Mysterious Diseases Without Names, Causes Unknown: Symptoms of Modern Life?
Mysterious Diseases Without Names, Causes Unknown: Symptoms of Modern Life?

In Beyond Science, Epoch Times explores research and accounts related to phenomena and theories that challenge our current knowledge. We delve into ideas that stimulate the imagination and open up new possibilities. Share your thoughts with us on these sometimes controversial topics in the comments section below.

Patients all over the world are denied the minor comfort of diagnoses for their illnesses—doctors are baffled by new diseases, and they have no name to give them or treatments to recommend.

The sources of many such illnesses also have not been identified. Some new illnesses may, however, be caused by the human body’s incompatibility with modern chemicals and other conditions it has not had to cope with in history. Daniel Lieberman, a biology professor at Harvard University has written about common diseases such as asthma, diabetes, and irritable bowel syndrome, that may be caused by the modern lifestyle. 

National Institutes of Health (NIH) has an Undiagnosed Diseases Program dedicated to unraveling the mysteries of new diseases. Syndrome Without a Name (SWAN) groups have popped up around the world to support people living in uncertainty with undiagnosed diseases. 

Here’s a look at seven rare diseases that have been identified in recent years, though much remains to be learned about them and the causes of some are a complete mystery. 


1. Morgellons Disease

(Screenshot/Google Images of Morgellons disease)

Morgellons disease has stoked controversy. Some claim this rare disease is caused by chemtrails. Famed environmentalist David Suzuki sums up the chemtrails idea:

Chemtrails believers claim governments around the world are in cahoots with secret organizations to seed the atmosphere with chemicals and materials—aluminum salts, barium crystals, biological agents, polymer fibres, etc.—for a range of nefarious purposes. These include controlling weather for military purposes, poisoning people for population or mind control, and supporting secret weapons programs.”

The Mayo Clinic describes the disease as “an unexplained skin disorder characterized by disfiguring sores and crawling sensations on and under the skin. Morgellons disease also features fibers or solid materials emerging from these sores.”

It affects mostly middle-aged white women. A cluster of cases in California prompted research.


2. Pockets of Blood Under Skin:  CHST-14 Deficiency

NIH’s Undiagnosed Diseases Program discovered the first American case of CHST-14 deficiency, characterized by malformations of the thumbs and feet, as well as pockets of blood that build up under the skin.

File image of a blood blister. (Shutterstock)


3. Prune Belly Syndrome

Also called Eagle-Barrett syndrome, this condition has three main features:

1. Lack of abdominal muscles, causing the skin on the belly to wrinkle like a prune

2. Undescended testicles in males.

3. Urinary tract problems.

According to NIH, prune belly syndrome affects 1 in 40,000 births. The cause of the condition is unknown.


4. Mysterious Calcium Build-Up in the Arteries and Joints

Illustration of the inside of a blood vessel. (Shutterstock)

NIH’s Undiagnosed Diseases Program announced it’s first major success in 2011 when it diagnosed and learned more about a rare condition caused by a buildup of calcium in the arteries and in the joints. Before 2011, when NIH encountered the disease in nine individuals from three families, it was only recorded in seven patients over the course of a century.

NIH named it “arterial calcification due to CD73 deficiency” (ACDC). It initially baffled doctors, because the calcium was found to build up in a way doctors did not previously know was possible in the body.


5. One Woman’s Story of Unexplained Blindness

DeGalynn Wade, an attorney in Minneapolis, went blind and doctors could not figure out why. The symptoms that accompany other illnesses that cause blindness could not be found in her body. She turned to NIH’s program for help, reported The Guardian, though the cause of her blindness remains a mystery. 


6. Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance (IEI)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has labeled as “Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance” illnesses that may be caused by exposure to multiple chemical substances and to electromagnetic fields common in modern society. 

The “idiopathic” part means the exact cause is unknown.

WHO reported last year that “research has not been able to provide support for a causal relationship between exposure to electromagnetic fields and self-reported symptoms, or ‘electromagnetic hypersensitivity.’”

People who may be sensitive to electromagnetic fields report symptoms such as headaches, difficulty concentrating, joint and muscle pain, dizziness, and nausea.

ALSO SEE: 15 Ways to Avoid Harmful Radiation in Your Home


7. Bacteria Resistant to Antibiotics

The number of hospitalizations due to Staphylococcus aureus infections more than doubled from 1999 to 2005, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This bacteria has developed a resistance to penicillin and other antimicrobial drugs. 

CDC explains on its website: “[S. aureus] is the primary cause of lower respiratory tract infections and surgical site infections and the second leading cause of nosocomial bacteremia, pneumonia, and cardiovascular infections.”


*Image of a sore via Shutterstock

  • takawalk

    I hope the stuff remains rare, it is a lottery no one wishes to win.

    • Robin S Summertown

      I was diagnosed with FMS 20 years ago. Many docs still believe its all in our heads or that depression caused the symptoms. Its like pushing a rope to convince them their thinking is wrong.

      Fast forward fifteen years and my doc sent me to an endocrinologist totally unrelated to the FMS. That doc decided to do a D level test and found me deficient. Started the supplements and never associated the disappearance of the pain to the supplements. Probably because it was a lengthy transition as the D levels climbed.

      Last week there was a report on the news that D deficiency just might be the cause for FMS. It would explain why my symptoms would go in to a sort of stasis during the long days of Summer that I spent outside and why the symptoms would begin again in the fall.

      Why it took so long for them to associate the two things is anyone’s guess.

      • takawalk

        i am glad you posted this, my sister has suffered for years. Maybe this information will help her.

        • Robin S Summertown

          Something else I learned, Kenalog 40 or Decadron also helped relieve quite a bit of my pain. That should not work because it is supposedly non inflammatory. A rheumatologist told me that it does appear to help some but not all. He had no explanation for why that is.

          Of course then you have to convince a doc to give it a try. Another case of pushing a rope.

          • takawalk

            Thank you, I will pass that on.

  • Unlisted2u

    Just because a clinic of note such as the Mayo states a brief description of Morgellons to fill a slot in their online medical encyclopedia doesn’t mean they believe it’s real, much less will they treat the condition.

    For the most part Morgellons is still wrongly considered an IAIYH (it’s all in your head) condition. Most medical researchers and medical professionals consider Morgellons Disease to be synonymous with Delusory Parasitosis even if one is standing in front of them holding it in their face. Very professional of them, no?

    The CA cluster of cases that prompted “research” was doomed to failure from the outset. All 115 people used in the study were insured by a company called Kaiser Permanente. Need I say more? Not surprisingly the CDC found “no evidence linking Morgellons to an infection or environmental cause.” Yes, those are quotation marks.

    The longer we continue to bury our heads in the sand to these ‘diseases that don’t exist’ the longer it will take to find cures while at the same time allowing them the luxury to progress unchecked throughout the world.

    Hopefully now that we have the ACA in place the insurance companies will finally be pushed out of the drivers seats of research and some real progress can be made in discovering both the causes and treatments if not cures for these modern-day illnesses.

    • Bill

      If any medical professional claims morgellons is all in the individuals head, then that individual should collect the fibers and toss them at the “professional”. They shouldn’t be scared, afterall, its only in the infected persons head right?

  • Bill

    Most of these diseases can most likely be rectified, or at least slowed, through proper healthy diets (organic foods and range roaming meats, and depending on the disease and symptoms, nutrient tailored diets to assist in recovery), exercise, and natural (basically going off grid to remove possible modern causes) living environments. Anyone that has any of these diseases, or even any disease in general can benefit from this advice. Simply googling “natural way to cure xxxxx disease” can help alot as well.

  • holistic

    These diseases were created in a lab somewhere and tested on a live audience (used to be the military and now it’s a free for all on all citizens of the earth!) Chemtrails, GMO foods, Pesticides, Fluoride, Vaccines, MSG and food devoid of nutrition. Eat Organic as much as you humanely can. Drink filtered water (reverse osmosis is best) and regularly detox your body. Get the junk out and don’t let any new ones in! Try a regal detox (you’ll find one at, as it can rid the body of radioactive particles, heavy metals, viruses and stops tumor growths too! Not bad for a natural mineral complex.

  • Maar

    Dr. House has the answer on every disease. Even one German doctor cured a mistery illness after recalling a similar diagnosis from Dr. House. More info here:

  • Katherine Kowalski

    This article completely miscommunicates what a “Syndrome without a name’ is. It is not a disease. Syndromes are inborn. Caused by errors of genetics, metabolism, or CNS function. They cause constellations of issues as they are ‘brain-related’ disorders causing often complex disabilities. They are not diseases. They have no cure.

  • disqus_tKUiAezKl2

    We live in a Culture of Corruption, where truth is hard to come by from mainstream medical, mainstream politics, mainstream media, etc. Some of the problem is that doctors no longer control medicine. Corrupt health insurance companies determine if a disease exists. Those same corrupt health ins companies pay corrupt politicians million$ in the form of lobby money. If Kaiser Permanente, or any other health ins co, determines a certain disease doesn’t exist, they don’t have to pay for the treatment of that disease. These same ins cos control most of the funding, grants and tests for diseases. Tests once had to be scientificly verified. They aren’t verified anymore. All they need is a few doctors to agree that test works. IT’S ALL ABOUT CORRUPTION.

  • abinico

    Take broad spectrum vitamin supplements; mineral supplements; EFAs; and get full body sunshine – if you have any of these symptoms you’ll be cured – otherwise you’ll never get these issues. BTW, these issues are not ‘mysteries’ – issues like this have been understood in animal husbandry for ages. And if you think they are mysteries, ask yourself why after study with modern scientific methods over the last 50+ years we still have no answers – are these people frauds, or stupid, or both.

× close