WRITTEN BY: Tammy C. Perez, M.A., NCC, LCDC, LPC
REVIEWED BY: Dr. Terry Schroeder on April 18, 2023
What is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, or EDS, is a group of rare genetic disorders that affect the body's connective tissues, which support the skin, joints, and other organs. A defect in the production or structure of collagen, the main protein in connective tissue, causes EDS.
There are currently thirteen EDS subtypes, each with particular symptoms and diagnostic criteria. EDS is a lifelong condition with no cure, but treatment can help manage the symptoms and improve the quality of life.
What causes Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is caused by mutations in one or more genes that produce collagen, a key component of connective tissues. Collagen is a protein that provides strength and elasticity to various structures in the body, including skin, joints, and blood vessels. In people with EDS, the genes responsible for collagen production mutate, resulting in abnormal or reduced amounts of collagen, leading to weakened or stretched connective tissues.
There are several subtypes of EDS, each caused by mutations in different genes that affect the production or structure of collagen. Some subtypes are inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, meaning a person only needs to inherit one copy of the mutated gene from either parent to develop the condition. Other subtypes are inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern, meaning a person must inherit two copies of the mutated gene, one from each parent, to develop the disorder.
What are the symptoms of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?
The symptoms of EDS can vary widely depending on the specific type of condition experienced. Some common symptoms of EDS include joint hypermobility, easily bruised skin, stretchy or elastic skin, fatigue, chronic pain, digestive issues, and heart problems.
Hypermobility means joints can move beyond their normal range of motion, which can cause pain, instability, and dislocations. EDS may also cause the skin to become thin and fragile, leading to frequent bruising and tearing. Fatigue and chronic joint and muscle pain are also experienced with the condition. Additionally, those with EDS often encounter digestive and heart problems, such as constipation, gastroesophageal reflux disease, heart valve issues, or an enlarged aorta.
How is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome treated?
Although there is no cure for EDS, various treatment options can help manage the symptoms and improve quality of life. Treatment plans for EDS are specific to condition type and symptom severity. Managing the disorder may involve a combination of medications, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes.
Standard treatment options for EDS include pain management, physical therapy, occupational therapy, surgery, lifestyle modifications, and genetic counseling.
Pain is a common symptom in EDS, and managing pain is often a top priority. Pain medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), may be used to alleviate pain.
Physical therapy can help improve joint stability, mobility, and muscle strength. A physical therapist can also provide exercise and activity modifications to reduce the risk of joint dislocations.
Occupational therapy can provide strategies to help manage daily activities, such as dressing and bathing, that may be difficult due to joint hypermobility or other symptoms.
In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair joint damage or correct structural abnormalities.
Lifestyle modifications such as wearing braces, using assistive devices for joint support, avoiding activities that may cause dislocations or injuries, and practicing good posture to reduce joint strain, can also be beneficial in reducing symptom severity.
Additionally, genetic counseling can be helpful for those with EDS, and family members, to understand the inheritance pattern of the disorder and the risk of passing it to future generations.
How does Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome affect brain wellness?
Research has suggested those with EDS may have an increased risk of certain neurological conditions, such as migraine headaches, Chiari malformation, and autonomic dysfunction.
Additionally, EDS can cause chronic pain, negatively impacting mental health and overall well-being. This condition can lead to depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances, affecting brain function and wellness.
Challenges in managing EDS can also impact mental health by making it difficult to exercise and engage in physical activity, leading to frustration and isolation.
How can Brain Frequency™ help?
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The Brain Frequency™ 3 Step Treatment Process consists of; first, performing a Baseline EEG and completing Psychometric Assessments; second, conducting a Brain Frequency Consultation; and third, Initiating Treatment.
An Electroencephalogram (EEG) analyzes brain waves and produces a brain map identifying current and optimal frequencies in 19 areas of the brain. Based on the individualized brain map, Brain Frequency™ will determine possible diagnoses of various mental health disorders or brain trauma for the provider to consider during treatment. Brain Frequency™ AI software provides clinicians with an "Approval Ready" treatment plan using personalized protocols based on each patient's needs.
Those suffering from symptoms of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome can efficiently and effectively improve their brain health and wellness by using the Brain Frequency™ AI system. Our innovative system drastically reduces the time needed to properly diagnose and construct treatment plans leading to a faster recovery and greater quality of life.
Substance Abuse & Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA): https://www.samhsa.gov/
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): https://www.nimh.nih.gov/
Center For Disease Control & Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/
National Institutes of Health (NIH): https://www.nih.gov/
National Suicide Prevention Line: https://988lifeline.org/
National Library of Medicine: https://medlineplus.gov/
Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/