As humans we are fascinated by the weird and extraordinary. Once we think we know about all of the strange medical conditions, another one pops up and leaves us puzzled. There are more diseases and disorders out there than we can keep track of, and some of them are so bewildering that even doctors are left mystified. We’re not talking about the run-of-the-mill sinus infection or being allergic to nuts. There are some disorders out there that are so outlandish that it’s almost hard to think they really exist. Call it a hypochondriac’s nightmare, but the following medical disorders are so shocking they will leave you astonished.
10- Blue Skin Disorder
Back in the 1960’s there was a large family known as the “blue people.” They lived in Kentucky, most of them living past the age of 80, and suffered from no serious medical conditions… Just blue skin. A rare blood disorder called Methemoglobinemia, causes decreased blood oxygen levels, which in turn results in some people developing a deep blue, plum, or almost purple tint to their skin. Fortunately, the cause for this hereditary disorder has recently been discovered, and once treatment is received, the skin returns to normal. According to Medlineplus.com, Methemoglobinemia is inherited or sometimes caused by certain drugs, chemicals, or foods. It occurs when there is an issue with an enzyme known as “cytochrome b5 reductase.”
9- Bodies Turn to Stone
Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva is one of the rarest and most disabling genetic conditions known to the medical world. It causes bone to form in muscle, tendons and ligaments when they get damaged. Layman’s terms- they turn to stone. It affects 1 in 2 million people and there are no effective treatments. According to the International Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva Association, bridges of extra bone form across joints, eventually restricting movement and even forming a second skeleton that imprisons the body in bone. Unfortunately, for people with this medical disorder, surgeries to try to repair injuries would only cause additional bone growth. Those who suffer from this disorder can be rendered completely immobile with a decade of being diagnosed.
8- Tired Little Boy
Rhett Lamb has a rare medical condition in which he cannot sleep. According to ABC News, Rhett has been diagnosed with Chiari malformation, which causes him to be awake nearly 24 hours a day. Webmd.com advises that most Chiari malformations occur during fetal development, often resulting from a genetic mutation or a maternal diet that was missing certain nutrients. Doctors say the condition squeezes the brain into the spinal column, which in turn harms the brain stem that controls sleep. In order to relieve the pressure on Rhett’s brain stem, doctors performed surgery in which they removed the bone around the brain stem and spinal cord to make more space. There is a “50-50 chance” that his sleep will improve as a result of the surgery.
7- Restless Genital Syndrome
Sarah Carmen, from the UK, has over 200 orgasms a day. She suffers from “Persistent Genital Arousal Syndrome (PGAS), also known as “Restless Genital Syndrome.” This condition increases the blood flow to sex organs, which results in a spontaneous and persistent genital arousal. The symptoms can be crippling, and can cause even simple activities such as riding in a train, or even using the restroom to become unbearable. According to psychologytoday.com, women with PGAS, had a higher occurrence of restless leg syndrome and overactive bladder.
6- Laughs Until She Falls
Kay Underwood, from the UK, has cataplexy, which means any sort of strong emotion can trigger a dramatic weakening of the muscles. For example, surprise, awe, anger, exhilaration, laughter, and even embarrassment can prompt sudden collapse. Underwood was diagnosed with the condition after she collapsed more than 40 times in a single day. There is no cure for cataplexy, and the causes range from immune problems and infections, to brain chemical imbalances.
5- “The Ice man”-
Dutchman, Wim Hof, doesn’t feel cold. According to ABC News, the 48-year-old known as “The Ice Man”, is able to brave and even thrive in temperatures that could be fatal to the average person. Hof has taken a notion to see how far he can go with his incredible ability. For example, in 1999 he traveled 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle and ran a half-marathon with his bare feet. In 2002, he dove under the ice at the North Pole in only his swimsuit. And what maybe the most impressive- Hof conquered climbing Mt. Everest, which is an amazing feat on its own, but he completed the climb while wearing only shorts.
4- Allergic to Water
Ashleigh Morris, from Melbourne, Australia, is allergic to water. According to dailymail.com, Ashleigh has an extremely rare skin disorder known as Aquagenic Urticaria, which is so unusual that there are only a handful of cases worldwide. As a result of its rarity, Dermatologists do not fully understand the condition, however they do know there is an association with elevated blood histamine levels. Ashleigh cannot go swimming, take a bath or shower, and even sweating causes a painful rash. She is allergic to water of any temperature, and when her skin gets wet, she gets numerous sores and itchy red lumps that take hours to calm. In order to stay clean, Ashleigh can only take showers for a minute at a time, and she told daily mail in an interview that she stays at home until the rash goes away, which frees the burden of her having to explain her condition.
3- Can’t Stop Hiccuping
We all get hiccups, most commonly appear after drinking or eating too much, but they go away after a little bit. Imagine hiccupping every day, all day for years… This has happened, and is still happening to people and doctors are baffled as they are unable to find the cause in some patients. Chris Sands, a musician from Lincoln, who hiccupped every two seconds, even when he was asleep. Even with drinking water hundreds of different ways, yoga and hypnosis, nothing seemed to cure his issue. According to BBC News, Sands was unable to drive, eat or sleep properly, and hiccupped close to 20 million times. Chest and brain scans did not show the cause of the hiccups, so Sands was flown to Tokyo where a tumor was found on his brain stem. Fortunately for Sands, the removal of the tumor stopped his constant hiccups, but for others they are still suffering from them. For example, Emily Marsh, who is still struggling with constant hiccups while doctors are stumped as to what’s causing them.
2- Allergic to Technology
This utterly mystifying phenomenon has caused some to believe and some to remain skeptical. Electro hypersensitivity is characterized by neurological and immunological symptoms that flare up when exposed to electric and magnetic fields or radiation. Anything from power lines, cell phones and cell phone towers, computers, microwaves, and even some cars can cause some people to get sick. For example, Debbie Bird is not able to talk on the phone, heat food in a microwave, or drive a car because she is allergic to technology. The electromagnetic field (EMF) created by these devices, causes a painful rash and swelling when her body comes near them. According to cnet.com, Bird experiences headaches, a burning sensation, and swollen eyelids when she is exposed to the electromagnetic fields created by today’s technology. Per businessinsider.com, there is a school teacher who feels sick the moment she steps within range of a WiFi router. Others who suffer from this allergy can have many symptoms ranging from rashes and pain, to altered heart rate and memory problems.
1- Am I dead?
Cotard’s Delusion, also called walking corpse syndrome, is an incredibly rare condition that causes people to wake up one day and think they have died. It’s a syndrome of mental depression, and causes the patient to feel as though they’ve lost everything from possessions and vital organs, to thinking he or she has died. The delusion can get so severe that the patient may even claim that they can smell their own rotting skin and feel insects crawling through them. Cortard Delusion can often be brought on by a brain injury, and unfortunately this disorder can lead to unintentional suicide.