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Understanding Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS): Signs and Treatments

Understanding Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS): Signs and Treatments

More and more people are learning about Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), an inherited connective tissue disorder that often presents with overly flexible joints, stretchy skin, and chronic musculoskeletal pain.

Interventional pain management specialist Dr. Nichelle C. Renk of Alpenglow Pain & Wellness has the experience you can trust when it comes to your EDS treatment. Dr. Renk welcomes patients with EDS to her office in Anchorage, Alaska, as the only EDS care provider in the state.

Understanding EDS

The cluster of disorders that comprise EDS can be complex to understand, but you can rely on Dr. Renk’s knowledge and history of successful treatment of this condition.

EDS primarily affects your connective tissues, such as collagen, in locations around your body, including in your joints. Your connective tissues keep your internal bodily structures strong yet flexible, providing elasticity. 

EDS also harms your skin, your gums, and the walls of your blood vessels, among other vital bodily structures.

Hypermobile EDS is the least severe of the 13 types of EDS, and it’s common in young people. Hypermobile EDS increases your risk of early-onset arthritis, joint issues, and scarring. You may also suffer from linked conditions like easy bruising, chronic fatigue, or digestive issues.

It’s not clear what causes hypermobile EDS, but other forms of this condition appear to be associated with genetic and hereditary factors. There is no genetic test to confirm EDS; Dr. Renk uses a set of diagnostic criteria to identify the exact nature of your condition.

Signs of EDS

While the symptoms of EDS can vary, the disorder almost always presents with two initial signs: fatigue and chronic pain. EDS is a rare condition, occurring in 1 in 3,500-5,000 people and affecting individuals of all ages.

EDS can complicate your life in multiple ways. You might need bracing to prevent a troublesome joint from giving way, or supporting skin that can’t stand up to pressure.

EDS patients also typically need pain management support for chronic pain symptoms, and they can face mental health complications like associated depression as well.

Treatment options for EDS

There is no known cure for EDS, but with the right treatment and support, you may be able to prevent this chronic condition from worsening, and mitigate the impacts it has on your daily life. 

Dr. Renk can help you relieve the chronic pain associated with your EDS, and strengthen your bones and muscles to keep you in good health.

Depending on your condition, you may benefit from treatment options that include:

Some patients with EDS also need specialized cardiovascular care, as dysfunction sometimes occurs due to connective tissue abnormalities.

For EDS support in the state of Alaska, get in touch with Dr. Renk at her Alpenglow Pain & Wellness office today. You can schedule an initial consultation with Dr Renk over the phone, or request an appointment with our online booking tool now.

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