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Why are EDS patients called Zebras? Patients with EDS frequently call themselves Zebras, why? According to the Ehler's Danlos Society, it originated from something taught to medical students about diagnosing patients - "When you hear hoofbeats behind you, don't expect to see a zebra" In other words, look for the most common and usual, not the most unusual when diagnosing a patient. The Zebra became the symbol for EDS patients because, as with most dysautonomia disorders, it takes years to gain a diagnosis because the patient looks too "normal" or seems too young to have so many ail