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8 Rare Diseases You've Probably Not Heard of ...

I’ve read up on a lot of diseases and disorders, but the following list contains descriptions of disease that I didn’t know about. These are 8 rare diseases you’ve probably no t heard of either. Take a look at the list and see if you recognize any of them.

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8. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome

Manute Bol died from a combination of this rare skin disorder and kidney failure. This disease starts off like the flu. It is usually triggered by an infection or sometimes even medication that a person’s mucous membranes and skin have a reaction to. After the flu-like symptoms appear, the skin forms a red or even purple rash that eventually turns into blisters. The top layer of the skin then dies and falls off.

7. Pompe Disease

Glycogen storage disease type II is another name for this disease. With this disease, the body has a build-up of glycogen, which causes muscle and nerve damage. The most common parts of the body that are affected are the liver, heart, skeletal muscles, and the nervous system. If this disease emerges when a person is an infant, usually the heart becomes severely enlarged and most children don’t live past the age of 2 years.

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6. Laryngeal Papillomatosis

As a rare medical condition, Laryngeal papillomatosis affects only 2 in every 100,000 adults. A human papillomavirus or HPV is generally the cause of this rare disease. This disease causes growths in the throat that eventually block the airway if left untreated. Sometimes multiple surgeries are required to eliminate these growths, as well as being treated with antiviral medication.

5. Batten Disease

Children that are diagnosed with this disease are done so between the ages of 4 to 10 years. This disease begins by causing problems with vision, changes in personality, repetitive speech, and clumsiness. As time passes, speech and motor skills decline, as do sight. This horrendous disease eventually leaves children bedridden, demented, and blind. Death is imminent with this disease.

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4. Eumycetoma

This fungal disease mainly affects the foot, so it is also known as Madura foot. Although this disease is usually painless, the deformities created on the person’s foot often make it difficult to walk correctly. The organisms responsible for this disease are found in the soil and can enter the body when the skin on the bottom of the foot is lacerated by something sharp. The infection is mostly subcutaneous, meaning under the skin, but occasionally it will also spread into the muscles and bones of the foot.

3. Chagas Disease

Blood-sucking bugs are how this disease usually is spread to humans. Most commonly, the Assassin bug is to blame, as well as a couple of other bugs in the same subfamily. It is transferred through the blood, which means it can also be contracted through an organ transplant or blood transfusion. Parasites can also be ingested if they are present on food they have contaminated. The cure rate of this disease is between 60 and 90 percent. Initial symptoms are very much like the flu, plus there is usually a rash to accompany these symptoms. The area where the bug bit the person tends to be swollen.

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2. Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria

Only 1 in 8 million kids are born with this disease and most of them only live to be around 13 years old. There are some cases where people can live to be in their early 20s. This disease causes rapid aging and so far there isn’t a cure.

1. Fields’ Disease

This disease is so rare that only two girls have been diagnosed with it. They are a set of twins from Wales. The twins were born without any sign of the disease. It began to appear when they were around 4. The cause for concern began when the twins could no longer stand up on their own. This disease causes deterioration of the muscles within their body and eventually left them wheelchair bound for life.

Thankfully not all of these diseases are fatal. I always dread hearing about little kids with a short life expectancy. It always seems so much harder than hearing about an adult who has a fatal disease. What rare diseases have you heard about before?

Top Photo Credit: InWaves

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