Ehler's danlos syndrome (eds) is a condition that affects the connective tissues of the body. There are 13 types of EDS, and the most common one is hEDS or hypermobility EDS, which affects approximately 1 of 3,100-5,000 people. EDS can be inherited genetically.
The three most common symptoms in people with hEDS are joint hypermobility, skin hyperextensibility, and tissue fragility.
Can you do a split? Or does your thumb bend backwards so far that it can touch your wrist? Those are two examples of joint hypermobility. Joints are the pieces of connective tissue that are between our bones. Joint hypermobility can be a problem because it makes people more likely to be injured through dislocations, sprains, or other joint problems.
Skin hyperextensibility means excessively stretchy skin. A common test for this is putting your hand flat on a table, and gently pinching and pulling the skin on the back of your hand.
Tissue fragility can also be a problem for people with EDS. Medically speaking, tissues are like the armor of our bodily organs. For example, our skin is a type of tissue (epithelial), but there is also nervous tissue, connective tissue and muscle tissue. Tissue fragility can be a problematic part of EDS because it leaves our organs more vulnerable to damage and injury. Because tissue is in all parts of our bodies, tissue fragility can pose a wide range of other symptoms, from bruising to gum disease.
Because EDS symptoms can vary so widely, there is no one mainstay of treatment for EDS patients. Rather, treatment plans are based on the individual. EDS patients should seek a care team of specialists from multiple disciplines to ensure that all of their symptoms are being treated differently and professionally.
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