Systemic Sclerosis – What is it, Symptoms and Treatments!

Systemic Sclerosis – What it is, Symptoms and Treatments  of this condition. Furthermore, Systemic Sclerosis is an autoimmune disorder. This means that it is a condition where the immune system attacks the body. Healthy tissue is destroyed because the immune system mistakenly thinks it is a foreign substance or infection. There are many types of autoimmune disorders that can affect different body systems.

Systemic Sclerosis

Systemic Sclerosis is characterized by changes in the texture and appearance of the skin . This is due to increased collagen production . Collagen is a component of connective tissue. But the disorder is not limited to changes in the skin . This can affect your:

  • muscles
  • blood veins
  • Heart
  • digestive system
  • Lungs
  • Kidneys

Features of Systemic Sclerosis may appear in other autoimmune disorders. When this occurs, it is called mixed connective disorder. The disease is usually seen in people aged 30 to 50, but it can be diagnosed at any age. Women are more likely than men to be diagnosed with this condition. The symptoms and severity of the condition vary from one person to another based on the systems and organs involved.

Symptoms of Systemic Sclerosis: Symptoms of Systemic Sclerosis can only affect the skin in the early stages of the disease. You may notice that your skin thickening and shiny areas develop in your mouth, nose, fingers and other bony areas.

As the condition progresses, you may start to have limited movement of the affected areas. Other symptoms include:

  • hair loss;
  • Calcium deposits or white bumps under the skin ;
  • Small blood vessels dilated under the surface of the skin ;
  • Joint pain;
  • Shortness of breathe;
  • Dry cough;
  • diarrhea ;
  • Constipation;
  • Difficulty in swallowing;
  • Esophageal reflux;
  • Abdominal swelling after meals.

You may begin to experience blood vessel spasms in your fingers and toes. So your extremities can turn white and blue when you are out in the cold or feel extreme emotional stress. This is called Raynaud’s phenomenon.

Causes of Systemic Sclerosis: Systemic Sclerosis occurs when your body starts to overproduce collagen and it builds up in your tissues. Collagen is themain structural protein that makes up all tissues.

Doctors aren’t sure what causes the body to produce too much collagen . The exact cause of Systemic Sclerosis is unknown.

Systemic Sclerosis Factors: Risk factors that can increase your chances of developing the condition include:

  • be native american
  • be african american
  • Be woman
  • Using certain chemotherapy drugs, such as Bleomycin
  • Being exposed to silica dust and organic solvents

There is no known way to prevent Systemic Sclerosis  other than reducing risk factors that you can control.

Diagnoses of Systemic Sclerosis: During a physical exam, your doctor may identify skin changesthat are symptomatic of Systemic Sclerosis .

High blood pressure can be caused by renal change from sclerosis. Your doctor may order blood tests , such as an antibody test, rheumatoid factor, and sedimentation rate. Other diagnostic tests may include:

  • A chest X-ray
  • a urine test
  • A CT scan of the lungs
  • skin biopsies

Systemic Sclerosis Treatments: Treatment cannot cure the condition, but it can help reduce symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. Treatment is typically based on a person’s symptoms and the need to prevent complications.

Treatment for generalized symptoms of Systemic Sclerosis may involve:

  • corticosteroids
  • Immunosuppressants, such as methotrexate or Cytoxan
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Depending on your symptoms, treatment for Systemic Sclerosis may also include:

  • blood pressure medication
  • Medication to help you breathe
  • Physiotherapy
  • Light therapy, such as A1 ultraviolet phototherapy
  • Nitroglycerin Ointment to treat localized areas of skin tightness

You can make lifestyle changes to stay healthy with scleroderma, such as avoiding smoking cigarettes, staying physically active, and avoiding foods that trigger heartburn.

Complications of Systemic Sclerosis: Some people with Systemic Sclerosis experience a progression of their symptoms. Complications can include:

  • Cardiac insufficiency
  • Cancer
  • kidney failure
  • High pressure

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