Most of us live our lives, going day to day, not worrying about sickness or any type of disease that could devastate our reality. Sadly, all throughout the world, there exists many individuals who are going through very terrible experiences. These even include crazy diseases such as Alien Hand Syndrome, or Alice In Wonderland Syndrome.
It certainly isn’t easy for these people to live normal lives, and while some diseases are far worse than others, it doesn’t mean that their lives aren’t difficult as well. It certainly makes us realize how thankful we should be for the parts of our lives that are so normal and well taken care of. Unfortunately, a lot of these people do not have the luxury of keeping their disorders and diseases in check. They live their lives the best they can and try their hardest at making the most of what they are given. But that sometimes isn’t enough.
Compiled here is a list of 20 of these rare diseases that affect so many around the world. Read them and realize that there are some very strange things in the world. *WARNING* Some of these photos are just for fun, but others are real, and quite graphic.
20. Exploding Head Syndrome
It really does sound like something you would either see or hear about in a horror movie. However, this disorder is very real (though obviously not as literal as the picture implies). Thousands of people all around the world are experiencing this devastating disease. But the symptoms are not as dramatic as the disease may sound, however, that doesn’t mean it isn’t serious. Suffering from the disease involves hearing very loud noises, ones so loud it sounds like a bomb going off while trying to sleep. There are never any symptoms of pain or swelling in the brain. It is simply something that happens to a certain amount of people and experts have yet to figure out exactly why it happens. Most of the time, people who are over 50 years of age are the ones who are suffering from the disease, however, there have been cases of people as young as ten having symptoms. While there isn’t a known cure, experts work their hardest to try and find the cause so that a solution might become available for those who have to battle such a terrible situation.
19. Alice in Wonderland Syndrome
While it may seem like this disease came from a storybook, that certainly isn’t the case. Alice in Wonderland Syndrome is very real, and it tends to happen to people during migraines. People have reported a large variety of symptoms from disorientation, hallucinations, dysmetropsia to size distortion and random sightings. It’s considered a neurological condition which results from certain conditions such as migraines, brain tumors, and even those using psychoactive drugs. It has also been known to be a symptom of Epstein-Barr virus. However, this syndrome has been known to arise under other circumstances. If lack of sleep starts playing a role in your life, it’s a strong possibility that you may experience certain symptoms. Children have been known to experience the symptoms quite often, but eventually grow out of them in their teenage years. This disease is certainly not something that will take you down the rabbit hole anytime soon, but it’s just bothersome enough to affect various parts of your life.
18. Necrotizing Fasciitis
If your skin starts looking a little strange and discolored accompanied by severe pain, it’s probably time to go see your doctor. This could be a sign of Necrotizing Fasciitis. Many people joke about flesh eating diseases, but what they do not know is that these diseases, while extremely rare, are very much real. Necrotizing Fasciitis, for example, devours the flesh from the inside. It is a very rare infection that occurs inside the deep layers of your skin. Your skin will start to look very discolored with various blisters around the infected area. There would also be a discharge of fluid as well. If you can catch the infection in time, it is possible to get rid of it. However, the removal requires surgery and if the infection is left untreated, you will have a 73 percent mortality rate to bargain with. With odds like that, it’s probably best to see a doctor as soon as possible, if this type of infection occurs.
17. Menkes Disease
Menkes Disease is a terrible disorder that affects children in a terrible way; a syndrome that has the ability to mess with the copper levels in a body. One can notice the effects of Menkes by observing the signs: sparse hair, a collapse of the nervous system, problems with gaining weight, and growing at the correct rate. Other signs that could show in a child with Menkes includes muscle tone that appears weak, facial features which appear saggy, seizures, delay in the development process, and intellectual problems. The children who end up with Menkes typically start to develop symptoms during the stages of infancy. Sadly, many of the kids suffering from this disease will not live past the age of three, but there have been rare cases where the disease shows up later in childhood. These children go through a great deal. It’s no wonder that so many people work hard to find solutions to the problem.
16. Alien Hand Syndrome
Alien Hand Syndrome affects people in the worst of ways. For those who suffer from turrets, they have a lot to worry about when it comes to being careful about what they say in public. However, those with Alien Hand Syndrome often suffer a great deal more. It is a very rare neurological disease that results in random hand movements and actions without the person’s control. They have to deal with the affects of the disease everyday, and come to terms with the fact that there is no known cure for it. However, many breakthroughs have been developed that can reduce and manage the symptoms, making it easier for people with the disease to function and try to live a normal life. Even though there have been ways found to lessen the effects of the disease, this doesn’t mean that living with the disease is any easier for those trying to live their lives.
15. Lymphatic Filariasis
Lymphatic Filariasis is a disease caused by a parasitic worm. The disease can have terrifying results such as an altered lymphatic system and a rather abnormal enlargement of body parts. For those who suffer, this can cause sever disability, social stigma, and even great deals of pain. It’s estimated that 947 million people around the world suffer from this disease. Those who have been diagnosed must receive preventive chemotherapy which halts the spread of the parasitic infection. But thanks to the bounds of scientists and doctors, hope for eliminating the disease has not been lost. If the steps of the preventive chemotherapy and a couple of medicines are followed, there are many who have successfully eliminated the disease, giving way for opportunities to live a more normal life. However, many people still suffer, regardless of those who have pushed through the disease. It certainly gives you something to be thankful for.
14. Cotard’s Delusion
Do you ever have those days when you feel like you’re so tired that you could possibly be a zombie? Most people know that actually becoming a zombie from being so tired isn’t possible, but for those who suffer from Cotard’s Delusion (sometimes known as Walking Corpse Syndrome) their daily lives are lived believing that they are dead, decomposing, or simply non-existent. It’s a very terrible mental disease that affects individuals all around the world. It is also in the same category as bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia, being labeled as a form of delusional psychosis. A lot of times, sufferers will often mention that certain body parts or organs are missing from their body as well as a loss of blood, however, none of this is really happening. The name of the disease comes from a French neurologist named Jules Cotard. When Cotard first pinned the term, they were certainly in for a strange mental situation.
13. Epidermodysplasia Verruciformis
What is normally known as the tree man illness, Epidermodysplasia Verruciformis is a highly rare genetic disorder that is identified by large growths of scaly papules and macules on the skin. It is a very degrading disease in the fact that most people who suffer from it, have a hard time living life day to day. Normally, the condition will occur between the ages of one and twenty, however, there have been cases of the disease showing up in middle aged people. Sadly, there has not been a cure found for it, but scientists work hard to try and find a way to at least halt the process or help in anyway possible. People with the disease have been featured on many different television shows, and certain areas have it more than others. But the worst part about the disease is the restriction it places on various aspects of life. The disease sometimes covers the hands and feet, making it hard to perform daily tasks and sometimes even wear shoes.
12. Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva
Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva is certainly not something to joke around about. It is a very serious disorder that causes muscle tissue and connective tissue like ligaments and tendons to be slowly replaced with bone. These bone formations form outside the skeleton causing constrained movement. The unfortunate process starts to become noticeable early on in childhood years. At first, the disease starts in the neck and shoulders, then it works its way deeper down the body and eventually into the limbs. Movement becomes a problem because of the way the disease affects the joints. Simple actions like eating and speaking become rather difficult, leading some people to malnutrition due to eating issues. Breathing issues can also start to develop due to extra bone forming around the rib cage. This leads to restriction of the expansion of the lungs, making it much harder to breathe. Most patients will eventually be confined to a wheelchair, having to deal with the disease for the rest of their life.
If you have more than the normal amount of toes or fingers, you could possibly have Polydactylism. A rare disease, Polydactylism, which is also known as Polydactyly, is found at birth. Some cases can be associated with various birth defects, however this isn’t always the case. Sometimes babies are born with the extra finger or toe without any bone in the extra appendage. It’s a physical abnormality that has surprised so many over the years. The good news is that it does not cause any harm to the person affected. While it is certainly strange, there haven’t been any reports of terrible affects from the disease. Also, with the right surgery, any extra appendages that the person may not want can be removed. While it isn’t as bad as the other diseases listed, it is still something rare for babies and considered a strange occurrence for anyone around the world.
If you’ve been in contact with silver salts for a very long time, or ingested the substance, you might want to take a look in the mirror. There is a very good chance your skin could be a different color along with dull and dark.
Argyria is the result of a prolonged exposure or intake of silver salts and it can do a lot of things to your body. A sure way to know if someone has Argyria is to simply take a look at their skin. Their skin will have a grayish-black tint to it, making them appear very different in severe cases. The two ways these silvers can be put into the body are by working industrial jobs that result in the poisoning or medication containing silver. The disease isn’t highly hazardous, but it has been known to have various effects on one’s health over a long period of time.
9. Proteus Syndrome
Sometimes known as Wiedemann Syndrome, Proteus Syndrome is a very rare disease which can be identified by the overgrowth of skin, bones, and other forms of tissue. Places on the body that are affected by the syndrome grow, making organs and tissues larger than other parts of the body. The disease has its own way of affecting the body. It is asymmetric and interacts differently on the left and right sides of the body. When a baby is born and afflicted with Proteus Syndrome, it’s very common that they will have no signs that the disease is present, however, there have been cases where few symptoms appear. But when the overgrowth becomes apparent, it’s usually between ages six and eighteen months. As the person grows, the disease will only increase in severity with age. When it comes to the pattern of overgrowth, the disease can practically affect any part of the body. Some people with the syndrome have even worse side effects like vision loss, intellectual disability, and seizures.
8. Werewolf Syndrome
Hypertrichosis, or what is commonly known as Werewolf Syndrome, is characterized by the growth of hair on most parts of the body, even the face. There exists two different types of Werewolf Syndrome. The first is generalized, which means that hair covers the whole body. The second, pops up in spots in specific areas. The disease has actually been around for quite some time and many people believe that it may be where the rumors of werewolves come from. History has a lot of things to say about it. There is no known cure for the disease and it isn’t clear as to how a cure can be found, but there does exist various treatments which can help with the hair growth, however, the treatment doesn’t tend to last very long. For those who have to go through this strange and bizarre disease, it can leave a lasting impression on them due to the ridicule and public shaming that some have experienced.
Porphyria is a word used to describe a group of disorders that happen because of a build up of natural chemicals which creates porphyrin in the body. Porphyrins are important and needed for the function of hemoglobin. Mainly, porphyria influences the nervous system as well as the skin and various organs. The symptoms of the disease often vary and are dependent upon the type of the porphyria and the severity as well. Some people have called it the vampire disease because of the way that the disease affects the skin and makes the person highly sensitive to the sun. Some symptoms include: vomiting, abdominal pain, as well as mental problems. It is usually inherited when either one or both parents pass on a very strange gene, however in certain types, it is possible for the person to develop symptoms due to environmental factors. While it cannot be cured, treatment is certainly available to help with the symptoms.
6. Lion Face Syndrome
Leontiasis Ossea, or sometimes call Lion Face Syndrome is the overgrowth of facial and cranial bones. It distorts the face tremendously and is often the result of something else happening within the body. The disease has been known to limit the use of the mouth, nose, and the working of the sinuses. The optic nerve has sometimes been known to be crushed due to the disease, leading to losing the ability to see. Also, the overgrowth of bone has been known to affect how a person can eat as well as breathe. Rarely, the bones have been known to put pressure on the cerebral area and cause death, but that is often in more extreme cases of the disease. Just like many of these diseases on this list, it’s hard for these people to be socially accepted, especially given the hateful words they no doubt, sometimes receive. However, much is being done to ensure that these people do not have to suffer due to what they cannot help.
Progeria is possibly one of the saddest diseases known to man. It is a very rare genetic disorder which develops rather rapidly. It causes children to age with much haste and it usually shows up around the ages of one and two. At birth, the children affected often seem rather normal. However, during the first year of birth, various symptoms such as slow growth and hair loss start to show. Sadly, most of the people who possess this disease end up dying from strokes or heart problems. Most people with Progeria only live to be about thirteen years old, give or take a few years, with thirteen being the average life expectancy. Others have died younger and some have lived to be twenty years or older. In our day and age, a cure has not yet been found. However, science is trying every day to find a cure so people with the disease might have a chance to live a normal, happy life, longer than what is usually intended for them.
4. Hailey-Hailey Disease
Hailey-Hailey Disease, or as many people know it, Chronic Benign Familial Pemphigus is a blistering skin condition which is the result of a mutation in the body. The disease makes the skin very fragile. When an outbreak occurs, they form as blisters on the skin, making the affected area look puffy and red as well as irritated. The areas of outbreak can often be aggravated by friction from movement, sweat from the body, as well as secondary infections. A very popular place for an outbreak is the underarm area. Many people who suffer from the disease must go through this dilemma and it isn’t pretty. Since the disease is genetic, there isn’t a cure. Treatment does exist, however, and exists in the form of oral treatment as well as specialized steroid creams to be applied to the areas of outbreak, however, long term use of the cream is discouraged considering the fact that the person infected is already suffering from fragile skin.
3. Cronkhite-Canada Syndrome
Cronkhite-Canada Syndrome exists in this world as a very rare disease indeed. The symptoms often include the loss of the sense of taste, intestinal polyps which grow inside the victim, the loss of hair, and last but not least, nail growth issues. Malabsorption, which is a condition that halts the absorption of important nutrients which are absorbed through the small intestine. Unfortunately, many people with the disease have Malabsorption which poses a problem and makes Cronkhite-Canada Syndrome even more difficult to be treated. The disease has been known to occur in older individuals, the age of the average infected person being 59, however, it is not believed to be genetic. Looking back over the past fifty years, there have only been 400 known cases documented. Most of those cases were found primarily throughout the area of Japan. The effects the disease has on the body don’t always appear dramatic, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a serious syndrome.
2. Parry-Romberg Syndrome
If there were ever a disease to come straight from a horror movie, sadly, it would be Parry-Romberg Syndrome. At first glance, the disease almost doesn’t look real. But with close examination and the descriptions of the doctors, one will find that the syndrome is very real. Possibly the strangest fact about the disease is that doctors have no idea how patients come across contracting such a thing. The symptoms have often been known to appear before the age of twenty, and are very noticeable. Parts of the skin, as well as soft tissue, on one part of the face start to shrink, which leaves the face looking strange and deformed. The severity of it varies between each individual, with some cases showing up just barely apparent while others are so intense, reconstructive surgery is often suggested. It’s certainly not easy for people with this disease, especially considering that a cure has still not been found for it. Hopefully scientists will find a cure soon, and the people who suffer so greatly with it will not have to suffer much longer.
1. Lamprey Disease!?
If anyone ever gave a description about the worst disease to ever affect the human population, there is a possibility that you heard the words Lamprey Disease. It was something thought to spread around by word of mouth as a disease that left the eyes and other parts of the body looking like the mouth of a Lamprey. Thank God, however, that this disease was finally proved to be a HOAX. If you are among the few that have never seen one of these terrifying pictures, you may be one of the lucky ones. While this disease isn’t real, it’s certainly well worth mentioning considering the scare it created in the year 2007. That’s when the hoax was released and made viral by people all over the internet. Even today, people are still talking about the photos that will continue to haunt them to this day. There has probably never been a “medical” hoax picture so scary as this one.
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