Thursday, June 2, 2011

June is Scleroderma Awareness Month


What is Scleroderma? It's a widespread connective tissue disease that involves changes in the skin, blood vessels, muscles, and internal organs. The cause of scleroderma is unknown. People with this condition have a buildup of a substance called collagen in the skin and other organs. This buildup leads to the symptoms of the disease. The disease usually affects people 30 to 50 years old. Women get scleroderma more often than men do.

Signs and Symptoms:

Skin:

Blanching, blueness, or redness of fingers and toes in response to heat and cold

Hair loss

Skin hardness

Skin that is abnormally dark or light

Skin thickening, stiffness, and tightness of fingers, hands, and forearm

Small white lumps beneath the skin, sometimes oozing a white substance that looks like toothpaste

Sores (ulcerations) on fingertips or toes

Tight and mask-like skin on the face


Bone and muscle symptoms may include:

Joint pain

Numbness and pain in the feet

Pain, stiffness, and swelling of fingers and joints

Wrist pain


Breathing problems may include:
Dry cough

Shortness of breath

Wheezing


Digestive tract problems may include:

Bloating after meals

Constipation

Diarrhea

Difficulty swallowing

Esophageal reflux or heartburn

Problems controlling stools (fecal incontinence)



Diagnosing:
Examination of the skin may show tightness, thickening, and hardening.


Other testing includes:
Blood

Urine

Chest Xray

CT scan of the lungs

Skin biopsy


Treatment:
Immune suppressing drugs

NSIADS

Corticosteroids

Other medications for treating complications such as blood pressure medications or heartburn medication


Outcome:
There is no known cause of Scleroderma, and the disease progressively gets worse and death occurs from gastrointestinal, heart, kidney, or lung complications.

 

For more information see: http://www.scleroderma.org/

1 comment:

  1. Have you tried dumplings and roast ducks? They are the famous and traditional Beijing dieshes. And also bird's nest soup? Its a delicacy in China.

    Enjoy your days~~~

    Gillion
    http://www.geocities.jp/hongkong_bird_nest/index_e.htm

    ReplyDelete