There are millions of illnesses, diseases, and health issues that people all over the world suffer from. Some are well known and treatable, others are more mysterious. But now and again one comes across health issues that relate to both body and mind that are just plain weird. Some can be cured, many can’t. Here are 10 of the weirdest.
Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome: Accelerated Aging
Extremely rare, accelerated aging affects only about one in a million people and it is not known why it happens. Aging is extraordinary quick, and those who are born with Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome seldom live longer than 13 years. Many die of a heart attack or stroke, because one of the symptoms is serious hardening of the arteries. The first case of accelerated ageing was reported in the mid 1880s, and about 130 cases have been described in scientific literature. It is understood that genetic mutations cause the syndrome.
Epidermodysplasia Verruciformis: Tree Man Disease
Nicknamed tree man disease because it causes tree-like warts on the hands, feet and body, epidermodysplasia verruciformis is a relatively unknown and very rare condition that first gained worldwide attention in 2007. The warts themselves look and feel a bit like the bark of a tree. The most famous “tree man” is an Indonesian, Dede Kosawa who was featured on learning and discovery television channels – which is how the condition was first publicized. Kosawa has had multiple surgeries to remove the warts, but they have reportedly never totally disappeared.
Congenital Hypertrichosis: Human Werewolf Syndrome
Every normal person has a certain amount of hair on their body, including some facial hair. But those who suffer from human werewolf syndrome are pretty well covered in hair. While it doesn’t have any real medical implications, this condition is one of the weirdest health issues and it can be highly embarrassing to those who suffer from it. Medically termed congenital hypertrichosis, the condition is thought to have been nicknamed human werewolf syndrome because it is often associated with a teeth defect condition known as gingival hyperplasia
Whatever the cause, methemoglobinemia is a weird health condition that results due to a restricted flow of oxygen around the body. Apart from their blue color, those suffering from the condition are otherwise healthy. The most famous “blue man” was Paul Karason, nicknamed Papa Smurf, whose skin turned a blue color after he took large doses of colloidal silver – so he may not, strictly speaking, have suffered from methemoglobinemia. A famous family that has skin that is a shade of blue – and who definitely do suffer from the condition – are the Fugates of Kentucky. Their skin color is said to be caused by a recessive gene.
A weird condition that causes people to smell, taste and see things in a form equivalent with a king of sensory interplay. It is not uncommon – with one in about 27 people reportedly being affected by it – and was first reported more than two centuries ago. There are a number of theories why it happens, though it is known that what happens is one sensory mode (smell for instance) activates another sensory mode (perhaps an image the person can see in their mind’s eye.)
One of the weirdest mental health issues, hyperthymestia is an extremely rare condition where people are able to remember the finest details of just about everything that has ever happened to them. Also known as Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM), people with this condition are able to recount times, places, and what some might consider to be irrelevant information, for example what they said (and what others said), what they were eating, what they were wearing, and who they were with at a particular time and moment.
Anterograde amnesia is a condition that results in a loss of memory caused by some kind of severe incident – usually a serious accident or brain surgery. Typically, a person with anterograde amnesia is unable to store new data or information (memories) in their short-term memory, although they are able to remember what happened prior to the incident. All though this is a similar symptom to demensia, it is a totally differenct condition. Some people do recover from this weird health issue, others never do, and they remain severely impaired.
A really weird health issue that is particularly difficult to live with, prosopagnosia or face blindness is a condition that presents as an inability to recognize faces. Many people who suffer from prosopagnosia cannot even recognize members of their own family, and some cannot determine facial expressions, tell a person’s gender, or even judge their age. In some particularly severe cases, people suffering from prosopagnosia are unable to recognize places or objects.
Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD)
There are various types of female sexual dysfunction, some of which result in low sexual desire, an inability to become sexually aroused, the inability to achieve orgasm, or pain that results during vaginal contact or sexual stimulation. By all accounts, one of the most unpleasant is Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD), a condition that causes sexual arousal with or without orgasm, that is not linked to any form of sexual desire. It is not considered to be a “diagnosable medical condition,” and has no link to nymphomania. Men also suffer from this condition.
Priapism: Persistent Erection
Named after the Greek god of fertility, Priapus, priapism is an unusual, very painful condition that results in an ongoing erection that isn’t caused by arousal or any form of sexual stimulation. It is a condition that requires urgent attention if it persists because it can lead to tissue damage and, ironically, an inability to get or maintain an erection – which is a much more common health issue, erectile dysfunction. According to the Mayo Clinic, priapism is most common in boys aged between five and ten years, and men aged 20 to 50.