Modern medicine has reached fantastic heights, but much knowledge about human body functioning still remains a mystery. Literally every year people are faced with the new diseases they did not even know before. In our review, we focused on the “top ten” really strange symptoms indicative of a deadly disease.
1. Forgetting how to breathe
It’s true: sometimes people forget how to breathe. When the pressure in the brain starts to increase for some reason – due to extensive stroke, a growing tumor or water accumulation inside the medulla (hydrocephalus), the brain is pressed against the skull. This often affects the respiratory centers in the brainstem, and a person can really forget how to breathe. This symptom indicates an intracranial pressure increase, which can ultimately result in death.
2. Dancing without a reason
We all know the feeling when you just cannot sit still and keep your leg from dancing at the sound of music. However, we are talking about a different thing. In the medical field, there are several major degenerative diseases that lead to uncontrolled jerky movements resembling a weird dance. Such movements are called hemiballismus, and they occur when certain parts of the brain lose their inhibitory control over movements.
Although this symptom is at first glance quite interesting, it is very exhausting, and, in order to avoid involuntary movements or spasms, patients have to take large amounts of drugs.
It turns out that human sex drive is initially produced in the deep parts of the human brain. Hypersexuality and inappropriate sexual behavior (the desire to take any object into the mouth and loss of normal fear response) are the symptoms typical for the Klüver–Bucy syndrome – a rare disease, which occurs in people with severely damaged parts of the brain responsible for keeping emotions under control. Unfortunately, neither psychotherapy nor medication can cope with this disease. Patients with this syndrome are usually very irritable.
4. Complete paralysis
The idea that one can be completely paralyzed and remain fully conscious invokes fear. But oddly enough, such a terrible condition can sometimes be a frightening reality for patients with the so-called “locked-in syndrome”. Many patients who experienced severe brain damage on the verge of death fell into a state when they could not move, talk or even feel, but were often conscious and aware of everything that was happening around them.
The chances of recovery are often low, most patients remaining in this state until they die. Several well-known cases of this syndrome – the famous theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, Rom Houben, who survived a car accident and was locked-in for more than 23 years, as well as Jean-Dominique Bauby – a French philanthropist who later founded an organization for helping people with “locked-in syndrome”.
5. Huge testicles
Imagine that some men have testicles larger than their body, because of which these people simply cannot move. This condition is called elephantiasis. Legs can also grow to huge sizes. Elephantiasis, as a rule, is the result of parasitic infections, particularly filarial worms, which are often found in the soil in African countries.
These worms burrow into people’s legs and cover the capillaries, which leads to water retention in legs or scrotum. In other cases, testicular swelling may be due to different reasons causing liquid retention near the testes.
6. Malignant hyperthermia
For sure, you’ve experienced the feeling of anger that made you literally boil. From a medical point of view, it is possible in case of malignant hyperthermia. This is a rare condition that occurs after general anesthesia. Body temperature can be increased up to 41 degrees Celsius, causing severe tissue damage.
Malignant hyperthermia is often caused by an inherited defect associated with impaired temperature regulation. Unfortunately, most people who suffer from it often do not even know that they have a genetic mutation … until they find themselves in intensive care.
7. Photophobia or porphyria
We are not talking about the Twilight movie, but about the disease, which has given rise to the legend of vampires and how to get rid of them, namely sunlight and garlic. This condition is called porphyria – it is when the body accumulates porphyrins due to the inability to produce heme (the non-protein part of hemoglobin) from porphyrins.
People who suffer from porphyria are afraid of sunlight, as light triggers a skin reaction causing severe pain. They also have a ghostly-pale complexion, mainly due to the aversion to sunlight. Besides, these people are afraid of garlic because its smell aggravates most symptoms. In addition, their urine becomes purplish and is similar to blood. Fortunately, porphyria is an extremely rare phenomenon in modern days.
Everyone has seen cats and dogs that dislike water. This can happen in humans and is considered one of the signs of rabies. In fact, patients are not afraid of water. The rabies virus causes severe muscle spasm around the throat, and swallowing gets very difficult. From the outside it looks as if a person has an aversion to water.
9. Complete disregard parts of a body part
People can be forgetful: they forget car keys, wives and children. And it also happens that they completely forget about a certain body part. This can be observed after a stroke. In some cases, a person does not use the affected body part in reflex movements. In more serious cases, it may even lead to a total denial of the left or right side of the body. Studies have shown that this is associated with a failure in the functions of certain brain parts.
Usually the act of self-mutilation is associated with psychological disorders. A person behaves this way when concerned about something very much or is trying to cope with many challenges. However, there are people who mutilate themselves because of Lesch–Nyhan syndrome. This genetic disease causes problems with the body’s ability to process uric acid, a by-product of normal cell recycling.
As a result, uric acid begins to accumulate in unwanted areas of the body, such as the brain. This causes a number of psychological symptoms, the most obvious of which is self-mutilation.