Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is a group of genetic disorders that cause defects in the protein collagen. Collagen is a tough protein that structures your connective tissue, skin, and many other tissues. It’s the The most common protein in the human body.

EDS is thought to affect between 1 in 2,500 and 1 in 5,000 people. It is divided into 13 subtypes according to its signs and symptoms.

Some studies suggest a potential link between EDS and immunodeficiency, although the link is uncertain. Immunodeficiency is a risk factor for shingles. Shingles is a condition that results from a reactivation of shingles, the virus that causes chickenpox.

More research is needed to determine whether people with EDS develop shingles more often than people without EDS.

Keep reading to learn more about the potential link between EDS and shingles and between EDS and other complications.

At present, it is unclear whether people with EDS develop shingles more often or at a younger age than people in the general population.

Shingles affects approximately 1 in 3 people and becomes more common with age. It is caused by a reactivation of the virus responsible for chickenpox, called shingles. This virus can lie dormant in your nervous system for decades.

Some case studies suggest a potential link between hypermobile EDS, allergies, and immunodeficiency. Hypermobile EDS is often considered the mildest form of the disease. It is characterized by joints that stretch more than usual and hyperelastic skin.

It is possible that the current evidence is coincidence. Further research is needed to understand if there really is a link.

In a study 2016, researchers examined the characteristics of periodontal EDS, a type of EDS that causes premature tooth loss and joint hypermobility. Among 94 people in 17 families, 40% had recurrent infections, such as:

In theory, factors such as poor wound healing and dysfunctional blood vessels in people with EDS can suppress immune function, which can lead to reactivation of the herpes zoster virus.

What follows groups of people whose immune function is compromised are known to develop shingles more frequently than the general population:

  • people with cancer, especially leukemia and lymphoma
  • people living with HIV
  • people who have received a bone marrow or solid organ transplant
  • people taking immunosuppressive drugs such as chemotherapy or steroids

The severity of EDS varies from person to person and even among people with the same type of EDS. Here are some of the health complications experienced by some people with EDS.

Rupture of a blood vessel or organ

Rupture of a blood vessel and rupture of an organ are the two complications that most often drive to death in people with EDS.

Vascular and organ ruptures are most common in the vascular and kyphoscoliotic subtypes of EDS. Vascular rupture can occur anywhere, but most commonly occurs in the chest or abdomen. Organ rupture most often occurs in:

  • uterus
  • sigmoid colon
  • missed
  • liver

Complications during childbirth

Connective tissue abnormalities can increase the risk of complications during childbirth. For example, fragile skin can increase the risk of severe bleeding. Severe vaginal or perineal ruptures may also be more common.

Surgical complications

People with EDS are at a increased risk complications during surgery due to factors such as fragile blood vessels and compromised wound healing.

Hypermobility issues

Hypermobile EDS is generally considered a mild form of the disease. People with hypermobile EDS can develop many musculoskeletal problems, such as:

  • hypermobile joints
  • frequent joint dislocations
  • degenerative joint disease
  • chronic pain

EDS is incurable, but a doctor can help manage your symptoms and prevent complications. It’s important to see your doctor regularly to monitor your symptoms and let them know about your concerns.

The lifespan of people with the hypermobile and classic subtypes of EDS is generally unaffected by the disease, but some types of EDS – such as the vascular and kyphoscoliotic subtypes – present additional challenges that require careful consideration. careful monitoring.

Individuals with vascular EDS are susceptible to major vascular complication in 40 years.

Medical emergency

Sudden sharp pain in people with EDS or suspected of EDS requires emergency medical attention. Call 911 or your local emergency number or go to the nearest emergency room if you experience sudden sharp pain or sudden shortness of breath, which is a symptom of a collapsed lung.

Here are some common questions people have about EDS.

Does EDS weaken your immune system?

The skin and vascular complications of EDS can predispose you to healing problems. This can make you more likely to develop skin infections.

Does EDS cause rashes or other skin problems?

Most complications of EDS affect the skin, muscles, bones, and blood vessels. People with EDS often have skin that is described as velvety. The skin may be fragile and wounds may heal slowly. Scars may be thin and discolored and may stretch over time.

Skin rashes are less common but can potentially be a symptom of certain types of EDS.

Can EDS cause nerve damage?

Small nerve neuropathy, or damage to the small nerve fibers in the skin, is a common characteristic of the DHS. It can cause tingling or burning in the feet or hands and reduce sensitivity to pain and heat.

What other conditions are associated with EDS?

Sleep disturbances and obstructive sleep apnea are associated with EDS. The association is thought to be caused by facial soft tissue abnormalities. Repeated joint damage can cause early osteoarthritis and many other orthopedic conditions.

EDS is a group of conditions caused by defects in the protein collagen. It is unclear whether people with EDS are at an increased risk of developing shingles. Some studies suggest that EDS can potentially weaken your immune system, which could theoretically make you more susceptible to developing shingles.

If you have EDS, it’s important to see your doctor regularly to monitor your symptoms.