Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is a disease that weakens the connective tissues of a person’s body. These are things like tendons and ligaments that hold parts of the body together. EDS can make the joints loose and the skin thin and easily bruised. It can also weaken blood vessels and organs.
There’s no cure for EDS, but the symptoms can often be treated and managed.
Types of EDS
There are 14 major types of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome that have been subtype. These include;
- Brittle cornea
Each type of EDS affects different areas of the body. However, all types of EDS have one thing in common: hypermobility. Hypermobility is an unusually large range of movement in the joints.
Signs and symptoms of the most common form of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome include;
- Overly flexible joints – because the connective tissue that holds joints together is looser, the joints can move far past the normal range of motion. Joint pain and dislocations are common.
- Stretchy skin – weakened connective tissue allows the skin to stretch much more than usual.
- Fragile skin – damaged skin often doesn’t heal well.
Symptoms severity can vary from person to person. Some people with EDs will have overly flexible joints, but few or none of the skin symptoms.
There’s no specific treatment for EDS, but it’s possible to manage many of the symptoms with support and advice.
People with EDS may also benefit from support from a number of different healthcare professionals.
Medications – the doctor may prescribe drugs to help control symptoms, such as;
- Blood pressure
Physical Therapy – joints with weak connective tissue are more likely to dislocate. Exercises to strengthen the muscles and stabilize joints are the primary treatment for Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
Surgical and other procedures – surgery may be recommended to repair joints damaged by repeated dislocations. It may also be necessary to repair ruptured blood vessels or organs in people with EDS, vascular type.
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