Medical school and years of practice can only prepare us for so many surprises. The following medical conditions are extremely rare and bizarre. And, although it’s likely that your practice might never encounter patients with any one of these conditions, it’s interesting to hear that these really have happened.
A rare aging disorder that causes young people to age rapidly, progeria, makes patients often have a lot of the same problems that affect elderly. They are short with narrow and wrinkled skin. They have thinning hair, dry skin, and overall issues with mobility. Progeria patients also suffer from heart problems, weak bones, and other health ailments typically reserved for older folks.
Luckily, this rapid aging disease is extremely rare. Reportedly, it only appears in 4 our of 8 million births.
A mental phenomenon that is unleashed by a trip to the Holy Land, causes some people to take on some obsessive and crazy ideas, even to those who previously may have not have even been religious beforehand. The bizarre onset of habits, psychotic thoughts, wanting to sudden wear bizarre white robes, needing to shout-out sermons, suddenly having a desire to break away from their groups or families to be alone, or a severe need to be clean (or pure) by picking up new and compulsive personal hygiene routines are some of the symptoms associated with this bizarre happening.
Cotard’s Delusion (aka Walking Corpse Syndrome)
Linked to depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia; Cotard’s Delusion is that the victim believes they are dead, missing their soul, or without major parts of their body. Sometimes a sufferer of Cotard’s Delusion will ask people to bury them or refuse to eat because they believed they were dead. I guess they must think they’re real-life Walking Dead zombies.
Headaches that occur from sex are quite mysterious. It’s also pretty rare. Although I’m sure that many women’s husbands will try to persuade to the contrary and say that sex actually helps with headaches in most cases, but, I digress. For some unfortunate souls, sexual acts just cause a throbbing headache. Although, we’re not quite sure what causes them. (Maybe the guilt of doing something you think you shouldn’t be?)
Foreign Accent Syndrome
What would do if one day you just started speaking in a foreign tongue? For some like Madonna, they just seem to suddenly one day pick up a British accent and just roll with it. Typically this onset of a different accent in a person comes after suffering a stroke. And, also, it’s never truly authentic. I doubt you can expect to be seductively fluent in French after like hitting your head or something like that. And, it’s something you can try to fix with speech therapy.
Jumping Frenchmen Syndrome (aka hyperekplexia)
Named for a bunch of French-Canadian lumberjacks in the 1870s, this condition makes stimuli react to people in falls from being startled or who decide to break into completely random jumps in the air. Luckily, in modern times, this ailment can effectively be treated with anxiety and seizure medicine such as benzodiazepines.
A lot of us think that we’re cursed with obsessive amounts of excess body hair. But, until you get a look at what the ultra-rare syndrome called Congenital Hypertrichosis (aka human werewolf disease) you can thank your lucky stars you’re don’t need to spend that much scratch on razors, wax, and laser removal…
However, only about 50 cases have been reported in this chromosome disease since about the Middle Ages.
Trimethylaminuria (aka Fish Odor Syndrome)
When you’re cursed with Fish Odor Syndrome, you may say something smells fishy…and it’s probably coming from your body. This metabolic disorder makes a foul odor be released from your mouth, sweat, or urine and may just have to do with female sex hormones. During menopause, before and after menstruating, and around puberty are huge triggers for this progesterone and estrogen fueled stinkfest. Although, luckily, avoiding legumes, eggs, certain proteins, and legumes can help combat the offensive whiff of decaying fish that comes along with this bizarre condition.