Scleroderma

Voiced by Amazon Polly

Scleroderma is an inflammatory connective tissue and rheumatic illness. That produces inflammation in the skin as well as other parts of the body. Other sections of the body can also be affected by this condition. Scleroderma can develop when an immune reaction misleads tissues into believing they have been damaged. This leads to inflammation. Which in turn prompts the body to produce an excessive amount of collagen. 

Excessive levels of collagen in the skin and other tissues can cause areas of the skin to become rigid and tight. Scleroderma affects a wide variety of bodily functions and systems. You may find that a greater understanding of how the disease impacts each of those systems. That can gained by reading the following definitions.

Scleroderma (sklair-oh-DUR-muh), commonly referred to as systemic sclerosis. It is the collective name for a set of extremely rare disorder. That cause the skin to stiffen and become more rigid. It is also possible for it to cause difficulties in the digestive tract. As well as in the blood vessels and internal organs.

It is common practice to classify scleroderma as either “limited” or “diffuse,”. Where the terms refer solely to the extent to which the skin affected. Both types can cause issues with any of the body’s other vascular or organ systems. The only organ that is affected by localized scleroderma. Also known as morphea, is the skin.

Scleroderma currently has no known cure; however, there are treatments that help alleviate symptoms. Delay the disease’s course, and improve quality of life.

Types of Scleroderma

Scleroderma is an autoimmune condition that attacks the skin tissue. Numstocker/Shutterstock

Localized

The skin is the primary organ affected by localized scleroderma. It can take place in either of these two ways:

Morphea. This condition manifests itself on your skin as rough oval areas. They can be red or purple at the beginning, but then they turn white in the middle. This sort of cancer can sometimes affect the blood vessels or the internal organs. Such phenomenon is referred to as generalized morphea.

Linear. This type can identified by the lines or streaks of thicker skin that appear on the face, arms, and legs.

Systemic

Systemic scleroderma, also known as generalized scleroderma. Is a condition that can affect a great deal of the body’s systems and organs. There are two different kinds:

Scleroderma in a limited form. This is something that develops gradually and manifests itself on your face, hands, and feet. In addition, it poses a threat to your lungs, intestines, and esophagus. Which is the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach and is responsible for the digestion of food. It is sometimes referred to as CREST syndrome. A term that is acronym derived from its five most common symptoms:

Calcinosis. Calcium salts can lump together to create nodules either beneath the skin or within the organs.

The condition known as Raynaud’s. This condition occurs when there is insufficient blood flow to certain regions of your body. Such as your fingers, toes, or nose, and is typically brought on by cold temperatures. It’s possible that your skin will turn red, white, or even blue.

A malfunction of the esophagus This is the condition in which your esophagus does not function as it should.

Sclerodactyly. This is a process that causes the skin to get thicker. In most cases, you will have trouble moving your fingers and toes as a result of it.

Telangiectasia. This is the process in which tiny blood vessels form close to the surface of your skin.

Diffuse scleroderma. This develops really quickly. The skin that covers the centre of your body, your thighs, your upper arms, your hands. And your feet may thicken. This kind can also have an effect on internal organs such as your heart, lungs, kidneys, and digestive tract.

Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of scleroderma can differ from patient to patient and depend on which regions of the body affected by the condition.

Raynaud’s phenomenon reported to occur in around 85–95% of patients diagnosed with scleroderma. On the other hand, primary Raynaud’s phenomenon is quite prevalent. Because frequently takes place on its own without any other connective tissue condition being present. Scleroderma will only occur in 10% of patients. Who have diagnosed with Raynaud’s phenomenon.

Dry eyes and mouth are characteristic symptoms of Sjogren’s syndrome. This dryness is due to a lack of secretion of tears and saliva. Both of which produced by the body, as a result of immunological damage. And the loss of the glands in the body that produce moisture. This ailment was first described by a Swedish eye specialist by the name of Henrik Sjogren. So he gave his name to the condition. Around twenty percent of persons who have scleroderma will exhibit this symptom.

Causes

It is not known what exactly causes scleroderma to develop. Scleroderma can, extremely infrequently, be passed down via families. The majority of cases do not have a history of the disease in their families. This Scleroderma is not an infectious disease in any way.

Scleroderma caused by an overproduction of collagen in the body’s tissues. Which then leads to its buildup. Collagen is a type of protein that has a fibrous structure and found in connective tissues. Throughout the body, including the skin.

It is unknown to medical professionals precisely what triggers the start of this process. Nevertheless, the immune system of the body seems to involved. Scleroderma is almost always brought on by a confluence of causes. The most common of which are disorders with the immune system, heredity, and environmental irritants.

How is this disease diagnosed?

Scleroderma is difficult to diagnose. Scleroderma may confused for rheumatoid arthritis or lupus because it affects the joints.

Your doctor will examine you after reviewing your family medical history. He or she will look for any of the following signs. Notably thickness or stiffness of the fingers and toes or skin discoloration. If scleroderma suspected, tests conducted to confirm the diagnosis and establish disease severity. This includes:

Blood tests: 95% of scleroderma patients have elevated antinuclear antibodies. Testing for these antibodies in possible scleroderma patients helps with an accurate diagnosis.

These tests examine pulmonary function. If scleroderma suspected or proven. It must be checked for lung scarring. X-rays or CT scans can detect lung damage.

Scleroderma can damage cardiac tissue, causing congestive heart failure and abnormal electrical activity. This test detects heart illness.

Once every 6 to 12 months, get an echocardiogram to check for pulmonary hypertension and congestive heart failure.

Scleroderma affects the esophageal and intestinal muscles. This can induce heartburn, swallowing problems. And disrupt vitamin absorption and gut movement. Endoscopy (insertion of a tiny tube with a camera) is occasionally use to see the esophagus and intestines. While manometry measures esophageal muscle strength.

When scleroderma affects the kidneys, blood pressure and protein leakage occur. In scleroderma renal crisis, a fast rise in blood pressure can cause kidney failure. Blood tests measure kidney function.

Management of this Disease

There are several things a person with scleroderma can do to help control the disease. In addition to taking prescription medications in the correct manner and at the appropriate intervals. These are the following:

Exercise . A consistent exercise routine will not only help enhance your physical and spiritual health. But will also help maintain your joints flexible and increase circulation throughout your body. Exercises that are appropriate for you should prescribed. By your physician or physical therapist.

Joint protection . If your joints are hurting, you should avoid lifting heavy objects or doing duties. That could create strain on them, as this could lead to further injury. A physical therapist can help you learn new ways to accomplish daily activities. So that you don’t put undue strain on your joints. These new methods can be learn with the therapist’s assistance.

Protection for the skin Not only may taking the appropriate preventative measures. And caring for your skin be useful for the symptoms of Raynaud’s phenomenon. But it can also be beneficial for caring for the dry. Thick patches of skin that develop from localized scleroderma.

Diet . In addition to eating nutritious foods to obtain the appropriate quantities of vitamins and nutrients. It is vital to eat foods that do not irritate pre-existing stomach problems. This can accomplished by choosing foods that do not include certain irritants.

Dental treatment . Dental hygiene is of the utmost importance for patients afflicted with scleroderma. Who also suffer from Sjogren’s disease. The chance of getting cavities and tooth decay increased in those who have Sjogren’s syndrome.

Leave a Reply