Let’s say you have a collection of baffling physical symptoms. You know something is very wrong with your body, but no one seems to be able to figure out what it is or what’s causing it. And even if they do, they can’t figure out how to treat it — or the treatment means that you have to change your entire life in order to live normally again, or as close to it as you can get.
For people with rare or little-understood medical conditions, this frustrating scenario is generally how their doctor visits play out. And it can be very lonely — there may only be a few dozen people in the entire world who have the same condition.
We’ve known about some medical conditions for centuries, even if we didn’t have a name for them. Others have only recently come to our attention. Either way, the 10 medical conditions we’re about to discuss are so bizarre that doctors, researchers and the people who live with them continue to work not only toward a cure, but toward a greater understanding of what the condition even is.