Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome — how many times have you had to explain this disorder to someone, even a healthcare professional? Or maybe you are suspicious you have EDS but have not received the diagnosis officially. Coping with a rare disorder like hypermobile EDS can be a frustrating battle as you cast about for the answers and treatments you so desperately need. Throw in a geographically remote location like Alaska, and you’re left feeling completely isolated, without the resources you require. The good news is that these resources do indeed exist here at Alpenglow Pain & Wellness in Anchorage, Alaska.
Dr. Nichelle C. Renk, a board-certified interventional pain management physician and anesthesiologist, has made it her mission to provide comprehensive treatment for patients with hypermobile and other types of EDS, making her the only physician in Alaska to do so. Through her experience and knowledge, coupled with her compassionate care, Dr. Renk provides a safe harbor for those who suffer from this rare condition.
The many faces of EDS
Dealing with EDS can be extraordinarily difficult for many reasons, not the least of which is the reality that there are limited tests to verify its presence. Dr. Renke sorts through the various criteria that may point toward one of 13 different types of the disorder, as well as their subtypes. To help with the diagnosis, we at Alpenglow Pain & Wellness do facilitate low -cost and easy genetic testing for most types of EDS.
The fact is that 90% of EDS cases are considered hypermobile, which is why we’re concentrating on that form of EDS here at Alpenglow. But we want you to know that Dr. Renk supports patients who have all types of EDS, including classic, vascular and kyphoscoliotic (spinal) types, etc.. She also facilitates genetic testing through an off-site lab that tests all EDS types.
A comprehensive evaluation
If you or your adolescent is displaying signs of hypermobility or EDS, Dr. Renk spends a considerable amount of time reviewing your symptoms, assessing your physical health, and conducting the necessary diagnostic tests. Because hypermobile EDS manifests itself in varying degrees and with a wide range of symptoms, doctors have had a tough time pinning down this disorder.
Making matters worse, there’s no single test that confirms the presence of hypermobile EDS, leaving physicians to rely on a series of criteria that indicate whether the condition is present and where on the spectrum it falls.
The gray areas that surround hypermobile EDS for most physicians are more black and white for Dr. Renk, as she has extensive experience with the condition and understands its behavior and the effects it can have on the body.
When she brings this expertise to your case, you benefit by having a healthcare provider in your corner who understands what to do when faced with hypermobile and other types of EDS.
When Dr. Renk finishes her assessment and has a handle on of your hypermobile or other EDS, she tailors a treatment plan to fit your medical needs and your lifestyle. Her primary goals are to alleviate any pain or discomfort the disorder may be causing and to improve your function, mood, sleep, and quality of life.
Through various interventional pain management techniques, she can address any immediate problems you may be having with pain. But this is only the first step.
To help you better navigate your world with hypermobile or another type of EDS, Dr. Renk customizes a comprehensive treatment plan that may include one or more of the following:
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractic care
- Braces or other assistive devices (wheelchairs, scootersSI belt, lumbar brace, knee brace, finger braces, etc.)
- Vitamins and supplements
- Prescription medications when needed
- Diet suggestions with a focus on an anti-inflammatory and low histamine diet
Since hypermobile and other types of EDS affects so many areas of your life, Dr. Renk fights back with a multi-pronged approach that tackles the problem from every angle for the best results. And she’s with you every step of the way, making any necessary adjustments to minimize the impact that hypermobile or another type of EDS has on your quality of life.
The bottom line is that a rare disorder like EDS, in all its many forms, requires highly specialized care by a provider who understands your unique situation. Dr. Renk is such a provide caregiver, giving you peace of mind that you’ll be understood and well taken care of, even up here in Alaska.
To learn more about the comprehensive treatments for hypermobile or other types of EDS at Alpenglow Pain & Wellness, we invite you to give us a call to set up a consultation.