Any disease that affects fewer than 200,000 people is considered rare. In the United States, nearly 7,000 rare diseases affect about 30 million Americans, according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders. Many are related to or confused with allergies or asthma.
People with rare diseases often spend years searching for help because their symptoms mimic other diseases and medical understanding of the conditions is limited. Diagnosis and effective treatment usually requires a physician with specialized training.
Allergy & Asthma Network spotlights rare diseases in every issue of its quarterly magazine, Allergy & Asthma Today: