|Collagen Vascular Disease|
|Tuesday, 30 March 2010 04:15|
Connective tissue is a major tissue in our body and is responsible for forming the structure of the body parts. It can be considered as a tissue that forms the framework or matrix of the body. It is made up of two proteins, collagen and elastin.
Collagen is a glue like protein and is mainly concerned with tautness of the skin. Elastin is responsible for stretching and bouncing back of ligaments as well as skin. Certain immune disorders affect the working of connective tissue and damage collagen and elastin. Collagen vascular disease is an umbrella term that covers a range of connective tissue disease. In a way, collagen vascular disease is a misnomer, as this disease also affects structures other than vascular structures and molecules other than collagen.
Collagen Vascular Disease Symptoms
Since, collagen vascular diseases is a group of diseases, there are no symptoms that are unique to this disease. Collagen vascular disease diagnosis is based on the symptoms pertaining to any of the collagen diseases that come under this term. Generally, following symptoms are associated with collagen vascular disease.
Collagen Vascular Disease List
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease which affects the joints of the body. It is an autoimmune disorder, in which the healthy tissues of the body are confused with foreign bodies and attacked by its own immune system. The initial symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are morning stiffness, fatigue, swelling of joints, which later manifests into excruciating pain in joints. There is no treatment for rheumatoid arthritis that can reverse the effects of the disease. However, the pain and swelling can be controlled with the help of medications and physiotherapy exercises. Surgery can be advised in extreme cases of rheumatoid arthritis.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus:
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease which mostly surfaces after an infection. The body's immune cells fail to distinguish between the infection causing organism and a body protein that may resemble the organism. As a result, it begins attacking its own proteins. There is no cure for SLE and it may affect people of age 10 to 50. In fact, this is a common type of collagen vascular disease in children. Women are 9 times more likely to be affected by this disease than men. Also, people of African-American origin and Asian ethnicity are more susceptible to this disease.
Systemic Sclerosis (Scleroderma):
This is a diffuse connective tissue disease which is characterized by changes in the appearance of skin, blood vessels, skeletal muscles and internal organs. It also involves excess collagen deposition in the skin. The cause of this disease is unknown and it mostly affects people in the age group of 30 to 50. The severity of scleroderma ranges from mild to severe. Death may occur in cases involving gastrointestinal organs or other vital organs such as kidneys or heart.
This is also an autoimmune disorder in which the muscles of the body get inflamed. Although, the cause of this disease is unknown, a viral infection is found to be somehow related with this disease. People in the age group of 40 to 60 or children between age 5 to 15 are likely to be affected by dermatomyositis. Susceptibility of this disease is more in women than in men. The symptoms of this disease may appear suddenly or may take several months to evolve.
Polyarteritis nodosa is an autoimmune disorder of serious consequence. The immune cells attack the arteries, leading to their inflammation. It mostly affects older people than children. The symptoms of this diseases are dependent upon the affected organ, which are mostly skin, heart, kidneys and nervous system.
Collagen vascular disease is a disease of pretty serious consequence. Although, most diseases in this category have no permanent solution, they can be definitely controlled with the help of certain medications.