It is impossible to know the exact number of medical conditions individuals suffer from. One way to try to estimate the number of conditions is by considering the diagnostic codes used by doctors and insurance companies. There are approximately 68,000 diagnostic codes currently used. These codes are for the most common conditions. But what about uncommon medical conditions – conditions affecting less than 10% of the population? Below is a list of 8 of the most bizarre, uncommon conditions.
- Alien Hand Syndrome: This condition creates an impression that the arm has a mind of its own. It is also known as the Dr. Strangelove syndrome. Individuals suffering from Alien hand syndrome may find one arm moving independently without command. This condition most commonly affects the left hand. The cause of this condition is largely unknown but may be related to neurosurgery, a tumor, aneurysm or sometimes even a stroke.
- Stone Man Syndrome: Stone Man Syndrome, or fibrodysplasia ossificans progressive as it is uncommonly referred to as, is a condition in which muscles, tendons and ligaments in the body become ossified spontaneously or when damaged. This is a connective tissue disorder affecting the body’s repair mechanism. When muscles, tendons or ligaments are being repaired the body is actually hardening those areas. There are approximately 300 known cases in the United States. This condition is not always active, but when in a flareup they will be concerned with injury as that may cause hardening of certain body systems.
- Alice in Wonderland Syndrome: This condition causes a neurological manifestation wherein the individual may experience distorted perception and disorientation. You may have heard of this condition referred to as another name such as Todd’s syndrome. It may cause feelings of appearing larger or smaller than you actually are, or you may notice objects around you seeming to shift further away or closer to you. It was originally thought these distorted perceptions were related to hallucinations. However, this condition was first identified in the 1950s and is related to the novel, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.”
- Elephantiasis: Elephantiasis, also known as lymphatic filariasis, is a condition that causes severe swelling in the limbs, specifically the arms and legs. This condition is caused by parasitic worms that are spread from person to person through mosquitos. Because this condition is spread through mosquitos, it is typically referred to as a tropical disease. Most individuals infected with this parasite exhibit no symptoms and the condition resolves naturally. A small number of people develop severe symptoms wherein they experience extreme swelling. This condition is easily treated through medications that can kill the parasite.
- Cotard’s Syndrome: Cortard’s syndrome, also known as the Walking Dead Syndrome, is a rare mental illness comprising of delusions wherein the individual may believe they are dead, have lost organs or body parts, or that their soul no longer exists. This condition is usually accompanied by severe depression or some psychotic disorder.
- Exploding Head Syndrome: An individual suffering from exploding head syndrome may perceive loud noises when sleeping or awake. These noises may sound like a bomb explosion, gunshot or cymbal crash. It is estimated that 10% of the world’s population experienced this syndrome, with females being more susceptible. These episodes can be constant or infrequent, occurring at night or when you are awake. Very little is known about this condition including the causes or types of treatment. Some individuals associate these noises to headaches and are treated as such.
- Systemic Capillary Leak Syndrome: This is a rare condition wherein fluid and proteins leak out of tiny blood vessels into the surrounding tissue. Leakage due to this condition may cause dangerously low blood pressure, hypoalbuminemia, or a decrease in plasma volume. The leakage is generally a series of attacks or flares, not a constant leak. Flares can last several days, which would require hospital care due to the rapid fall in blood pressure. It is thought this condition is related to low M protein in the bloodstream.
- Oligodactyly: This is a congenital abnormality of the upper extremities, wherein the individual would have fewer than five fingers on each hand. Polydactyly is the condition where an individual has fewer than 5 toes on each foot. The most common type of abnormality is known as thumb hypoplasia/aplasia. This occurs when the thumb is either smaller than it should be or completely absent. It is thought this condition is related solely to genetics.
If you find you are suffering from one of these strange medical conditions, depending upon the severity, you may have difficulty working. If that is the case, Social Security Disability is the answer for you.
The Social Security Disability program is a federally mandated insurance program that provides monetary and health benefits to individuals who are unable to work due to a physical or mental condition. The requirements of this program are simple. You must show your medical condition affects not only your ability to perform the work you have done in the past fifteen years but also a complete inability to perform other work in the national economy. To determine your work capacity, the Social Security Administration will review your medical records, searching for limitations. Once a list of your limitations is compiled, they will then determine if those limitations are work preclusive, typically done through the examination of a vocational expert.
Applying for Social Security Disability can be done online, via phone or in person at your local SSA office. As you may expect, working with a government agency is not always easy. Especially one that is acting similar to an insurance company. Obtaining representation from an experienced Social Security Disability attorney is your best bet in terms of coming to a favorable resolution on your claim, sooner rather than later. If you believe your medical condition may qualify you for disability benefits, reach out to the LaBovick Law Group for a free case evaluation. We will handle your case from the very beginning to take away the stress of the process from you.