What are Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes (EDS) and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders?

Jan 01, 2017
hypermobility spectrum disorder, chronic pain research

It has been known for almost two decades that there is a connection between ME/CFS and FM and joint hypermobility. Dr. Peter Rowe was one of the first to publish on this topic. For more on his work and a video on managing orthostatic intolerance (dizziness and other symptoms when remaining upright) go to Dr. Rowe’s webpage at Johns Hopkins.

Does Hypermobile EDS Get Worse with Age?

I had never understood why some individuals with joint hypermobility suffer symptoms from a young age (growing pains and fatigue) and others are seen perfectly healthy until later in life. This very interesting paper by experts in the field of hypermobility hypothesizes that there is a progression of symptoms with age. Some people have symptoms of pain and fatigue in childhood and by the 20s to 30s many individuals with hypermobility develop various types of chronic pain, central pain syndromes like Fibromyalgia and allodynia (painful touch), sensitivity to light and sound, post-exertional malaise, disabling fatigue, the pain of the inner organs and pelvic pain (in women mostly).

This article is of interest to anyone with hypermobility syndrome. It is long and detailed and has quite a bit of medical jargon (which may not be for everyone). Of special interest is a table listing some management strategies to prevent what the authors call the “chronicization” of pain. Their suggestions  involve many of the lifestyle interventions that are discussed in my manual Let Your Light Shine Through.

 Author: Eleanor (Ellie) Stein MD FRCP(C)

I am a psychiatrist with a small private practice in Calgary and am an assistant clinical professor in the faculty of medicine at the University of Calgary. Since 2000, I have worked with over 1000 patients, all with ME/CFS, FM and ES. My passion for this field comes from my own struggle with these diseases, my desire to improve my health and then pass on what I learn. My goal is for every patient in Canada to have access to respectful, effective health care within the publicly funded system. If you are looking for help and resources to help combat ME/CFS, FM and ES, see my guides and webinars.


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