Monday, 25 June 2012

Unbelievable Medical Conditions

Aquagenic Urticaria – Allergy to Water
Urticaria, who are allergic to water in all forms – even tears. One British woman with this highly unusual condition can’t even hold her son because if he sweats, she “gets covered in sore lumps.” “I am a prisoner in my own body,” Michaela Dutton told The Metro. “I don’t see friends because they wrongly think it’s contagious.”
Morgellons
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Today, Morgellons stands as a very poorly understood disease that some doctors seem to believe if a chronic infectious disease. Sadly, the disease is usually disfiguring as well as disabling. The disease is classified by biting, itching, or crawling sensations, filaments that grow from the skin, and skin lesions, as well as memory loss, joint paint, and fatigue. Morgellons is still not recognized by the entire medical community, but there have been about 2,000 people within the U.S. who believe they suffer from the disease. Some of the reports are children, who are said to be unable to do normal things such as going to school or playing sports. There is no known cure or effective treatment for Morgellons.
Paraneoplastic pemphigus (PNP)
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Though there are many forms of pemphigus, paraneoplastic pemphigus is the least common and most serious. PNP is a rare autoimmune bullous disease that causes blistering. Keratinocytes, which are what make up the epidemus, separate from each other, leaving gaps. Many times the gaps become filled with fluid peel off, leaving the skin raw and open to infection. These blisters usually appear in the mouth, throat, lips, and random places on the skin. The disease is also extremely fatal, as 90% of those diagnosed with the disease die due to sepsis, multi-organ failure, or cancer that caused the disease.
Microcephaly
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Microcephaly is a very rare condition that is noticeable immediately at birth, and sometimes even before. It affects 1 in every 666,666 in the U.S. With microcephaly, the brain is unable to develop properly, or in some cases ceases to grow at all, while the baby is still in the womb. This causes the head to be smaller than a normal infant’s head at birth. Many believe that the disease is caused by exposure to harmful substances while in the womb, exposure to radiation, or genetic problems. The disease is usually paired with Down’s syndrome. Those who have microcephaly are usually mentally retarded and will have issues with hyperactivity, dwarfism, seizures, balance issues, speech and motor problems, as well as others. 
Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL)
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Von Hippel-Lindau disease (VHL) is said to affect one in 35,000 people. It is an extremely rare genetic condition that is characterized by the growth of tumors in different parts of the body. Many of the tumors will grow within the central nervous system and are often benign, but are made of blood vessels. Medically known as hemangioblastomas, these tumors can start to grow in the retina, the brain, and the spinal cord. Different tumors are also known to grow on the pancreas, adrenal glands, and kidneys. If left untreated, the disease can cause strokes, heart attacks, and cardiovascular disease.
Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP)
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Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) is a rare genetic disease that affects the connective tissue. The disease is said to only affect 1 in 2 million people. Around the world there have been 700 confirmed cases of the disease, 285 of those being in the U.S. FOP is classified when the body causes fibrous tissue, such as ligament, muscle, and tendons, to become ossified, or to change into bone when damaged. This means that a fall can cause bone to grow within the muscles and tendons throughout the body. FOP stands as the only disease known that causes one type of organ system to turn into an entirely different one. At birth, the classic symptom of the disease is a malformation of the big toe. There is no known treatment for FOP, as surgery to get rid of the bone, seems to cause the body to produce even more.
Fields’ disease
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Fields’ disease is said to be the rarest disease in the world. It is named after two twins, Catherine and Kirstie Fields from Wales. The disease doesn’t have a medical name, but doctors have been able to call it a neuromuscular disease. The muscles within the body slowly deteriorate, which limits movements. The girls’ disease has been studied by doctors from all over. Because the disease is so rare and unknown, doctors aren’t sure what will happen next. The disease has since limited the lives of the girls, binding them to wheelchairs and making a simple task such as writing, hard.
Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria
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Usually known as just Progeria, this condition is one that only affects one in about 8 million children born. Most born with the condition only live to be about 13, while others have been able to live into their early twenties. Progeria is a genetic condition that occurs due to a new mutation characterized by the dramatic, rapid appearance of aging beginning in childhood. In most cases, the disease is not inherited, though there has been a case of a similar condition where the parents carry the protein genetically and then pass it on to their children. There is no cure for Progeria, though doctors have tried growth hormone treatment as well as anticancer drugs. Usually doctors try to focus on reducing complications of the disease.
Smallpox smallpox
We’ve all heard about smallpox, probably more so about the vaccine itself, which today is rarely used unless there is a high-risk of the disease. It is said that smallpox may have been around in as early as 10,000BC. Smallpox is characterized by a high fever, fatigue, and a rash with flat red sores that can eventually cover the entire body. Many believe that smallpox was one of the deadliest diseases, killing around 300-500 million in the 20th century, in 400,000 each year throughout the 18th century. However, due to immunization worldwide, the last reported case of smallpox was in 1977. Because of this, the disease is said to be extremely rare. Today, the threat of smallpox still exists, but in the form of bioterrorism.
Congenital Insensitivity to Pain
A word without pain sounds great, right? Except that it would be a complete disaster. Just ask anyone afflicted with Congenital Insensitivity to Pain. Sure, they’re immune to torture and won’t ever complain of a toothache or a sprained ankle, but for children in particular, this disorder often results in debilitating injuries. It’s all too easy to scratch your eye, burn yourself, bite off the tip of your tongue or walk around on a broken bone oblivious to the problem. The condition is caused by either large amounts of endorphins in the brain, or congenital mutations that dull pain-sensing neurons
The Man Who Doesn't Feel Cold
Dutchman Wim Hof, also known as the Iceman, is the man that swam under ice, and stood in bins filled with ice. He climbed the Mt. Blanc in shorts in the icy cold, harvested world records and always stands for new challenges.
Scientists can't really explain it, but the 48-year-old Dutchman is able to withstand, and even thrive, in temperatures that could be fatal to the average person.
Cold Urticaria – Allergy to Cold Temperatures
Almost everybody gets goosebumps in cold weather, but breaking out in hives is another matter altogether. People with cold urticaria are actually allergic to cold temperatures. Most people with this condition only get mildly itchy when it’s cold, while others suffer from severe welts on any part of the body exposed to cold, including the mouth and throat when cold beverages are consumed. Some people with severe cold urticaria can’t go swimming, because cool water temperatures could cause them to go into shock and drown.

The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep: stayed awake 24 hours a day for years
Rhett Lamb is often cranky like any other 3-year-old toddler, but there’s one thing that makes him completely different: he has a rare medical condition in which he can’t sleep a wink.
Rhett is awake nearly 24 hours a day, and his condition has baffled his parents and doctors for years. They took clock shifts watching his every sleep-deprived mood to determine what ailed the young boy.
After a number of conflicting opinions, Shannon and David Lamb finally learned what was wrong with their child: Doctors diagnosed Rhett with an extremely rare condition called chiari malformation.
"The brain literally is squeezed into the spinal column. What happens is you get compression, squeezing, strangulating of the brain stem, which has all the vital functions that control sleep, speech, our cranial nerves, our circulatory system, even our breathing system," Savard said.
The Woman Who Can’t Forget
That's the story of AJ, an extraordinary 40-year-old married woman who remembers everything.
McGaugh and fellow UCI researchers Larry Cahill and Elizabeth Parker have been studying the extraordinary case of a person who has "nonstop, uncontrollable and automatic" memory of her personal history and countless public events. If you randomly pick a date from the past 25 years and ask her about it, she’ll usually provide elaborate, verifiable details about what happened to her that day and if there were any significant news events on topics that interested her. She usually also recalls what day of the week it was and what the weather was like.
The 40-year-old woman, who was given the code name AJ to protect her privacy, is so unusual that UCI coined a name for her condition in a recent issue of the journal Neurocase: hyperthymestic syndrome.
The Girl Who Eats Only Tic Tacs
Meet Natalie Cooper, a 17-year-old teenager who has a mystery illness that makes her sick every time she eats anything. Well, almost anything. She can eat one thing that doesn’t make her sick: Tic tac mint!
For reasons that doctors are unable to explain, Tic tacs are the only thing she can stomach, meaning she has to get the rest of her sustenance from a specially formulated feed through a tube.
The Musician Who Can't Stop Hiccupping
Chris Sands, 24, from Lincoln, hiccups as often as every two seconds - and sometimes even when he is asleep. He has tried a variety of cures, including hypnosis and yoga, but nothing has worked. Mr Sands thinks his problem stems from an acid reflux condition caused by a damaged valve in his stomach. "If the acid levels are severe enough they are going to do keyhole surgery and grab part of my stomach and wrap it around the valve to tighten it," he said.
Mr Sands, who is a backing singer in the group Ebullient, said the condition has hampered his career as he has only been able to perform four times. In the next couple of weeks --as of the day of the report--, doctors at Nottingham's Queen's Medical Centre will put a tube into his stomach to monitor acid levels and decide if keyhole surgery is possible.
The Girl That Collapses Every Time She Laughs
Kay Underwood, 20, has cataplexy, which means that almost any sort of strong emotion triggers a dramatic weakening of her muscles. Exhilaration, anger, fear, surprise, awe and even embarrassment can also cause sufferers to suddenly collapse on the spot.
Kay, of Barrow-upon-Soar, Leicestershire (UK), who was diagnosed with the condition five years ago, once collapsed more than 40 times in a single day. She said: "People find it very odd when it happens, and it isn't always easy to cope with strangers' reactions. "
Like most cataplexy sufferers, Ms Underwood is also battling narcolepsy - a condition that makes her drop off to sleep without warning. Narcolepsy affects around 30,000 people in the UK and about 70 per cent of them also have cataplexy. 
The Woman Who is Allergic to Modern Technology
The 39-year-old is so sensitive to the electromagnetic field (emf) or 'smog' created by computers, mobile phones, microwave ovens and even some cars, that she develops a painful skin rash and her eyelids swell to three times their size if she goes near them. As a consequence, Mrs Bird, a health spa manager, has transformed her home into an EMF-free zone to try and stay healthy. 'I can no longer do things that I used to take for granted,' Mrs Bird said. "My day-to-day life has been seriously affected by EMF". 
Werewolf Syndrome: the wolf people
When two year-old Abys DeJesus grew dark, hairy patches on her face, doctors said she has a condition known as Human Werewolf Syndrome. The disease is called werewolf syndrome because people with it look like werewolves - except without the sharp teeth and claws. In Mexico, a large family of men had hair that covered their faces and upper bodies. Two brothers were even offered a part in the X-Files but they turned down the offer.
The blue people
A large family simply known as the "blue people" lived in the hills around Troublesome Creek in Kentucky until the 1960s. They were the blue Fugates. Most of them lived past the age of 80, with no serious illness - just blue skin. The trait was passed on from generation to generation. People with this condition have blue, plum, indigo or almost purple skin.

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