Medily - Evolving Wellness & Immunity

Rarest Diseases You Never Thought Could Exist

Photo from Erie County Health Department

Most of us are familiar with chronic diseases such as heart diseases, stroke, type 2 diabetes, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, and depression. However, there are some peculiar rarely found diseases some of which are fatal to some extent. They occur only one out of a million and are shocking to know about. 

Here is the list of 8 rarest and unusual diseases : 

  1. Water allergy

Aquagenic urticaria commonly known as Water allergy is a rare form of urticaria (a rash of round, red welts on the skin) is a type of hives that results in rashes that mostly appear after one touch the water often associated with burning, itching, and irritation. 

A medical report of 2011 projects that fewer than 100 cases of water allergy were reported in the history of medical literature. It is that rare a disease. 

Hives on the skin can be triggered by several water sources such as rain, sweat, tears, or snow. 

Researches are still speculative about the exact cause of the diseases but it is predicted that it is caused by chlorine or other chemical contents in the water that reacts with sensitive skin. 

Water allergy reaction (photo from Insider)

Instant symptoms or reactions that show after coming in contact with water are erythema, reddening of the skin, lesions, inflammation, burning sensations, and welts.

More several symptoms include wheezing, difficulty in swallowing, rash around the mouth, and difficulty in breathing

There is no cure for this disease yet. However, there are treatments available to lower the appearance of the symptoms.

  1. Pica

Pica is an uncommon eating disorder where people compulsively consume items that are usually not considered food. It might include items that are harmful to your body such as chalks, metals, wood, dried paints, or flakes. 

The potentially affected population is mostly children and expecting mothers. It is usually temporary but can be several and long-lasting for people who are mentally unstable or has developmental disabilities. Counseling or treatment should be provided immediately after diagnosis as it can have serious consequences such as lead poisoning. 

Photo from 3 Meds

  1. Foreign accent syndrome

Foreign accent syndrome (FAS) is a speech disorder that occurs when someone suddenly starts to speak with a different foreign accent at their native place without even being educated about that particular foreign language from the place of its origin. It mostly occurs after a stroke, or head injury, some other type of damage to the brain.

The syndrome is extremely rare and only 100 people were diagnosed with it its first case appearing in 1907. 

If someone is diagnosed with this syndrome, they must seek help from a speech-language therapist, neurologist, or a psychologist. 

  1. Porphyria

It is a disease caused by access accumulation of porphyrin a protein in the red blood cells which necessarily binds iron and sends it to different organs of the body. 

Porphyria is categorized into 2 types: Acute, affecting the nervous system, and cutaneous affecting the skin. 

Some symptoms of acute porphyria are nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, red or brown urine, chest and mibs pain, breathing problems, high blood pressure, etc. 

Symptoms of cutaneous porphyria include sunburn pain, blisters on the skin, itching and redness, skin pigmentation, etc. 

There is no specific treatment to it but certain lifestyle changes can help reduce the triggering effect to give rise to the symptoms of porphyria.


  1. Kuru (Laughing disease)

    Kuru is a rarely found fatal disease related to the nervous system that was prevalent during the 1950s and 1960s among the natives of New Guinea who got infected with the disease due to cannibalism on dead bodies during funeral rituals.

    The symptoms of the disease include difficulty walking, muscle twitching, loss of coordination, involuntary movements, dynamics in behavior and mood, dementia, and difficulty in eating.

    Photo from Neurology Update-WordPress

    6. Methemoglobinemia

    Methemoglobinemia (MetHb) is a type of blood disorder where an abnormal amount of methemoglobin(a form of hemoglobin) is produced in the red blood cells usually higher than 1%. 

    In the case of methemoglobinemia, the hemoglobin is unable to release to body tissues effectively the oxygen that it carries. 

    Symptoms of MetHb include change of skin colour and blood color changes at levels up to 15% which can, in turn, result in hypoxia. 

    There are two possible causes of MetHb: 

    1. Genetically transmitted (congenital)

    2. Exposure to certain medicines such as benzocaine, Nitrobenzene, certain antibiotics, chemicals, or food. 

    Photo from JETem

    7. Fish odor syndrome

    Fish odour syndrome or trimethylaminuria is a genetically transmitted disease where symptoms often appear right from birth. Fish odor syndrome is characterized by an offensive and rotting fish-like body odour caused due to excessive secretion of trimethylaminuria (TMA) in urination sweat, and breath of an individual. 

    The mutations in the FMO3 gene cause the syndrome mainly. No cure has been discovered yet but certain foods can be avoided such as cows' milk, liver, and kidney, eggs, beans, and peanuts to decrease the severity of the syndrome. 

    Photo from ICN WORLD


    These above-listed diseases and syndromes are rarely found. They are less researched and hence no proper medication has been found yet. Although with the advancement of medical science, slowly and gradually remedies have been discovered to alleviate 50% of the syndrome at least. 

    Mostly these syndromes can cause long-term psychological disorders in patients hence utmost care should be provided from the surrounding.

Photo from the Pharmaceutical Journal 

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