Top 10 Strangest Diseases and Conditions You’ve Never Heard of
By Space Coast Daily // August 8, 2023
The human body is a marvelous thing, capable of withstanding even the most strenuous of circumstances and overcoming even the most critical damage.
However, it’s also a fragile thing, vulnerable to numerous strange diseases and conditions that can quickly take their toll on it.
While you’ve likely encountered countless people with common conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and the like, chances are you’ve never met anyone with one of the following medical conditions.
Take a look at some of the rarest and strangest conditions and diseases you’ve never heard of.
Aquagenic Urticaria – Water Allergy
Aquagenic urticaria, or better known simply as a water allergy, affects approximately one in 230 million people. It’s precisely what it sounds like, an extreme sensitivity to water exposure that can result in painful or itchy hives.
Those with water allergies can have an extreme reaction when coming in contact with any type of water – rainwater, snow, or even sweat.
Although no cure exists at the moment, symptoms can be relieved with treatment.
CRPS Suicide Disease – The Most Painful Disease
The name itself is frightening enough to send shivers down your spine. CRPS suicide disease is commonly referred to as the most painful disorder.
It’s a chronic condition marked by excruciating pain that typically starts in one body part but is known to progress to affect the entire body.
Most commonly, CRPS is caused by nerve damage. However, it can also be developed seemingly at random. At the moment, there’s no known cure.
Congenital Analgesia – The Least Painful Disease
While CRPS is known as the most painful condition, congenital analgesia is known as the least painful one. Those with congenital analgesia cannot experience pain.
They can recognize that they’re holding a hot object, for instance, but they cannot feel the pain associated with their hand being burned by it.
While it might seem like congenital analgesia is almost like having a superpower, it’s important to remember that pain is an essential signal. It warns you that something is wrong, helps you to avoid injury, and prevents further damage to already compromised body parts.
Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome – Premature Aging
Not even the best anti-aging solutions would be very effective for those with Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome. The syndrome causes rapid, premature aging that often leads to early death. Few patients with this condition live to be older than 20.
The Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome has symptoms such as fragile bones, alopecia, poor eyesight, and more. The most common cause of death with this condition is related to cardiovascular problems or stroke.
Canities Subita – The Marie Antoinette Syndrome
Canities Subita is a strange condition resulting in hair abruptly turning white, seemingly overnight – as was reportedly the case of Marie Antoinette before her execution.
As a general rule of thumb, Canities Subita doesn’t impact only scalp hair but also beards, eyebrows, and body hair.
There are many hypotheses about what causes the Marie Antoinette Syndrome, from stress to unique autoimmune disorders that impact melatonin production. However, more research is needed before this condition can be fully understood.
Hypertrichosis – The Human Werewolf Syndrome
Canities Subita isn’t the only strange condition that’s related to hair. Hypertrichosis, or the Human Werewolf Syndrome, is perhaps even stranger.
This rare disorder leads to patients experiencing excessive hair growth all over their bodies. The soles of the feet, palms, lips, and scar tissue are the only unaffected areas.
There’s no known cause, nor is there a known cure for Canities Subita as of yet.
Auto-Brewery Syndrome – Intoxication Without Drinking Alcohol
At first glance, being able to get intoxicated without drinking alcohol or using other substances might seem appealing to some. However, the auto-brewery syndrome is everything but entertaining.
Also known as the gut fermentation syndrome, it causes patients to experience all the symptoms of alcohol intoxication without ever drinking a drop of alcohol. It appears to be caused by an excess amount of certain types of fungus in the small intestine that can turn regular yeast, carbohydrates, and bacteria into alcohol.
Neurogenic FAS – Foreign Accent Syndrome
The name is pretty self-explanatory – patients with Neurogenic Foreign Accent Syndrome appear to develop a foreign accent of their native language. A person born and raised in the American Midwest might seemingly wake up one day and start speaking English with an Irish accent.
Of course, this rarely happens out of the blue. Neurogenic FAS is most commonly caused by trauma, tumors, stroke, or other neurological conditions.
In most instances, patients can regain their normal speech patterns after some speech therapy.
Prosopagnosia – Facial Blindness
Prosopagnosia, or facial blindness, is a neurological disorder that renders the patient unable to recognize or memorize faces.
In milder cases, the patient might simply struggle with memorizing new faces – as most would struggle with memorizing new names. In more extreme cases, however, the patient might be unable to identify familiar faces, distinguish between faces and other common objects, or even recognize their own face in the mirror.
Pica – Compulsive Eating Disorder
Last but certainly not least is Pica – a compulsive eating disorder that makes patients crave to eat non-food items with no nutritional value whatsoever. Those who suffer from Pica might feel irresistible cravings to eat things such as plastic bags, metal nails, paint, or anything else in between.
While the condition is the most prevalent among children, pregnant women, and those with intellectual disabilities, it could affect anyone. While therapy could help manage Pica, there’s currently no known cure.
There’s no shortage of strange diseases and conditions that are difficult to diagnose and even more challenging to treat. From pain-related disorders like CRPS Suicide Disease to neurological conditions like Foreign Accent Syndrome, you never know what condition someone might be living with.