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4 Rare Diseases You Probably Wouldn’t Have Heard Of

There are some weird diseases in the world, with even more unusual names. Swine Flu and Mad Cow Disease spring immediately to mind, but these are just a couple of diseases which have made it into the news in recent years. Around the world there are people living with diseases which many of us will have never heard of before.

 In this article we take a look at some of these unusual diseases and their symptoms.


Water Allergy

Considering that the human body is made up of up to 60% water, this disease seems unbelievable, but some people really are allergic to water. Only thought to have affected around 30 people to date, this disease has actually been confirmed by the Medical Review Board. A case of this disease was reported in the UK very recently. The case is of a 21-year-old woman who can shower for a maximum of 10 seconds per week and only drink Diet Coke. The disease is more of a hypersensitivity to ions found in non-distilled water.



This disease is named after the Magpie (Pica in Latin) which will eat anything. Sufferers of Pica are similar to the magpie with their eating disorders. They will eat objects that are non-nutritive such as plaster, dirt, clay, paper, metal, stones and paint. Symptoms must last longer than a month and this disease is almost always a pregnant female or child. Many believe that this disease is a mineral deficiency which affects health and nutrition, however medical researchers are yet to form a conclusive cause.


Foreign Accent Syndrome

This name is exactly as it sounds. Sufferers of this disease find themselves speaking in a different dialect to that which they had before. They do not necessarily speak a foreign accent but change in their speech often becomes a familiar resemblance to other accents. There have only ever been 60 cases recorded, with the first a Norwegian woman developing a strong German accent in 1941.


Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

This disease was named after Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’, where Alice’s experiences are considered to be like those who suffer from the disease. Alice in Wonderland syndrome symptoms are mostly based around the sufferer perceiving objects to be smaller than they really are. This disease is also linked with affecting one’s sense of hearing, touch and migraine headaches. It is well documented that Lewis Carroll suffered from migraines himself and there is speculation that the stories in the novel are based on his own experiences and feelings.