What Is EDS?
Wednesday, 25 July 2018
Finally getting the right diagnosis for your unexplained fatigue, pain, fragile skin and exceptional flexibility is a great relief, but more often than not, that's where the treatment of most incurable yet non-life threatening conditions ends. EDS, or Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, most definitely belongs in that category, and learning as much as you can about it can make living with this condition a lot more bearable. Read on to find out what causes it, how you can easily recognise it, and what you can do to relieve the most common symptoms.
What Is EDS?
EDS is a group of rare inherited conditions that affect connective tissue, known under the name EDS, or Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes. Connective tissues provide support in skin, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, internal organs and bones, which means the condition can have an impact on virtually any part of your body.
The different types are caused by faults in certain genes that make connective tissue weaker and, depending on the specific type, the faulty gene may have been inherited from one parent or even both parents. A person with EDS can only pass on the same type of EDS to their children, yet the severity of the condition may vary within the same family.
To date 13 major types of EDS have been identified, and despite their common name, each type is a distinct condition, caused by a different gene mutation. Some of the most common types of Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes include:
What Are the Symptoms of EDS?
Though each type of EDS affects different areas of the body, there are certain symptoms that are common to most types. The hypermobile, classic and vascular types share the following symptoms:
Living with EDS
There is no cure or specific treatment for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), but proper support, advice and pain management can help relieve most of your symptoms. While it's important not to become overprotective of your body, adapting your activities to fit your condition is crucial if you want to prevent potential injuries:
If you feel you might need something a bit more structured to help you ease the pain and make your everyday more comfortable, you should definitely consider:
5 Products People with EDS Swear By
Dealing with pain, fatigue and dislocations on a daily basis is exhausting, and although there are virtually no specific items designed for individuals with EDS, numerous products can help you alleviate the symptoms. Each person with EDS is different, and it may take some time before you find what suits you the most, but you can start with a few suggestions from people with similar problems.
Kinesiology tape lifts the skin away from the muscles to allow for decompression in the area, helping to reduce swelling and pain. RockTape Kinesiology Tape is one of the best kinesiology tapes on the market that offers excellent stretch and durability.
KT Tape Kinesiology Therapeutic Tape is a top quality kinesiology tape that works similarly to Rock Tape, helping to improve circulation and reduce pain and inflammation in sore muscles and joints. It can even help to stabilise joints and reduce swelling.
Compression can be used on your arms or legs to improve the blood flow and help with muscle fatigue or pain. This Sigvaris Compression Sleeve is made from thermo-regulating, natural microfibre fabric, making it ideal for all seasons.
On a similar note, compression leggings improve blood circulation in your legs, in addition to keeping your joints in place to prevent hyperextension. These LP Embio Compression Tights are designed to support hips, thighs, knees and calves, prevent muscle fatigue and decrease inflammation.
A TENS Machine uses small electric currents to provide nerve and muscle stimulation, as well as a gentle massage. This can help to relieve any pain and soreness in your muscles.