If you live with one of several chronic illnesses, a new study needs you

May has been Mental Health Awareness Month. It’s also been awareness month for a number of physical conditionsdiseases and illnesses – at least four of them in fact.

There’s a distinct irony in so many physical illnesses having their awareness month at the same time as mental health. Because all too often, the physical is dismissed as, or put down to, the psychiatric. Also, all the physical illnesses have symptoms which cross over – something doctors and researchers don’t seem to fully understand. But now, a new study could be about to tackle both these issues head on. And it’s asking people living with some of these conditions to get involved.

Two chronic conundrums

There are many chronic, incurable illnesses out there. Here are two as examples.

The Ehlers-Danlos syndromes (EDS) are a group of chronic genetic disorders. They are connective tissue illnesses. This means that a person’s collagen is defective. There are currently 13 types of EDS. Some are life-threatening, like vascular EDS. Others are less aggressive, like classical. The hypermobile subtype is the only one without a genetic marker. But recently, researchers did a new study in Wales. They found that the rate of EDS, and the similar illness hypermobility spectrum disorder (HSD), was higher than previously thought. Read More

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