At-Home Treatments for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS)
What is Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS)?
Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is a group of inherited medical conditions that affect` connective tissues in the body. EDS manifests as weak or insufficient collagen in the body’s tissues. This prevents connective tissues from adequately supporting body structures, including — but not limited to — the skin, joints and blood vessels. Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is classified into 13 types based on the specific symptoms and the affected part(s) of the body; treatment is based on the specific type of EDS.
Treating Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) at home
In addition to conventional medical treatments, individuals with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) can be proactive at home to manage symptoms and prevent complications.
At-home treatments for joints
Because EDS often affects the joints, dislocations are common. While some dislocations require immediate medical attention, less severe dislocations or subluxations (partial dislocations) can sometimes be treated at home using the RICE method: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. In some cases, the joint may return to proper alignment after this treatment. Over-the-counter pain medications may also reduce pain and inflammation.
When joints are stable enough to allow it, low-impact exercises such as walking, swimming and bicycling, can strengthen the muscles and joints. However, individuals should avoid heavy lifting, contact sports and high-impact exercises, such as running.
Taking a calcium and vitamin D supplement may help strengthen the bones, which improves the overall strength of the musculoskeletal system. Individuals should consult a physician or pharmacist before adding any kind of nutritional supplement to their treatment plan.
At-home treatments for the skin
Because EDS often weakens the skin, taking proper care of the skin is important. Sunscreen of at least 30 SPF should be applied daily throughout the year. Harsh soaps that may dry out the skin should be avoided.
Taking a vitamin C supplement may reduce EDS-related bruising. Again, individuals should consult a physician or pharmacist before adding any kind of nutritional supplement to their treatment plan.
If a wound occurs, it must be treated quickly and thoroughly. Suturing the wound can be difficult due to fragile skin. Avoiding activities that may injure the skin is a good preventative measure.
When combined with conventional treatments, these at-home treatments may help manage the symptoms of EDS.