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9 Strangest and Weirdest Rare Human Medical Conditions

Updated on May 13, 2017

There are many medical conditions in the world. Some are well-known. However, the others which are not well-known are rare meaning not a large population of the world experiences these conditions, only a few. What makes these rare conditions very strange is their nature.

These conditions affect any sex or race but many of them, scientists still don’t know the causes of these conditions. Only theories abound. In some of these conditions some causes are known while in others it is hard to figure out. They don’t have any cure only some treatments are administered. In time, some of these conditions disappear from some people while in others it’s a life-experienced condition.

1. Progeria

Scientifically, it is known as Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (HGPS). A child born with this kind of condition doesn’t live to celebrate his/her thirteenth birthday.

This condition is characterized by the child growing old very quickly. The child looks like a fifty-year old man.

A child diagnosed with this condition will get the diseases old people in their fifties and above experience especially heart diseases. As a result, the child will die more likely because of old-age diseases than young age diseases. Nonetheless, their brain development is not affected. Some of the symptoms associated with this condition are: they have large eyes and big heads. Their veins are visible, they have thin nose and their lower jaw is small.

What causes this condition? “A single mistake in a certain gene causes it to make an abnormal protein,” states WebMD. It is further noted, “When the cells use this protein, they breakdown more easily. Progrein build up

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2. Pica

I am fond of eating papers, that is, chewing and swallowing including pencil, staples and toothpick. These are just a few of them. A lot of people would tend to term this habit as the person having ‘jumped’ a certain stage while growing up. Well, this is not the case. I have a condition known as pica. You can imagine as a writer how many papers I eat?

People having this condition have cravings for non-food stuff such as chalk, wire, soil, plastic, hair, fingernails (most common), needles etc. which don’t have any nutritional value.

In some of the cases, those with this condition lack certain minerals in their bodies, the common minerals being zinc and iron. This is especially the case with pregnant women who lack such minerals in their bodies. The results of craving for non-food stuff can lead to damage of gastrointestinal tract such as developing ulcers.

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3. Alien Hand Syndrome

Ever felt like one of your hands or foot is possessed by an unseen force? An alien? Hmm…The hand behaves on its will as if it has a life of its own. It does something unaware without your knowledge such as slapping yourself without actually telling yourself you need to slap yourself. Quite strange! Well, it might not be the hand is possessed. It is a condition. The person with this condition feels as if the affected hand or foot is not part of the body. It feels scary.

This medical condition arises after a person has undergone surgery or after a stroke or an infection to the brain, or as a result of trauma to the brain. Medicine Net notes on the cause of this syndrome: “Different types of brain injuries cause different subtypes of alien hand syndrome. For example, take an injury to the corpus callosum (the area of the brain which connects the two cerebral hemispheres, the two halves of the brain). Such an injury in a right-handed person can give rise to purposeful movements in the dominant right hand. More complex hand movements such as unbuttoning or tearing of clothes are usually associated with brain tumors or stroke.”

4. Congenital Insensitivity To Pain

People with this condition don’t feel any type of physical pain. Even when they are injured or have drunk a hot cup of tea, they cannot feel pain. The lack of feeling pain is a disadvantage because the person ends developing various health problems such as bruises and wounds, some detectable while a majority undetectable.

The intensity of pain signals the level of health problem that needs to be addressed. If you don’t feel pain, how would you know there is a serious health problem inside your body? It is hard to know something isn’t right in the body.

Cause: “Congenital insensitivity to pain is considered a form of peripheral neuropathy because it affects the peripheral nervous system,” states NIH “which connects the brain and spinal cord to muscles, and to cells that detect sensations such as touch, smell and pain.”

5. Hypertrichosis

It is commonly known as Werewolf syndrome. People with this syndrome look like wolves. Their faces and upper part of their body is covered with thick hair. Well, they are not the exact replica of wolves since they don’t have sharp claws and teeth.

Their faces, upper part of the bodies and limbs are covered with very thick hair that is in excess of the normal hair growth. The hair growth can be generalized or localized. In the case of localized it means a specific area is covered with thick hair while the generalized one means the thick hairs cover a large part of the body.

Symptoms are mild, the severe ones rarely experienced. Two major symptoms noticed in people with this syndrome are gums which are enlarged and teeth defect.

Causes: according to Health, some of the causes are intake of medications such as cyclosporine, minoxidii, or phenytoin. Others are as a result of head injury, inherited or due to anorexia or malnutrition. Scientists believe cancer is the major cause of hair growth.

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6. Porphyria

Also known as the Vampire Disease, the extreme case of this condition makes some people with this condition to avoid bright light. They prefer darkness. They don’t drink blood, nah; it is just a medical condition.

Porphyria is derived from the word ‘porphura’ which means purple pigment. The symptoms associated with this condition vary and is not limited which include: seizures, urine is red/purple/brown, anxiety and insomnia, back and chest pain, diarrhea, vomiting and constipation.

Cause: “Porphyria is related to disrupted heme production in body. Heme is produced in the bone marrow and liver. It is one of the components of hemoglobin,” states Medifee. Hemoglobin is responsible for the red coloring of blood. Medifee further states, “Heme also carries oxygen from lungs to different parts of the body. In liver, it helps to breakdown hormones, drugs and contributes in the normal functioning of the organ.”

Generally, there are eight enzymes responsible for producing porphyria which in turn produces heme “when combined with iron.” If there is any malfunction or deficiency in any of these enzymes, the production of porphyria is inhibited. “Precursors are formed that do not develop into porphyrin. Any deficiency in any of these eight enzymes leads to different types of disorders; collectively known as porphyria.” One of these disorders is known as ‘The Vampire Disease.’

7. Foreign Accent Syndrome

This is a speech disorder whereby a native speaker speaks his language but with a foreign accent. For example, an American woman speaking English but the accent is not American. The accent may be British or Japanese.

Causes: Mostly, it is as a result of a stroke or brain injury which leads to the damage of the brain. In addition, multiple sclerosis also contributes to this syndrome. In other cases it’s not clear what might have caused FAS in some people in this situation.

UT Dallas states concerning FAS: “Speech may be altered in terms of timing, intonation, and tongue placement so that is perceived as sounding foreign. Speech remains highly intelligible and does not necessarily sound disordered.”

8. Trichotillomania

A person with this condition feels like pulling his hair out either on his head or in any other part of the body where there is hair.

It is referred to as impulse-control disorder which is a psychological disorder. The person feels an urge to pull his hair out and will not feel relieved until he does so.

The negative effect of this disorder is the person will feel ashamed, embarrassed, have low self-esteem. It is common among teenagers especially girls.

There is no known cause of this disorder.

9. Kleine-Levin Syndrome (KLS)

This is a neurological disorder whereby a person spends a large amount of time sleeping. Also, it is known as ‘Sleeping’ disorder. The person can sleep for hours, days, weeks or months. The only time the person will be awake is when he goes to bathroom or to eat. After doing so he reverts to sleep.

This episode repeats itself occasionally. The person might go for days, weeks, months or years without experiencing the symptom of this disorder – unending sleep. Nonetheless, it is strikes at any time. It hits the person and he is back to unending sleep.

Once a person with this condition wakes up from sleep he appears confused, lacks energy and looks disoriented. In most cases he may be highly sensitive to light and noise.

There is not so much that is known about this disorder.

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