There are quite a lot of body disorders which manifest as really weird illnesses in people. Can you imagine living with one leg larger than the other? Can you imagine a teenager looking like a really old woman? or being born a black from African descent and suddenly finding your skin is going white in different areas, or finding it impossible to recognize and differentiate human faces?
I present to you 5 weird illnesses you may not know exist.
- PROGERIA SYNDROME: This is a genetic condition that makes a child age really fast often times making it hard for them to live past the age of 13. Their symptoms are vividly visible. Progeria is not hereditary meaning it is not passed down in families.
“A single mistake in a certain gene causes it to make an abnormal protein. When cells use this protein, called progerin, they break down more easily. Progerin builds up in many cells of kids with progeria, causing them to grow old quickly.”
In the Nigerian yoruba film industry, there is a set of twins (ibeji Oran) who I had known from childhood, they have obvious unusual physical features which makes them almost scary, hence their use by producers in scary parts of movies. On finding out in recent years what Progeria is, I could only remember them and then understood why they looked that way. They have both passed away.
Symptoms of progeria include: a bigger head large eyes, ears that stick out, a high-pitched voice, small lower jaw, veins you can see, a thin nose with a beaked tip. Children with progeria often die of diseases that are age related, such as stroke or heart failure. A famous personality who died of progeria is the teenager Sam Berns who helped raise awareness about the condition. He died at the age of 17 in January 2014.
2. Lipodystrophy: Lipo in greek is related to “fat” this is a disorder that leads to severe fat loss around the face especially, thereby leaving the skin sagging and as a result giving the patient an old looking face that makes them way older than their age. A teenage girl called Zara and her mother suffer this condition and have been able to receive some help through face lift surgery.
3. Parkes Weber Syndrome: Ever seen anyone with one of their legs very much larger than the other, they could be suffering from this syndrome. A disorder that affects the body’s network of blood vessels which is present from birth. It makes one limb often times the leg longer and larger than the other.is a teenager in Canada who suffers from this condition but still manages to live her life as best she can.
4. Vitiligo: This condition exhibits itself through the skin, it is a skin condition that leads to different parts of the skin loosing their pigmentation, hence white patches appear on different parts of the skin and can continue to extend covering larger areas.
“There is strong evidence that people with vitiligo inherit genes that make them susceptible to depigmentation. The most widely accepted view is that the depigmentation occurs because vitiligo is an autoimmune disease—a disease in which a person’s immune system reacts against the body’s own organs or tissues.” http://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/vitiligo/
Winnie Harlow is a famous name and face who suffers Vetiligo.
5. Prosopagnosia: Just as some disorders are physical, some may not be so physical, such as the disorder Prosopagnosia alternatively called “face blindness”. Imagine being unable to recognize faces, not that of friends or family members, sometimes not even able to recognize yourself in the mirror. People who suffer Prosopagnosia may find alternative means of recognizing people, such as how they walk, their hairstyle or their voice. This condition sometimes occurs for some people only after they sustain some brain damage, following a stroke or head injury. “Faces in the crowd” is a movie that can help anyone better understand this disorder as it can be really challenging.
Weird illnesses all round the world are not limited to these, however they help us remember that whatever we may be suffering is bearable compared to if we were to live with any other. Stay positive, and live with the right health attitude.