Top 10 Weirdest Medical Syndromes

2We’re taking a look at some of the oddest and most unusual medical syndromes currently known. While most medical syndromes are dull and boring, these conditions are very rare and straight up weird! So without further delay, let’s check what are the top 10 weirdest medical syndromes.

10) Fish Smell

fish-smell-syndromeKnown in medicine as trimethlylaminuria, this syndrome causes people to give off an odor that is reported to smell like fish. Why does it happen you ask? The disorder prevents the body from breaking down trimethylamine, which is basically a chemical compound that doesn’t smell really good. As trimethylamine builds up in the body, afflicted people start to give off an unpleasant odor in their urine, breath and sweat. The smell has also been compared to rotten eggs and garbage.

9) Foreign Accent Syndrome

This rare medical syndrome afflicts people who have had strokes, various head traumas or migraines. Simply put, the patient’s brain develops a speech pattern that is perceived as an accent different from their usual/natural one. After this condition afflicts someone, they will start speaking in a foreign accent that they may or may not have ever heard in their lives. It’s a popular myth that people will start speaking an entire new languages after they are exposed to this condition, but there are no confirmed cases that prove that. This syndrome is very rare, with only 62 recorded case between 1941 and 2009.

8) Exploding Head Syndrome

exploding-head-syndromeEHS is a condition in which the patient hears loud noises in their heard, such as explosions and gunshots. These sounds are obviously imaginary, but can leave serious consequences on the afflicted people. For example, it is common for EHS patients to be unable to fall asleep or have anxiety caused by the syndrome. Unfortunately, not much is known about the condition, except that it’s not as rare as previously thought. Not only that, but there is no proven way to cure the Exploding Head Syndrome yet, although in some cases, doctors managed  to reduce the amount of EHS episodes that the patients experience.


7) Becoming A Gourmand

Gourmand syndrome is a rare condition that affects people who injure their right frontal lobe. It is extremely uncommon for it to appear, but several cases have been reported. The syndrome will cause the afflicted to develop a passion towards gourmet food. The people with the syndrome reported that they started thinking, talking, and writing about gourmet food much more than pre-injury. The most famous case of this condition is a Swiss stroke patient who quit his job after he was released from the hospital and became a food critic.

6) Not Being Able To Move Your Face

moebius-syndrome-babyAnother extremely rare condition is the Moebius syndrome, best known for causing facial paralysis. The people afflicted with the syndrome are unable to move their facial muscles as well astheir eyes from side to side. Sometimes abnormalities in other body parts appear as an effect of the syndrome. While it changes the physical abilities of the patient, it doesn’t affect their intelligence in any way. The treatment for this syndrome isn’t straightforward. Patients go through various procedures in order to make their lives easier, but a complete cure isn’t known at this time. Luckily, the syndrome is very rare with only several cases per million births.

5) Having An ‘Alien’ Hand

Alien hand syndrome is a neurological disorder that causes involuntary hand movement. Basically, the person that has AHS doesn’t even notice that their hand is moving, and sometimes they don’t even have control over the action. AHS is most common with people who had the two brain hemispheres surgically separated, but also appears after a brain surgery, stroke, tumor or as a result of other diseases. Multiple patients stated that they feel as if their hand has a will of its own. The cure for the syndrome isn’t known, but there are treatments that ease the symptoms. For example, slapping the hand or holding an object in it usually prevents it from acting on its own. This disorder is very rare.

4) Not Feeling Pain

pain-insensitiviy-syndromeCongenital insensitivity to pain is one of the rarest medical conditions. People with CIP, simply put, don’t feel physical pain. While that may sound good in theory, it is extremely dangerous in practice. Except not feeling pain, patients are otherwise perfectly ‘normal’ and able to feel other sensations, such as a touch. The disorder is extremely rare, and there have recently been breakthroughs in CIPS treatment. A woman afflicted by it was able to experience pain for the first time in her life after being given nalaxone, so further researches are being conducted regarding it.

3) Immunity To Sensations

Related to the previous entry, there is an ‘addition’ to CIP, called hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy type IV, that pretty much makes it impossible for people to feel sensations such as heat or cold. Any other nerve-related sensation, for example the urge to urinate, isn’t felt by the people with this disorder. People with this syndrome can pretty much go out naked during the harshest winter and they won’t feel a thing. However, similar to CIP, people who experience sensations immunity can still harm themselves easily, they just won’t notice it, which can be very dangerous.

2) Long Term Hiccups

hiccups-syndromeWhile the hiccups that you have from time to time are pretty much harmless, there are some cases of hiccups that last for months or even years without stopping. Obviously, constantly having hiccups for longer periods of time affects your life in many ways. For example, an English man had hiccups for 3 continuous years, and lost his job thanks to it (he was a vocalist). Not only that, but he had trouble sleeping and would occasionally pass out from the hiccups. The cause of his long-term hiccups was a brain tumor, but there can be other causes as well. The longest recorded case of hiccups is 68 (!) years, held by Charles Osborn. It’s estimated that Mr. Osborne hiccuped roughly 430 million times during his life.

1) Pulling Your Own Hair Out

Professionally known as trichotilomania, this disorder gives person the urge to pull hair out from various parts of their body, most commonly their head. The urges to pull the hair out is incredibly strong in some cases, and frequently leaves patients with bald spots on their heads where the hair has been ripped out. However, for some people the disorder is manageable and doesn’t interfere with their everyday lives too much. The disorder is caused by anxiety, OCD and depression in most cases.

Honorable Mentions

Hypertrichosis, also known as human werewolf syndrome leaves patients with long hair all over their body. The hair also rapidly grows back when cut, and because of that there isn’t a known cure. This disease only affects around 50 people world-wide.

Aquagenic urticaria is commonly known as water allergy. People afflicted with it will develop painful rash wherever water touches them, making their everyday lives highly inconvenienced.

Klein-Levin syndrome will leave people sleeping for days or even weeks at a time. Luckily, most children who have the syndrome grow out of it by their adolescence.




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