments for cancer, one of the most dangerous diseases.  But even today, doctors and researchers are discovering new diseases or illnesses. The ones that are discovered recently are not yet appropriately researched. Today we are bringing to you 10 rare medical conditions that would baffle you.

Ambras Syndrome

hypertrichosis - rare medical conditions
Hypertrichosis Public Domain, Link

A person with this syndrome has an excess amount of hair growth on his body except for palms and soles. It is a skin disease which is also known as Werewolf syndrome. It is a type of Hypertrichosis. The person more or less looks like a werewolf. The disease was first reported by Baumeister et al. in the year 1993. It is one of the popular known rare medical conditions.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, other symptoms include a triangular face, bulbous nose, bushy eyebrows, hypertelorism (significant distance between eyes), and dental abnormalities like anodontia (absence of teeth). It is a genetic disorder. It is a dominant trait, meaning that if one parent has it, the child is supposed to get it.

Stone Man Syndrome

stone man syndrome

It is also known as Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP). It is a rare medical condition– one in 2 million suffers from this syndrome. In this syndrome, muscles, tendons, ligaments turn into bones. Their joints become locked, which restricts the movement and even breathing of the individual.

The first symptom to develop is the development of big toes and thumb. The condition progresses, and gradually the axial and appendicular skeleton fuses. As said earlier, muscles, ligaments, and tendons ossify or turn into bones. Trauma, surgery, injections to the muscles or jaw, etc. may increase the spread of disease. Just like Ambras syndrome, it is a genetic disorder and is a dominant trait.

Necrotizing Fasciitis

necrotizing fasciitis - rare medical conditions

It is rare and gross. There is something called flesh-eating bacteria. No, we are not bluffing. It is indeed, true. Many bacteria cause it but the major and most common one being group A Streptococcus. It was described for the first time by Jones in the year 1871. The term ‘necrotizing fasciitis’ was coined by Wilson somewhere in the 1950s.

The early symptoms of this disease are pretty much similar to other skin diseases like swelling, immense pain, even beyond the swelling area, and fever.  Later symptoms include dizziness, pus, or some substance oozing out of the affected area, blisters, ulcers, or dark/black spots on the skin, fatigue, nausea, or diarrhea. This is certainly one of those rare medical conditions that many would throw up by reading about it.

If not treated early, it can become deadly. The spread of the disease is pretty quick, and if the situation is not right, surgery is highly likely. It can cause organ failure, shock, sepsis, and loss of limbs. 6 out of 10 people succumb to this disease. People who have diabetes, who have kidney disease, cancer, etc. have weak immunity and are vulnerable to this bacteria. However, it is not contagious.

If you don’t want to contract this awful disease, then clean and take proper care of wounds even if they are minor. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, avoid swimming pools or natural water bodies if you have any skin infection or wound.

Klein-Levin Syndrome

sleeping beauty syndrome

It is famously known as Sleeping beauty syndrome. It is a rare neurological disorder that affects male adolescents more than females (70% of the people with this disorder are male adolescents). However, females who have this disorder suffer for a longer duration. Its symptoms are hypersexuality, hyperphagia (excessive eating), bouts of hypersomnia, and cognitive disturbances.

They can sleep for hours, days, and even weeks together. When they are awake, they eat a lot,  behave childishly, and even hallucinate. The disorder is seen to decrease as the person enters into adulthood.

Imposter Syndrome

imposter syndrome - rare medical conditions

Two psychologists, Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes, coined the term imposter syndrome in 1978. They introduced the syndrome through a paper that was published in Psychotherapy Theory, Research, and Practice. It is a feeling of inability that usually occur in successful women. Still, it doesn’t mean that males can’t get this disorder. It is to be noted that this disorder is not an official one.

A person who has imposter syndrome can’t believe that he/she achieved whatever he/she has achieved. They give weightage to luck or error but not on their abilities. They feel that they are like imposters in their life!

Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI)

fatal familial insomnia
Neurons and nervous system. 3d render of nerve cells. 3D illustration

It is a progressive neurodegenerative disease, meaning as time progresses, the number of neurons will further decrease. Loss of neurons and other mechanisms that take place in the brain causes fatal familial insomnia.

Early symptoms include weight loss, progressive insomnia, progressive dementia, loss of appetite, etc. The early symptoms begin to appear in mid-life (around 50 years of age). It is a dominant trait. Sporadic cases are rare in this disorder. There is no cure for this disorder, and research is going to understand it better. The person with FFI dies within 12 to 18 months after the early symptoms appear.

Kuru

kuru - rare medical conditions

It is a brain disorder that is fatal. It was seen among the people of Fore in New Guinea. The Fore people had the ritual of cannibalism, i.e., eating the body parts of their deceased relatives. This disease spreads either through eating or through open wounds or sores.

Early symptoms include slurred speech, tremors, mood swings, and unsteady walking as the disease affects the cerebellum. The incubation period is pretty long. The disease progresses, and at one point, the person can’t eat or stand and die with 6 to 12 months from the onset of early symptoms. It was widely reported in the 1950s and the 1960s. However, it has nearly disappeared now.

Aquagenic urticaria (AU)

aquagenic urticaria

It is undoubtedly one of the craziest rare medical conditions we know as of today. It is a disorder where the skin produces hives after getting in contact with water (including tears or sweat or saliva) irrespective of whether the water is hot or is of room temperature. It affects women most, especially during the onset of puberty. Some people may even report itching.

The exact cause of AU is unknown to date. The hives develop mostly on the neck, arms, and upper trunk, but it can occur on any other part as well. Once water is removed, the rashes fade by themselves within 30 to 60 minutes. Rawnsley and Shelley first reported it in the year 1964.

Cotard’s Syndrome

cotard's syndrome - rare medical conditions

It is also known as Cotard’s delusion or Walking corpse syndrome. Jules Cotard, a neurologist, was the first person to report this syndrome in 1882. A person with this delusion may believe that he lost his blood, limb, or soul. Some may even believe that they are dead. It is seen among people who suffer from depression, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, or other medical conditions.

The cause of this syndrome remains unknown. The people who suffer from this starve themselves to death. Some of them believe that they are in hell, and they even provide evidence to prove their claims like ‘the weather is warmer than usual, so it is hell and not earth!’

Bernard-Soulier Syndrome (BSS)

bernard-soulier syndrome

It is a bleeding disorder. The people who have this disorder have larger but fewer blood platelets. They tend to get bruised easily and bleed for a prolonged time, even for minor cuts. Women who have this disorder have prolonged menstrual bleeding.

It is an autosomal genetic disorder. It is a dominant trait, meaning if one parent has it, the likelihood of his/her children suffering from it is pretty high.

Alien Hand Syndrome

alien hand syndrome

It is a syndrome where one of the hands is not under the control of that person’s mind. The hand acts as if it has its own mind. People with this syndrome feels that the hand is not a part of his body. It doesn’t apply only to your hand; your leg may also act on its own. There are reports that stated that people with this syndrome hit themselves or attempt to choke themselves.

Brain tumors, strokes, neurodegenerative illnesses are the causes of this syndrome. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), botox injections, etc. are the ways used to treat Alien Hand Syndrome.

There are many such interesting rare medical conditions, if you want us to write more or you want to tell us about a new medical condition, then ping us below.

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