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Understanding How EDS Affects Children

Understanding How EDS Affects Children

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is a connective tissue disorder that has genetic causes, meaning it can be inherited. Children with EDS have some distinct health care needs, so they benefit from working with a provider who has experience with this condition.

Dr. Nichelle Renk, Dr. Mary Beth Calor, and the team at Alpenglow Pain & Wellness specialize in helping pediatric and adult patients with EDS. Dr. Renk and Dr. Calor offers EDS diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing support from her office in Anchorage, Alaska.

Here’s what Dr. Renk and Dr. Calor want you to understand about pediatric EDS.

Signs of EDS in children

EDS causes issues with the formation and functioning of the protein collagen. If your child has EDS, their connective tissues lack strength and suffer damage easily. Initial symptoms of pediatric EDS run the range from mild to severe.

EDS can develop in infants. If your baby shows signs of EDS like easy bruising, extra folds of skin, or joint hypermobility, they may also be at risk for gastrointestinal and autonomic nervous system issues, early-onset osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, or internal bleeding. 

Further, babies with EDS are more likely to struggle with early mobility milestones like sitting, standing, crawling, and walking.

In childhood, EDS shows signs and symptoms like frequent neck pain, easily dislocated joints, slow-healing injuries, and joints that make clicking noises. In addition to these observable symptoms, EDS may also cause your child to struggle with concentration or sitting still, and can additionally result in bladder issues.

Risks of EDS

EDS symptoms might not appear until adolescence when reproductive hormones peak, or might affect your child earlier in life. Symptoms of your child’s disorder can also emerge after they’re ill or injured.

EDS can affect nearly every part of your child’s body, including major organs. Joint dislocations, chronic pain and fatigue, and arterial or organ rupture are all possible results of EDS, emphasizing how seriously you must take this disorder. 

People who care for your child, including staff at school, need to know about your child’s EDS diagnosis.

Growing up with EDS can also leave children feeling isolated, frustrated, and stressed. Supportive mental and emotional care is an important part of your child’s EDS treatment.

Treating pediatric EDS

Dr. Renk and Dr. Calor are here to help with all of your pediatric EDS diagnosis and care needs. She deeply understands the effects this condition can have on your child’s growing body, and recommends effective treatments and therapies to improve their health, wellness, and ongoing quality of life.

In some cases, Dr. Renk and Dr. Calor may suggest physical therapy for pediatric EDS patients. Physical therapy exercises focus on stretching and strengthening your child’s body, as well as on balance and physical coordination skills. Your child may also benefit from physical assistive devices like braces or splints.

Further, Dr. Renk and Dr. Calor help with pain psychology support to help her patients handle the mental aspects of managing a chronic condition. 

She can advise your family on the right lifestyle changes to effectively support a child or teen with EDS, as well as the right vitamins and supplements to support their physical health and wellness. She recommends against too much use of pain medications in pediatric patients.

As the only EDS provider in the state of Alaska, Dr. Renk and Dr. Calor take your family’s care needs seriously. 

For help understanding what pediatric EDS means for your child, and expert treatment and care, contact Dr. Renk, Dr. Calor, and the team at Alpenglow Pain & Wellness online or over the phone today.

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