Understanding the complexities of a genetic disorder like Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) can be challenging. It’s even more complicated when you consider how these conditions may impact childhood experiences. This article will illuminate 23 signs you grew up with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, offering insights that may resonate with those who have lived with EDS or those who work with or care for individuals with this condition.
Understanding Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
Before we delve into these 23 signs, let’s shed some light on EDS. Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is a group of inherited disorders affecting your connective tissues — primarily your skin, joints, and blood vessel walls. People with EDS usually have overly flexible joints and stretchy, fragile skin. This syndrome can also lead to many other complications.
23 Signs You Grew Up with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
Recognizing the signs of EDS can help both affected individuals and their caregivers better understand and manage this condition. Here are 23 signs you may have grown up with EDS:
1. Hypermobile Joints
People with EDS often exhibit joint hypermobility. As a child, you might have been more flexible than your peers, potentially mistaken for just being “double-jointed.”
2. Easy Bruising
If you bruised easily and took longer than others to heal, it may be a sign of EDS. The fragility of the skin is a common characteristic.
3. Skin Hyperelasticity
EDS can cause the skin to be stretchy and soft. If you noticed this in your childhood, it could be an indicator of the condition.
4. Frequent Dislocations
Regular dislocations, especially without severe trauma, can be a telltale sign of EDS. This condition makes the joints unstable and prone to dislocation.
5. Chronic Pain
Chronic pain, particularly in the joints or muscles, is a common sign. The constant discomfort could have been part of your daily life as a child.
6. Dental Issues
Children with EDS often face dental challenges such as high palate, small jaws, and fragile teeth, which could lead to frequent dental visits.
Struggling with persistent fatigue that didn’t seem to relate to your activities might point to EDS. This syndrome can make people feel continually tired.
8. Difficulties in Sports
If you had troubles participating in sports due to pain, fatigue, or joint dislocations, it might be an indicator of EDS.
9. Poor Wound Healing
Slow or poor healing of wounds can be a sign. EDS affects the strength of your skin and its ability to recover from injuries.
10. Cardiovascular Problems
Childhood cardiovascular problems, like palpitations or light-headedness, could suggest a vascular type of EDS.
11. Gastrointestinal Issues
Early gastrointestinal problems, such as chronic constipation or irritable bowel syndrome, could be a sign.
12. Frequent Sprains
If you experienced frequent sprains as a child, especially with minor injuries, it might suggest EDS.
13. Sensory Processing Difficulties
Many children with EDS experience sensory processing challenges, making them sensitive to touch, noise, or lights.
14. Muscle Weakness
EDS can result in muscle weakness, making activities such as climbing stairs or carrying school bags challenging.
15. Scar Formation
Atypical scars, known as “cigarette paper” scars, due to their thin, wrinkly appearance, could indicate EDS.
16. Early Onset Arthritis
Early onset of arthritis might be a sign of EDS due to the wear and tear on unstable joints.
17. Difficulty with Fine Motor Skills
If you had difficulty with tasks requiring fine motor skills like buttoning clothes, it could suggest EDS.
18. Balance Issues
Battles with balance and frequent falls might have been an early sign of EDS.
19. Myopia (Nearsightedness)
Children with EDS sometimes develop myopia at an early age due to connective tissue defects.
20. Unexplained Stretch Marks
Unexplained stretch marks at a young age could suggest EDS. The skin’s elasticity can cause these marks.
21. Flat Feet
Flat feet could be a sign of EDS, as the condition often causes weakened connective tissues in the foot arches.
22. Prolonged Healing of Sprains or Strains
Long healing times for minor injuries like sprains or strains may indicate EDS.
23. Abnormal Scar or Wound Healing
Atypical healing of wounds or scars, such as widened or thickened scars, could suggest EDS due to the skin’s fragility.
If these signs resonate with your childhood, it’s essential to speak with a healthcare professional. Understanding Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and recognizing the signs early on can greatly help manage the condition and plan for a healthier future.