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Misdiagnoses related to Ehlers-Danlos syndrome

New Mexico residents may be interested in reading about a condition known as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a genetic connective tissue disorder that affects the way the body develops and makes collagen. About one in 500 to 1,000 individuals may have the condition, according to a number of specialists who have studied EDS. However, people who have the condition commonly are misdiagnosed because of the lack of knowledge regarding EDS.

Since collagen is an essential part of the human body, a lack of it can affect a person's brain, skin, blood vessels, cartilage, muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones. Therefore, patients suffering from EDS can have a wide range of random symptoms that vary from mild to severe. Some of the symptoms include skin that stretches easily, joints that are overly flexible and damaged skin that takes a long time to heal.

In many cases, people who have EDS blame their symptoms on other causes. For instance, if they have pain, or sore muscles and joints, they might assume it is because of over exercising, tendonitis or bursitis. If they visit a doctor, they might be told they have seronegative rheumatoid arthritis, depression or chronic fatigue syndrome.

It is important that people who suffer from EDS receive a correct diagnosis and proper treatment because incorrect long-term pain treatment can actually make the condition worse. A variation of the disorder is hypermobility EDS, which is found to be rare and affects one in every 2,000 to 5,000 individuals. Doctors often misdiagnose this condition for fibromyalgia, lupus or sclerosis. Some EDS hypermobility patients are even diagnosed with hypochondria.

Patients who suffer long-term injuries because of a physician's misdiagnosis might consider pursuing damages via a medical malpractice claim. A local lawyer could review a patient's medical records to find out if negligence occurred.

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