Health and Medical

Scleroderma

Life for individuals diagnosed with scleroderma is challenging. However, the patients should contact a rheumatologist in Lahore, who can help guide regarding the treatment, proven effective in managing the symptoms.

What is scleroderma?

Scleroderma is an autoimmune disorder. In this disorder, the skin and connective tissues become tight and thick. It may affect internal organs. Blood vessels, and the digestive tract. Women of age thirty to fifty are more prone to developing this condition.

What causes correlate to scleroderma?

Scleroderma causes excessive production and accumulation of collagen. Collagen is responsible for building the connective tissues of the body; that also includes the skin. The exact cause of the disorder is unexplored. But the factors that correlate with the condition include; environmental triggers. Genetic influence, and immune system problems.

Who is at higher risk of developing this condition?

  •         Research has shown that middle-aged women suffer from this condition more as compared to men.
  •         Individuals with family members diagnosed with scleroderma are more prone to developing the condition.
  •         Some ethnic groups, such as Choctaw Native Americans. Are more prone to get diagnosed with scleroderma of internal organs.
  •         The environment may play a significant role in developing the condition. Exposure to viruses and drugs can increase the chances of individuals developing scleroderma.
  •         Individuals with other autoimmune diseases such as Sjogren’s syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis; are at a higher risk of being diagnosed with scleroderma.

What indications correlate with scleroderma?

The signs and symptoms of scleroderma differ depending on the affected area. The symptoms include;

  •         The skin all over the body gets tight. Due to which the person cannot function adequately.
  •         The skin may appear shiny.
  •         Experience hair loss
  •         Visible white lumps under the skin; caused by the accumulation of calcium
  •         The person may diagnose with Raynaud’s disease. In which the blood vessels contract and there is an exaggerated response to cold temperatures.
  •         The patient experiences extreme pain and discoloration of the skin.
  •         The patient feels numb most of the time.
  •         Difficulty in swallowing
  •         Experience heartburn
  •         Experience bloating, cramping, and constipation.
  •         In severe cases, it can become life-threatening by affecting the heart, lungs, or kidneys.

What tests help diagnose this condition?

The tests that help in diagnoses are;

Blood Testing: Complete blood testing helps identify if there is an increase in levels of antibodies.

Skin Biopsy: A small part of the skin is extracted from the body to examine the abnormalities.

Imaging Testing: CT scans help check the abnormalities in the lungs that may result in further complications.

PFT: Pulmonary functioning test help evaluate the functioning of the lungs.

Endocardiogram: The test helps evaluate the functioning of the heart.

What treatment options help manage the symptoms?

The treatments that can help the person manage the symptoms include;

  •         Use of blood pressure medication for dilating blood vessels
  •         Lung Transplantation to replace the severely damaged lungs
  •         Use of Immunosuppressants to minimize the immune response
  •         Amputation of fingers that are affected with gangrene to avoid the spread
  •         Use of Stomach acid suppressants for reducing the production of acid in the stomach
  •         Use of antibiotics for treating the infection caused by scleroderma. In the form of ointment.
  •         Physical therapy to increase mobility
  •         Use of analgesics to reduce pain      

What are the known complications associated with scleroderma?

Without treatment and evaluation of the condition. Scleroderma can cause life-threatening complications. The complications include heart failure. Cancer, kidney failure, and high blood pressure.

Patients with scleroderma can enhance their quality of life by consulting a rheumatologist in Islamabad. The specialist can evaluate the condition and assist with the treatment plan. Which can help provide ease to the patient.

What are the best methods for treating scleroderma?

Physicians know that there are no similar or identical cases of scleroderma. Different in each case of the disease. Your doctors need to identify the subtype of your disease, the stage, as well as the number of organs involved.

Treatment must address the 4 main features of the disease: the stage of inflammation, the severity of autoimmunity. The presence of vascular disease. And the degree of tissue fibrosis.

Anti-inflammatory drugs for the treatment of scleroderma address two types of inflammation. The first type is inflammation of the joints (arthritis). Muscle (myositis), the lining of the heart (pericarditis). Or pleurisy of the lungs.

Exocytosis a common term used when both pericarditis and pleuritis are present. The most commonly used drugs for this stage of the disease are NSAIDs such as ibuprofen. If NSAIDs are not effective, corticosteroids such as prednisone are also used.

Unfortunately, not all inflammatory stages of scleroderma respond to this therapy. Inflammation of the skin and other tissue injuries caused by scleroderma is not relieved by anti-inflammatory drugs.

Immunosuppressive therapy prescribed to limit the progression of inflammatory stages of scleroderma. Your immune system must be suppressed because its hyperactivity is causing harmful inflammatory processes.

Methotrexate, antithymocyte globulin, cyclosporine, mycophenolate mofetil have been studied as scleroderma treatment. To date, studies have shown that methotrexate does not cause significant changes in skin inflammation.

Cyclosporine studies limite due to the presence of renal toxicity. Mycophenolate mofetil or cyclophosphamide is the only drug that shows promising results.

Scleroderma vascular changes are also treated with various drugs

Calcium channel blockers such as nifedipine help to dilate blood vessels to prevent or cure the occurrence of Raynaud, as well as to reduce the incidence of digital ulcers. These drugs also help improve blood flow to the skin and heart.

ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors also help fix vasospasm in the scleroderma renal crisis. The use of bosentan (endothelium-1 receptor inhibitor or epoprostenol (prostacyclin) improves blood circulation to the lungs.

Anti-fibrotic agents use to counteract the presence of excess collagen production in the skin and other organs affected by scleroderma. This scleroderma treatment works by reducing collagen production or destabilizing tissue collagen.

These drugs include colchicine, dimethyl sulfoxide, and para-aminobenzoic acid. Not all medical experts support the use of these drugs because they cause very little change in collagen production. Some doctors prescribe D-penicillamine as an alternative.

Research is still being conducted to find the right drug for the treatment of scleroderma. To date, no universal drug is known to treat all the signs and symptoms of scleroderma.

2 types of scleroderma

What is scleroderma?

Scleroderma refers to a wide range of diseases that affect connective tissue. It can cause harmful changes in internal organs. Muscles, blood vessels, and skin. In severe cases of scleroderma, which can spread from hair loss and skin hardening to shortness of breath. Heartburn, and difficulty swallowing. Severe damage to internal organs can occur.

There are two types of scleroderma

Scleroderma takes two primary forms. The first know as limit scleroderma. It also call morphine scleroderma. CREST is another narrator for this condition.

Although limited scleroderma can be quite severe. Especially when it contributes to pulmonary hypertension. The symptoms use confin to the face. Hand area. Joint pain. Hardening of the skin, red spots, and other symptoms are quite common.

Of these two types of disease, diffuse scleroderma is the most serious

Also known as system-wide, this condition tends to progress much faster than limited scleroderma and has a greater negative impact.

People with diffuse scleroderma often suffer from the same symptoms as those who diagnose with morphine scleroderma. However, they can often cause problems with serious internal organs, including the heart, lungs, and kidneys.

Often those with a disordered condition experience similar skin-related symptoms in a larger area than those with limited disease.

Clearly, scleroderma must take seriously in any case. Both types are progressive. Severe symptoms and can be fatal. That being said, for those who limit scleroderma. The prognosis is better than system-wide disclosure.

Read More: Medical Coding in Healthcare | Bellmedex

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