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What is Ehlers-Danlos syndrome?

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Quick Answer

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is a set of genetic diseases that affect the connective tissues in the body, states the Mayo Clinic. These diseases can affect the blood vessels, skin and joints. There are six main types of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome: kyphoscoliosis, dermatosparaxis, classic, arthrochalasis, vascular and hypermobility, notes Healthline.

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Full Answer

Typical symptoms of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome include heart valve problems, transparent skin, sunken cheeks and overly flexible muscles, indicates Healthline. The diagnosis of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is determined by the clinical findings and family history of the patient, notes MedicineNet. The tests used to diagnose Ehlers-Danlos syndrome include a skin biopsy, genetic tests and an echocardiogram, states Healthline.

There is no cure for Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, but treatment can help the patient manage the symptoms and prevent further complications, notes the Mayo Clinic. Current treatment methods for Ehlers-Danlos syndrome include drugs to minimize pain, surgery to repair damaged joints, and physical therapy to rehabilitate joints and muscle instability. To prevent injuries and protect the joints, patients should avoid lifting weights, contact sports, and harsh soaps that may over-dry the skin or cause allergic reactions, notes Healthline.

Complications of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome depend on the types of symptoms and signs of the condition, indicates the Mayo Clinic. Potential complications include joint dislocation, chronic joint pain and the appearance of scars due to slow-healing wounds, notes Healthline.

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