Posted on Sep 11, 2007 | Comments 0
Are you affected with scleroderma? It is a rare chronic disease described by large amounts of collagen deposited in the skin or other organs.
Scleroderma is an autoimmune syndrome of the connective tissue. It is also called as “systemic sclerosis”.
Do you know what an autoimmune disease is? It is a disease which occurs when your body’s tissues are affected by its own immune system.
You can get scleroderma due to the development of scar tissue in your skin and organs of the body.
Scleroderma is a Greek word and it came from sklerosis which means hardness and derma means skin. So, scleroderma means “hard skin”.
Still, the exact cause of scleroderma is not known. But, there is a chance to get this with the genes and also due to some environment factors. It can be called as both rheumatic and connective tissue disease.
Rheumatic diseases can cause inflammation and pain in the muscles, joints, or fibrous tissue. A connective tissue disease affects your body’s tissues such as cartilage, skin and tendons.
If you are affected with scleroderma, then you will experience the symptoms such as calcium deposits in connective tissues, red spots on your face and hands, thick and tight skin on your fingers, swelling of the esophagus, and contraction of the blood vessels in the hands or feet.
Scleroderma is a most common disease in women. It can be either mild or severe. You will find no cure for scleroderma but you can get treatments in order to get relief from the symptoms.
Women with scleroderma:
You might already know that this disease is most common in women usually between the ages of 45 and 55. In some women with scleroderma, fetal cells are found in the skin lesions.
A woman with scleroderma was considered to have reduced fertility because of the little occurrence of pregnancy with some pre-existing illnesses.
It is better to delay your pregnancy [worried about pregnancy] until scleroderma stabilizes, because pregnancy outcomes were unfortunate for both you and your baby. There is a greater chance for spontaneous abortions for a woman with this condition. A woman with mild or stable illness can get pregnancy outcomes without high rates of miscarriage and preterm labor.
The severity of the symptoms of scleroderma in pregnancy will not change significantly afterward. When you are affected with this disease, the most severe condition you can get is renal crisis. It is a most severe kidney problem.
You need to use ACE (Angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors as lifesaving medications. But the use of ACE inhibitors can cause severe kidney problems during the pregnancy especially in the third semester.
In order to treat this condition, the new treatment involves new autoimmune drugs that protect kidney function because people with scleroderma mainly die from kidney disease.