Ehlers-Danlos syndromes are a group of rare, genetic conditions that affect connective tissue. That means it could affect the skin, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, internal organs and bones – anywhere that is supported by connective tissue. There are several 13 different types of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, affecting about 1 in 5,000 individuals worldwide in total.
Although the different types of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome have some shared symptoms, there are also differences between them, as they affect different types of connective tissues. The shared symptoms include:
Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (hEDS) is the most common type, while still being very rare. The symptoms of hEDS, along with those above, include:
There are three other more common types of Ehlers-Danlos syndromes: classical, vascular, and kyphoscoliotic. They each have their own unique symptoms, just like hEDS.
Those for Classical Ehlers-Danlos syndrome include:
Those for Vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome include:
Those for Kyphoscoliotic Ehlers-Danlos syndrome include:
All of these individual symptoms can occur alongside the general symptoms at the top of this section. For the other, even rarer types of Ehlers-Danlos syndromes, there are detailed symptoms and advice on the EDS Support UK website.
For some people, these symptoms can be quite mild, and for others, they can be debilitating and painful. In extreme cases, some forms of Ehlers-Danlos syndromes can be life-threatening.
Ehlers-Danlos syndromes are genetic and most often inherited from one or both parents. Depending on the type of syndrome, the cause is related to a certain faulty gene. Sometimes, this faulty gene can occur on its own, without being passed down by a parent.
A person with EDS can only pass on the same type of syndrome to their children, but the severity of the condition may differ within the family.
There is no specific treatment or cure for Ehlers-Danlos syndromes, but there is support on how to manage the symptoms. Some helpful services for those with Ehlers-Danlos syndromes include:
To help manage pain or injuries related to Ehlers-Danlos syndromes, GPs and consultants can also offer prescription medications, depending on the circumstances.
Although there are no dedicated studies to see whether medical cannabis directly helps with Ehlers-Danlos syndromes, due to the rarity of the condition, there is evidence to suggest it can help with the symptoms of chronic pain. Indeed, a study from 2017 showed that inhaled cannabis was consistently effective in managing chronic pain.
As many of the symptoms, such as joint difficulties, broken or bruised skin, and so on, can cause people with Ehlers-Danlos syndromes considerable pain. Using medical cannabis as an extra form of relief alongside traditional treatment can provide some support.
Our experts at The Medical Cannabis Clinics can come up with a personalised treatment plan that suits your needs perfectly. Book in for a free, private consultation, and one of our clinic doctors can guide you through the treatment options for our medical cannabis plans. Appointments start from just £70.
Book an appointment in just a few minutes with a date and time that suits you.
You’ll be sent a private online video link to talk to your selected doctor in confidence.
If you receive a prescription from the doctor, we'll send it to a local pharmacy, or one of your choice. Your medication will be delivered to you (UK only).