While you enjoy watching medical TV series or movies to the point that you’re sure you could tell the origins of different mysterious illnesses, you know that in reality, the medical conditions aren’t always as strange as the ones on TV.
However, sometimes, reality can be stranger than fiction. There are so many unusual diseases that seem to defy nature. Check out 8 of these mysterious medical conditions:
1. Venous Disease
Damaged vein walls may hinder the circulatory system, enabling blood to collect and flow in a retrograde fashion once the muscles relax, which also creates a high-pressure buildup in the veins. This buildup may cause further twisting and stretching of the veins, more valve incompetence, increased swelling, potential blood clot formation, and sluggish blood flow. This condition may result in various disorders referred to as venous disease.
Although it’s quite common, venous diseases like varicose veins don’t pose a great health risk. But thrombophlebitis can be more serious and life-threatening. Generally, thrombophlebitis is the vein’s inflammation that happens in response to a blood clot. Once it happens in the vein near the skin’s surface, it’s called superficial thrombophlebitis, which is a minor disorder identified by tender, red veins.
2. Aquagenic Urticaria
One of the diseases of the body that you may not have heard about is aquagenic urticaria, which causes allergies to anyone who touches water. People with this condition have had to make serious life changes like adopting a vegetarian diet to prevent their bodies from producing more oil.
Although nobody’s really sure how aquagenic urticaria happens, it actually affects women, but it’s very uncommon that it isn’t well understood.
3. Cotard’s Delusion
It’s a rare mental illness that causes the affected individual to believe that they’re immortal or dead. Patients suffer from a delusion that they’re not living. They also think that their body organs are decaying and that they’re in a degeneration state.
Due to the symptoms of Cotard’s Delusion, patients recede from any public interaction, get the urge to visit the graveyard, neglect personal hygiene and their overall health condition, and more. There are also instances that they may develop schizophrenia. Others die from starvation as they think they don’t have to eat.
Usually, one of the ways to treat an illness like Cotard’s Delusion is the use of antidepressants and mood-stabilizing drugs. Patients also get better with psychiatric visits on a regular basis.
4. Alice In Wonderland Syndrome (AIWS)
In 1995, a British psychiatrist named Dr. John Todd was the first one to describe AIWS. It was named after Lewis Carroll’s novel entitled “Alice In Wonderland” because the disease resembles the events that Alice has experienced.
The most disturbing and prominent symptom is the altered body image in which the sufferer will find that they’re confused about shapes or sizes and find that their perspective isn’t accurate. It may mean that buildings, cars, people, look bigger or smaller than they must be or some distances look incorrect. For instance, corridors may appear quite long or the ground appears too close.
5. Stoneman Syndrome
Also known as Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressive (FOP), this disease slowly turns connective tissues such as ligaments, tendons, and muscles into a bone. It’s a rare genetic condition of abnormal connective tissues, which affects 1 out of 2 million individuals worldwide. As of now, there’s no cure and the sufferers become caged by their own skeleton.
The symptoms appear before the person turn 10 years old and there are only over 800 cases across the globe. Usually, flare-ups happen after surgery and physical trauma has been known to make it worse. In fact, every surgical attempt to get rid of the formed bone only leads to another massive bone growth.
It’s possible to survive up to 40 years of age with proper treatment and assistance. In many cases, it’s misdiagnosed as cancer. However, the patients are often born with malformed thumbs or big toes, which distinguish the said illness easily.
Harry Eastlack is one of the popular victims of this illness, whose skeleton is on display in Philadelphia’s Mutter Museum. At the time of his death, his whole body had ossified, including his jaw bone, leaving him capable of only moving his lips.
6. Encephalitis Lethargica
It’s characterized as a sleeping disorder, which causes the sufferer to develop a high fever, fatigue, and sore throat. Eventually, sufferers end up falling into a slumber everywhere and anywhere. Compared to other diseases, encephalitis lethargica can be contagious and may carry on for one’s entire life. There’s no available treatment for it, but people who suffer from it sometimes wake up cured.
It occurs in only 1 out of 8 million live births and children with this rare condition show signs of aging from a young age. It happens due to genetic mutation and it’s inherited for the carriers who have a short lifespan—not enough to reproduce.
Children suffering from progeria are expected to live to an average of 13 years only and heatstroke is one of the most common causes of death. As of now, there’s no effective treatment found. But the disease doesn’t affect one’s mental abilities and all patients often have average to above-average capabilities.
One of the rare diseases that you may not have heard about is Xeroderma, in which the victim’s body is deficient in its ability to repair the damage caused by the UV lights. Also referred to as the vampire disease, it makes people’s eyes and skin react terribly once exposed to the sun. It may also result in severe sunburns if one stays in the sun for even a minute.
In addition, during their lifetime, many people with xeroderma get cancer and there are no vaccines available as of the moment. Although there’s surgery, it isn’t effective in removing excessive flesh but transmission can be prevented by a daily dose of particular oral concoctions.
These are just some of the many diseases of the body that you probably may not have heard about. Strange as they might seem, being aware of such diseases will help you be more knowledgeable and understand the presence of rare and unknown health conditions across the globe, which you can also share with others to raise awareness.