9 Famous People with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) + Pictures

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is a group of disorders which affect connective tissues supporting the bones, blood vessels, skin, and many other tissues and organs.

People who have EDS usually have overly flexible joints and stretchy, fragile skin. Approximately one in every 5,000 people around the world has some form of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

Types

13 major types of EDS have been subtyped. These include:

  • classic;
  • spondylodysplastic;
  • classic-like;
  • myopathic;
  • cardiac-valvular;
  • periodontal;
  • vascular;
  • musculocontractural;
  • hypermobile;
  • brittle cornea;
  • arthrochalasia;
  • kyphoscoliotic;
  • dermatosparaxis.

Note – Some types of EDS are extremely rare and account for less than 100 reported cases worldwide.

Symptoms

Common symptoms of classic EDS include:

  • heart valve problems;
  • loose joints;
  • muscle fatigue;
  • highly elastic, velvety skin;
  • chronic degenerative joint disease;
  • fragile skin;
  • chronic pain;
  • skin that bruises easily;
  • fragile blood vessels;
  • redundant skin folds on the eyes;
  • transparent skin;
  • muscle pain;
  • protruding eyes;
  • sunken cheeks;
  • benign growths on pressure areas, such as – knees and elbows;
  • collapsed lung;
  • small chin;
  • thin lips;
  • premature osteoarthritis;
  • thin nose;
  • thin skin.

Causes

There are different kinds of genetic mutations which may cause problems with collagen, the most abundant protein in our bodies which provides structure and strength to internal organs, blood vessels, bone, and skin.

Treatment

There is no known cure for this condition. But, physical therapy and bracing may help strengthen support joints and muscles.

Note – if you have EDS, you will need to be careful when doing activities which can put stress on your joints and increase the risk of injury, like contact sports.

Here Is A List Of 9 Famous People with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome:

#1 Russell Kane

He is an English comedian, writer, and actor who won the main prize of the Edinburgh Comedy Awards at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2010.

In a tweet, Russell Kanehe wrote – ”The staff at @StuartPhillips seemed unconvinced I have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. I did a cartwheel and showed off my flat feet and everything.”

#2 Lorraine McCarthy

Lorraine McCarthy is a former model who suffers from EDS. Even the simple act of rolling over when lying down can put her hip or shoulder out.

She also has Raynaud’s Syndrome (a condition in which spasm of arteries cause episodes of reduced blood flow), migraine, spasms, cysts, angioedema, muscle weakness affecting her sight and speech, decreased memory and confusion, and dysautonomia (a condition in which the autonomic nervous system does not work properly).

#3 Myleene Klass

Image credit – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Myleene_Klass_–_Greatest_Britons.jpg

She is a British pianist, singer, and model, who first rose to prominence as a member of the now defunct pop band Hear’Say. She is also an actress who is known for My Family (2000), Igor (2008), and Lemon La Vida Loca (2012).

Myleene Angela Klass was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome when she was just 10 years old.

#4 Sara Geurts

She is an Instagram influencer and model living with the rare EDS. She used Instagram to bring awareness to the condition and garnered over 69,000 followers on her eponymous Instagram account.

Sare began to develop signs of EDS at the age of 10.

#5 Gary Turner

Image credit – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gary_%22Stretch%22_Turner.jpg

He is a former Circus of Horrors star who was born in Caistor, Lincolnshire, England in 1971.

In 2011, Gary Turner auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent. In 2012, he started performing with a group called the Royal Family of Strange People – a group of unique performers awing audiences in London.

He is diagnosticated with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. One of his favorite tricks is to stretch his stomach shelf tight and use it as a small table, that can hold about 3 beers.

#6 Cherylee Houston

She is a British actress who grew up in Morecambe, Lancashire, UK. Cherylee Houston is currently playing Izzy Armstrong in Coronation Street, a role she has portrayed since April 2010.

Cherylee Houston has been battling with Ehlers-Dalos syndrome since the age of 23.

#7 Niccolò Paganini

Image credit – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Niccolo_Paganini01.jpg

He was an Italian violist, guitarist, composer and one of the most celebrated violin virtuoso of his time.

His violin technique demanded a wide use of harmonics and pizzicato effects, and new techniques of fingering.

Undoubtedly, his virtuosity was possible in part due to his amazing flexible joints, that may have resulted from either Marfan syndrome or Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. However, each of the 13 types of EDS has characteristic symptoms, and doctors cannot determine from Paganini’s physical features alone which type he had.

#8 Harry Houdini

Harry Houdini
Image credit – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Houdini_in_Handcuffs,_1918.JPG

He was an Austro-Hungarian-born American illusionist and stunt performer, renowned for his sensational escape acts.

From about 1900, he started to earn an international reputation for his daring feats of extrication from ropes, shackles, and handcuffs and from numerous locked containers (like coffins or prison cells).

He probably had EDS – extreme joint flexibility where one can voluntarily dislocate and relocate his joints.

Harry Houdini died of peritonitis which stemmed from a stomach injury.

#9 Elizabeth Taylor

Image credit – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Taylor,_Elizabeth_posed.jpg

She was a British-American businesswoman and actress who began her career as a child actress in the early 1940s, in films like Butterfield 8 and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

Elizabeth Taylor attracted attention because of her 8 marriages and her violet eyes. She also has EDS.

Do you know any other celebrities with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome? Please let us know in the comments below.

References

https://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/ehlers-danlos-syndrome/Pages/clinical-trial-details.aspx
https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMicm066971
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/article-abstract/522182?redirect=true

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