Anyone who’s ever seen an episode of House knows that there are some weird medical conditions the diagnosis team has uncovered over the show’s run. After all, only the craziest and most bizarre cases get sent to Dr. House. But all of the medical conditions from the show are things that can actually happen in real-life (albeit, some maybe are a little more theoretical than others).
Here are 10 of the weirdest cases ever seen on House:
10. Gold Poisoning
Season 2, Episode 15
In this episode, House and his team are attempting to diagnose a patient whose symptoms all point to heavy metal poisoning, and yet the treatments aren’t working. House eventually realizes that the man is suffering from gold poisoning, an incredibly rare condition that can really only happen if someone’s intentionally giving it to you.
9. Food in the Lungs
Season 7, Episode 13
You know when you’re eating or drinking something and you begin coughing because it “went down the wrong pipe.” That’s basically your body’s attempt to prevent this from happening. A patient is literally coughing up his lung is discovered to have a piece of food stuck in his lung that’s too big to get out. So…make sure to cut your food well.
Season 3, Episode 2
We all know that everyone has their own unique set of DNA. But did you know that some people have two? That’s a condition called chimerism, where the body produces cells with different types of DNA. This leads to a host of medical problems, such as hallucinations of being tortured by aliens. Or at least that’s what happened on House.
Season 7, Episode 7
In this episode, House and his team examine a girl who appears to be suffering from smallpox, a disease that has been eradicated with no known cases since 1977. It later turns out to be ricketsiallpox, a bacterial illness spread by pests on mice. Not as bad as smallpox, but still not great.
6. Sleeping Sickness
Season 1, Episode 7
Despite the name, “Sleeping Sickness” doesn’t just cause people to fall asleep. It leads to severe headaches, fever, fatigue and can eventually lead to death. It is usually only found in African countries where tsetse flies are present, but they can also be transmitted through sex (as it happened on the show).
5. Alien Hand Syndrome
Season 5, Episode 24
Believe it or not, “Alien Hand Syndrome” was not the condition that House and his team needed to diagnose. The patient already was aware he had it. It’s a condition where a person’s limbs move on their own without control. In fact, it’s a common symptom from people who get their corpus callosum severed to treat severe epilepsy. Of course, not an operation that’s conducted anymore, and there have only been a few dozen cases in the past 100 years.
4. Floating Kidney
Season 4, Episode 12
Most of the organs in your body mostly stay in the same place when you move. Unless you have a “floating kidney,” better known as “Nephroptosis.” It’s a condition where a person’s kidney drops below their pelvis whenever they stand up. It also occurs more often in women than in men, for some reason.
3. Mirror Syndrom
Season 4, Episode 5
Amusingly, at least in House, Mirror Syndrome is a condition where a patient mimics the behavior of other people. On House, this meant the patient mimicked everyone’s favorite Vicodin-popping M.D. In real-life, it’s a sign of brain damage that should immediately be checked out.
2. Erdheim-Chest Disease
Season 2, Episode 17
White blood cells help the body by fighting infectious cells and healing injuries. But people with Erdheim-Chest Disease actually produce far too many white blood cells than necessary, and they end up attacking various organs and tissues in the body, which leads to horrible results.
1. Bubonic Plague
Season 2, Episode 18
You might remember the Bubonic Plague as the giant epidemic that wiped out millions of people during the Middle Ages. Not exactly a common condition in the 21st century. And yet when House finds fleas on a patient’s dog that originated from prairie canines, he conducts a test and finds out that she in fact has the plague. This is one we don’t see happening to anyone else in the near future.