Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is basically a group of inherited conditions affecting the connective tissues such as the walls of the blood vessels, skin and joints. A connective tissue is a mixture of proteins and other substances in providing strength and elasticity to the structures of the body.
Those who are suffering from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome have joints that are over flexible, the skin is fragile and stretchy and it can be a problem if the individual has a wound and requires stitches since the skin is not strong enough in hold them in place.[youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZVdvQowBys” width=”200″ height=”220″]
A vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome which is a more severe type of the condition can cause the blood vessel walls, intestines or uterus to rupture. A person suffering from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome should take an advice from a genetic counselor before a person plans to start a family.
- The skin is stretchy due to the weakened connective tissues
- Overly flexible joints caused by the connective tissues that hold the joints together are loose and the joints are free to move past the normal range of motion. These loose joints can cause sprains, dislocations, swelling, flat feet, and pain in the joints.
- A very fragile skin due to damaged skin that does not heal well and can cause skin scarring due to wounds or by stretching, a fleshy growths appearing on top of the scars, there is difficulty in creating sutures because the skin can easily cause tearing. A minor injury can turn into a gaping wound and the skin can easily bruise.
- A small and harmless growth like fatty lumps that develops around the knees or elbows that can be seen on the X-ray.
Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is associated with a genetic cause in which some are inherited and transferred from parent to the child.
Treatment and home remedies
- Avoiding injuries when playing contact sports, weightlifting and activities that gives a person high risk of having injuries. It is best to learn more about the proper management of injuries by enrolling in a first aid class
- Perform muscle strengthening exercises before doing some activities.
- Encourage the use of joint braces.
- By keeping walkways and doorways clear of the clutter and avoiding placing loose rugs and electrical cords on the floor since this will cause a person to fall or trip.
- In protecting a very fragile skin and premature aging of the skin, use mild soaps and wearing sunscreen lotion when outside of a house.
- Consult a doctor regarding pregnancy and the possible complications.
- The individual should take vitamin C supplements since they are useful for Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and helps in minimizing bruising of the skin and aids in the improvement and healing of wounds.
Prevention of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
There is no way to prevent Ehlers-Danlos syndrome after a person is born. An individual who has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome or a family member who has this syndrome should consult a genetic counselor when a person decides to have children. The counsellor will discuss the possible risks of the child acquiring the Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.