Top 10 Weird and Rare Syndromes
Think you got it bad with all your health problems? There is always someone somewhere in the world that has it worse. You could have some rare illness that makes you howl at the moon or chase people around, begging them for cow manure to eat. It does happen. To make you feel better about all your aches and pains, check out what some people have to deal with in their lives.
10. Progeria Syndrome
In a society focused on retaining their youth by plastic surgery and anti-aging creams, you wouldn’t want to wish this on them. An extremely rare genetic affliction, progeria is a condition of premature aging. Occurring in about one in eight million, most do not live beyond the age of thirteen. Some of the signs and symptoms are small fragile bodies, wrinkled skin, and heart disease. If you have ever heard a teenager moan and groan about how they wish they were older, you might want to share this with them.
9. Werewolf Syndrome – hypertrichosis
No, this isn’t like Jacob on Twilight. At least he can control his transformation. Part of many circus sideshows, the wolfman has an overabundance of hair. Hair growth is accelerated all over the body in most cases. In others, it only shows up in certain areas. Julia Pastrana spent her life as the bearded lady in the circus. Her condition was so severe that she even grew hair on the palms of her hands. One family in Burma had this disease for four generations. On the bright side, you will be one of the best hair donators for wigmakers.
8. Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome
A rare inherited disorder created by the lack of certain enzymes, it causes a build-up of uric acid. Although it causes severe gout and kidney disorders, self-mutilation is the disorder’s most striking feature. At the age of two or three years old, the children might start biting their own fingers and lips, moving on to head banging, vomiting, spitting, even eating their own feces. Motor function can be so severely affected that the individual may never learn to walk and will have to use a wheelchair for the rest of their lives.
In 2009, an experimental screenplay was created by a local artist, a Professor of Theatre, and a group of undergrad students from Allegheny College called “Chewing your Fingers to the Bone”. It involved several storylines related to this illness. A primetime show, Nip Tuck, also had an episode where a patient needed plastic surgery after chewing off his own lips.
7. Cotard’s Syndrome
Coming in at number 7, you might not want to watch too many undead movies after this one. Cotard’s syndrome is the delusional belief that you are truly dead, no longer exist, are rotting away, and have lost all your internal organs. It can even include the idea that you are immortal, although cases like this are rare.
This syndrome is named after Jules Cotard. Jules describes a patient during a lecture who denied the existence of God, the Devil, several parts of her body, and even her need to eat. This patient later believed she was eternally damned (since she didn’t believe in the Devil, go figure) and could no longer die a natural death. What did she really die of? Starvation, naturally.
6. Foreign Accent Syndrome
Ever spent the day around someone with an accent and later find yourself talking like them? Imagine waking up from a severe head injury and finding you do it all the time. Foreign accent syndrome is just that. You start talking with what appears to be a foreign accent. Not to be confused with speaking another language entirely. Doctors believe this comes from a severe brain injury or stroke and causes the person to seem to talk with a foreign accent. It makes the person speak their own language with a dialectical or foreign accent. Usually the person who is afflicted with this condition finds it easier to use the accent differences throughout their everyday speech rather than struggle between their natural accent and the foreign one.