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Identifying Early Signs of Hypermobility in Youth

How to Spot EDS: Early Warning Signs of Hypermobility in Adolescents & Children

Awareness of hypermobility and related disorders is on the rise among today’s parents. Knowledge of conditions like hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (hEDS) is empowering a new generation with the ability to recognize early signs and seek timely intervention.

In recognition of EDS Awareness month this May, let’s illuminate the path to early detection and management for hEDS, especially for parents. Early diagnosis can lead to better strategies for handling potential triggers and ensuring successful life planning for children in their education, family, and career aspirations.

Look out for these potential indicators of hypermobility:

  • Frequent or unexplained injuries

  • Easy bruising

  • Chronic fatigue

  • Hyperflexible joints

  • Soft, stretchy skin

  • Athletic prowess in sports like gymnastics or swimming

  • Unusually tall and thin physique

  • Preference for sitting in positions like pretzel style or curled up

  • Persistent allergies or sinus issues

  • Digestive irregularities or hypersensitivity to sensory stimuli

  • Learning challenges or cognitive patterns resembling ADHD or autism

  • Emotional regulation difficulties

  • Curled sleeping positions

  • Complaints of growing pains

  • Indications of scoliosis or poor posture

  • Hyperextended knees, known as "banana knees"

  • Flat feet

  • Family history of autoimmune diseases

It’s important to observe these traits without jumping to self-diagnosis. Instead, bring any concerns to a pediatrician who can properly evaluate and refer you to a specialist if needed.

The future looks brighter as our collective understanding of EDS improves. More accurate diagnoses, increased medical research, and compassionate care will lead to a future where individuals with hypermobility syndromes feel understood and supported, not dismissed. Let’s hope for a day when the rarity lies not in the condition but in the lack of knowledgeable medical providers.

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