Saturday, December 3, 2016

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome or EDS is an inherited connective tissue disorder that presents itself in different ways, each of which have been classified into several primary types. EDS is caused by a defect in the structure, production, or processing of collagen or proteins that interact with collagen throughout the body. Either directly or indirectly, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is known or thought to alter the biology of collagen in the body (the most abundant protein), which can lead to multi-systemic symptoms.1 There are actually six different types of EDS, as well as several other mutations that are identified as EDS.  The major types of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome are classified according to the signs and symptoms that are manifested.1

The six main types of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome are:
·         Classic
·         Hypermobile
·         Vascular
·         Kyphoscoliosis
·         Arthrochalasia
·         Dermatosparaxis

Of the many different types of EDS they are all associated with a variety of genetic causes, some of which are inherited and are passed from parent to child. If you have the most common varieties of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, there's a 50 percent chance that you'll pass on the gene to each of your children.2

Although there are many different subtypes of EDS the most common versions have similar symptoms. Which may include:
·         Overly Flexible Joints- Since EDS has a direct effect on the connective tissue, it can often cause the connective tissue of joints to become elongated or loosen which enables individuals with EDS to extend their joints farther past their intended range of motion. It has a more drastic effect on smaller joints of the body rather than larger joints.
·         Stretchy Skin- Connective tissue that is weakened due to EDS enables the skin to stretch farther than usual as well. In some cases, you may be able to pinch the skin and pull it away from the muscle then watch it go right back into place. It causes the skin to have elastic qualities. EDS can also cause the skin to feel exceptionally soft, also.
·         Fragile Skin- Fragile skin presents many problems; it can cause the individual to cut/ bleed easily due to the weakened connective tissue of the skin.

The symptoms that accompany EDS will vary depending on which type of EDS the individual has. Some people with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome will have overly flexible joints, but few or none of the skin symptoms.3   

Unfortunately, at this time there is no known cure for Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. The medical physician of the individual may prescribe pharmaceuticals which will help control pain and blood pressure. The affected individual can take part in a more active lifestyle which will help reduce the symptoms. Light repetitive exercise, stretching, or strength training may help slow symptoms from progressing. Since each case of EDS is different is important to take not of their strengths and weaknesses as always, and monitor pain levels closely. After reading this blog you should be well informed about EDS, the different types and subtypes, its symptoms, and treatment of the disorder. Using exercise as medicine can help reduce the onset and pain of EDS. Until next time, keep learning!

1The Ehlers-Danlos Society. (n.d.). What is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome? Retrieved November 09, 2016, from
2Mayo Clinic Staff. (2015, August 20). Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Retrieved November 09, 2016, from
3Mayo Clinic Staff. (2015, August 20). Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Retrieved November 09, 2016, from

4Strength/Flexibility/Health/EDS(2015, September 30). What does Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome look like under a microscope? Retrieved November 16, 2016, from

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