Those who have suffered from Scleroderma know all too well the pain and discomfort that it brings with it. This autoimmune disease is caused by the body attacking itself and is usually characterized by symptoms such as joint pain, fatigue, and skin problems. However, there is also treatment available to alleviate the symptoms and reduce the chances of relapse.
Symptoms of scleroderma vary according to the type of scleroderma you have. For example, if you have generalized scleroderma, you may experience symptoms such as hardened skin, joint pain, swelling, and cracking. You can also have problems with your kidneys, lungs, and heart. These problems can lead to high blood pressure, kidney failure, and other complications. If you have scleroderma, you need to monitor your health regularly to avoid these complications.
During your visit, the doctor will take your medical history and perform tests. They will also do a physical exam. For instance, they will check your hands to see if your skin has hardened or thickened. The doctor may also take a small skin sample. These changes under the skin will help the doctor diagnose the disease. He or she will also examine your heart for abnormal blood vessels, or for pulmonary hypertension.
The doctor will also examine your kidneys. If you have scleroderma, your kidneys may be affected. This can lead to high blood pressure, mental confusion, and kidney failure. A kidney test can reveal the extent of damage that the kidneys have suffered. Your doctor may prescribe blood pressure medication. If the symptoms of your kidneys are severe, you may be referred to a specialist.
If you have a family history of scleroderma, you have a higher risk of developing the disease. There are several genetic and environmental factors that can trigger an autoimmune response in genetically susceptible individuals. If you have a close family member with scleroderma, you have an even greater chance of developing the disease. You might be advised to take probiotics and change your diet to increase the amount of vitamins and minerals you get. You may also be referred to a dietitian or a speech pathologist.
Other symptoms of scleroderma include joint pain, fatigue, numbness, and a feeling of tightness in the muscles. Some people may also have watery diarrhea. Depending on the type of scleroderma, some people may experience difficulty sleeping. This could be a sign of a bowel problem or a condition called esophageal motility dysfunction, which occurs when the muscles in the esophagus become scarred.
Another common symptom of scleroderma is Raynaud’s phenomenon, which is a condition in which the blood vessels in your fingers constrict. When your hands are exposed to cold or stress, the blood flow to them is interrupted. Then, when your fingers are warm, the blood flows again. In most cases of scleroderma, this happens on the hands.
Other scleroderma symptoms include joint pain, inflammation, and swelling. Some people who have the disease experience numbness in their feet and legs. They might also have trouble absorbing fats in the intestines. This can cause malnutrition and incomplete absorption of nutrients. If you have scleroderma, ask your doctor if you should receive an occupational therapist’s assistance. These treatments can improve your quality of life.
Symptoms of scleroderma can be confusing. They may look like the symptoms of lupus or other autoimmune diseases. However, scleroderma is a rare, chronic autoimmune disease that can affect many different organs in the body. The condition is caused by an overactive immune system that attacks the cells in the body, causing them to produce extra collagen. This collagen can then build up in the tissues, thickening and hardening them.
The diagnosis of scleroderma involves a careful physical exam, X-rays, and scintigraphic procedures. The most sensitive diagnostic techniques are ventriculography and echocardiography. A CT scan, a series of X-rays, is also used to check for bone abnormalities. There are two types of scleroderma: localized and diffuse. The latter is usually more serious. In localized scleroderma, the skin is affected. It can affect adults and children.
The main symptom of scleroderma is a tendency for the skin to thicken and become hard. If left untreated, scleroderma can cause heart failure, kidney failure, and even cancer. The best scleroderma treatment is to slow the progression of the disease and lessen the symptoms. It is important to discuss the symptoms with your doctor and find out if there are any scleroderma treatments that you can take.
Some of the symptoms of scleroderma include pain in the intestines, joint and muscle pain, heartburn, and difficulty swallowing. It can also be mistaken for rheumatoid arthritis. People who have scleroderma should see a rheumatologist or dermatologist for regular monitoring. This will help your doctor identify if there are any other issues that might be related to your scleroderma.
The first thing that your doctor will do is to take a detailed history of your symptoms. In addition, he or she will perform a physical exam to check for signs of inflammation. The doctor might also suggest a blood test. A blood test can measure the level of antibodies in your body. This can help your doctor determine whether you have scleroderma or another autoimmune disorder. Similarly, a muscle blood test will determine if there is inflammation in the muscles.
An endoscopy can be performed to examine the esophagus. Your doctor might also perform a CT scan to determine if you have interstitial lung disease. If your scleroderma has reached this point, specialized medications can be prescribed to reduce the risk of respiratory problems. Your rheumatologist can also order a panel of laboratory tests to determine your diagnosis.
Scleroderma is not contagious. There is no cure for it, but it can be managed. It is a chronic, autoimmune disease that causes the overproduction of collagen in the skin and in other parts of the body. In some cases, it may spread to the lungs and gastrointestinal tract, leading to severe complications. Symptoms can be confusing and can be difficult to understand without a doctor.
Several types of scleroderma treatment are available. The first step in treating scleroderma is determining the severity of the disease. Depending on the extent of the condition, specific medications will be prescribed. These medications target the symptoms and complications of the disorder, as well as combat the underlying causes. Some treatments are aimed at treating the lungs, while others are designed to protect the kidneys.
Typically, scleroderma treatment will involve taking medication to reduce inflammation. These drugs may include corticosteroids, which can decrease the effects of the disease, such as joint pain and swelling. Other medicines are used to treat high blood pressure and heart problems. Occasionally, a bone marrow transplant is also used.
If you have scleroderma, you are at risk for pulmonary hypertension, a condition that can lead to life-threatening conditions. In addition, you are at a higher risk for cancer. The main reason for this is that the immune system becomes overactive. It attacks the body’s own cells, which can cause serious damage.
ACE inhibitors are a type of medication that can help control blood pressure. These medications include lisinopril, enalapril, and captopril. These medications can also have side effects, including cough and allergic reactions. Other medications that treat pulmonary hypertension include bosentan and sildenafil. The risks of a heart attack are reduced with ACE inhibitors. If you are diagnosed with scleroderma, you should be monitored by a doctor or dermatologist. Besides the kidney, other organs can be affected by the disease.
During a routine screening for scleroderma, you will be examined for signs of lung and heart problems. Your lungs may be examined with a magnifying glass or a non-invasive imaging technique called echocardiography. This can help detect pulmonary hypertension and determine the extent of your heart problems. Other methods for scleroderma treatment may include light therapy, which is used to reduce the thickening of the skin.
The goal of scleroderma treatment is to reduce the symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. However, the cause of scleroderma is unknown. It is thought that an overactive part of the immune system leads to excessive production of collagen, a protein that helps tissues heal. This overproduction is caused by genetic and environmental factors.
Scleroderma treatment may include anti-inflammatory medications and steroid creams. These can be applied directly to the affected areas. In some cases, a bone marrow transplant is administered to increase the thickness of the skin.
If you have scleroderma, it is important to seek treatment early. The disease can affect the heart, lungs, and internal organs. While treatment is available, there is no cure. If the condition is untreated, it can lead to serious complications, such as heart failure and kidney failure.
For those who have scleroderma, it’s best to stay out of the cold. The condition can worsen if you exercise outdoors in cold weather.
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