What are the Early Symptoms of Scleroderma? PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 07 July 2010 15:49
Scleroderma is a term used to describe a group of rare, chronic diseases characterized by unusual tightening and hardening of the connective tissues and skin. There are two major types of scleroderma: localized, which only affects the skin; and systemic, which affects the internal organs in addition to the skin.

Health officials at MayoClinic.com report that Native American or African-American females are most likely to be affected by this condition. The early symptoms of scleroderma can vary between patients and should be discussed with a doctor if they occur.

Skin Swelling, Thickening or Tightening
Patients with scleroderma can develop abnormal skin changes as a symptom of this condition. The fingers or hands can appear unusually puffy or enlarged and may develop thick patches of skin. Skin across the face or hands can become abnormally tight, which may lead to difficult or restricted movement of the affected body regions, explain health officials at MayoClinic.com. Patients may notice that the affected skin appears shiny or is hard or firm to the touch. These scleroderma symptoms may be mild initially but can become progressively worse over time.

Skin Discoloration
Unusual, sudden skin discoloration in response to cold temperatures can occur as a symptom of scleroderma. This symptom, which is referred to as Raynaud's phenomenon, is characterized by an abnormal white, blue or red discoloration of the skin along the fingers and toes caused by restricted blood flow to these body regions. Patients who experience Raynaud's phenomenon often develop sensations of numbness or pain within the hands and feet. These symptoms are typically temporary but can reoccur sporadically throughout the day, explains the Merck Manual, an online medical encyclopedia for health professionals. Severe emotional trauma or upset may also instigate Raynaud's phenomenon symptoms in certain patients.

Joint or Muscle Pain
Scleroderma can cause inflammation of the joints or muscles of patients during the early stages of this disease. As a result, affected patients can experience sensations of pain or aching throughout the body. These painful symptoms may occur in conjunction with muscle weakness, which can lead to difficulty standing or walking.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Patients with scleroderma can develop early symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. GERD symptoms can include heartburn, nausea, difficulty swallowing, chest discomfort or sore throat. Certain patients can experience a decrease in appetite that may be accompanied by bowel movement changes. Over time, these early symptoms of scleroderma can become worse and may lead to poor nutrient absorption and difficulty controlling stool production, a condition called fecal incontinence.

Source: Livestrong.com
 
More articles :

» 7 Tips For Maintaining Healthier Skin In Scleroderma

Scleroderma is a rare, connective tissue disease in which the body’s normal tissue is replaced with thick, dense tissue, due to the overproduction of collagen. Although can affect other parts of the body including the kidneys, hearts, and...

» Vascular Changes in Bleomycin-Induced Scleroderma

Toshiyuki Yamamoto and Ichiro KatayamaDepartment of Dermatology, Fukushima Medical University, Hikarigaoka 1, Fukushima 960-1295, JapanDepartment of Dermatology, Osaka University, Yamadaoka 2-2, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, JapanReceived 6 June 2011;...

» A Checklist For Scleroderma Patients

The has published a quite useful checklist of items, which has been found useful to patients. They have noted that the list is by no means comprehensive, but is intended as a guideline to assist Scleroderma patients, and was developed by patients...

» Preterm Delivery a Risk in Systemic Sclerosis

Many women with systemic sclerosis can have successful pregnancies, but the rates of preterm birth, low birth weight, and intrauterine growth restriction are approximately twice as high in these women compared to the general population of pregnant...

» Autoimmune Disease Symptoms To Look Out For

We have understood for  a long time that the detection and subsequent diagnoses of autoimmune diseases are difficult. However, there are key rheumatic and physical indicators such as joint pain and fatigue, fevers, increasing skin conditions,...

» Systemic Sclerosis Sine Scleroderma

HADI POORMOGHIM, MARY LUCAS, NOREEN FERTIG, and THOMAS A. MEDSGER, JR.ARTHRITIS & RHEUMATISM Vol. 43, No. 2, February 2000, pp 444–451 © 2000, American College of RheumatologyObjectiveTo describe the demographic, clinical, and laboratory...