8 Diseases You Could Have And Not Even Know It

Sudden Unexpected Death Syndrome

 Ray Bouknight
Ray Bouknight

Yes, this is a real disease and it means exactly what you’d think it does. You just… die. It affects mostly young adult males of Hmong and Laotian descent. They are healthy, normal people who go to bed one night and never wake up.

Mad Cow Disease

It can take months for an infected cow to show symptoms, Sean McGrath
It can take months for an infected cow to show symptoms. [Sean McGrath]

Mad cow disease is incurable and almost always fatal. And kind of embarrassing. Can you imagine having to call your parents and say “I have mad cow disease.” It eats holes in your brain and you would have no idea the meat you are eating is infected, simply cooking it won’t sterilize it.

Huntington’s disease

 Bradley Gordon
Bradley Gordon

Huntington’s disease causes your brain to unravel and your body to move on its own. You can have hallucinations, paranoia, anxiety, speech impairment and involuntary limb movement! The scariest thing about this disease is it usually doesn’t show up until 35 or later. So you could go through all the struggles of your 20s and figure it all out and your sigh of relief is cancelled because your life is over. Cool. It’s genetic and incurable.

Cornu Cutaneum

Devil horns, David Goehring
Devil horns. [David Goehring]

Cornu Cutaneum are mysterious horns that you sporadically grow. Like, devil horns. They don’t know what causes it but you will have to get your horns removed with a sterile razor. Yikes.

Fish odor syndrome

Smells yummy, Benjamin Hollis
Smells yummy. [Benjamin Hollis]

If your life wasn’t hard enough already, keep in mind that you could have a rare disorder that makes you reek of nasty fish odor! Fish odor syndrome is incurable and has nothing to do with hygiene. You can shower all you want before your big date, but you’re still going to have fish odor. Fish odor syndrome is genetic, but you may notice it later in life as symptoms fluctuate with diet.

Fatal familial insomnia

Taking sleeping pills can actually speed up symptoms, Alyssa L. Miller
Taking sleeping pills can actually speed up symptoms. [Alyssa L. Miller]

Most people complain about “having insomnia” at one point or another. It’s too easy to have disruptive sleep patterns today when most people sleep with their phone. Fatal familial insomnia makes your night of bad sleep look like a Disney movie. Not only will you not sleep but you’ll lose a ton of weight, get panic attacks, have hallucinations and eventually die. If you don’t know any relatives who have this disease, you are probably in the clear—but next time you’re tossing and turning consider the mutant variant that is not genetic: sporadic fatal insomnia.


Whatcha gonna put on that plate? Dinner Series
Whatcha gonna put on that plate? [Dinner Series]

If you’ve ever seen My Strange Addiction you know what pica is—a disease that gives you a craving for things that aren’t culturally considered food. People with pica have uncontrollable cravings to eat dirt, plaster, paint chips, plastic, or rocks. You know how hard it is to resist a pizza craving, imagine your body telling you to pour dirt on it and being unable to resist.

Exploding head syndrome

It's all in your head, Sodanie Chea
It’s all in your head. [Sodanie Chea]

Imagine drifting off for a night of great sleep and suddenly hearing an extremely loud sound like a gunshot or explosion. Exploding head syndrome causes you to hear crazy loud noises or see flashes of light that aren’t there. It can develop at any time in life, possibly in response to stress. One sufferer described it as “noise as if head will burst open.” Remember, it usually happens when you are about to fall asleep. That should aid in curing your insomnia. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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Chrissy Stockton

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