Influence rheumatic scleroderma on skin, muscles and organs

The body consists of a skeleton, muscles, organs, blood but also connective tissue. It is the basic material that sits between the various body parts in order to function optimally. It is also an important communication route for bloodstreams, nerves, and so on. If a disease occurs in this tissue, it can have major consequences for human health. What influence does rheumatic scleroderma have on the different parts of the body?

Rheumatic scleroderma

What is connective tissue?

This is the material in the body that protects organs and keeps the original shape intact. It is shaped in such a way that the organ can function most optimally and can move freely. In addition, the tissue provides the connection with the rest of the body. It is, as it were, the highway, along which nerves and blood vessels pass. The material can also occur internally in organs. Connective tissue therefore forms a basic principle of our existence and a proper functioning of the body. But what happens if rheumatic scleroderma occurs in the connective tissue?

What does the condition entail?

Because connective tissue occurs everywhere in the body, complaints can also cause major problems. The disease means that the connective tissue hardens, becomes stiffer and thickened. In other words, the mobility of the interior of the human being decreases, so that tissues and organs function less effectively. It is a progressive deterioration, in which more and more connective tissue is being affected. In the first instance, the person can still live well with the condition, but gradually the mobility decreases. Depending on the type of scleroderma, the consequences can be limited to very drastic.

Degree of rheumatic scleroderma prevention

The condition occurs roughly in 1 in 5,000 people, or around 3,000 Dutch people suffer from stiff connective tissue. In addition, it can occur in various degrees. It normally develops after the age of 30, where it mainly occurs in women (3/4 of the number of patients). It can only occur superficially, affecting the skin, but can also seriously affect the functioning of certain organs.

Local disorder

These are often skin related thickenings. It means that the person is further healthy internally and can continue to function normally. On the one hand, the condition can occur very locally, but can also be spread over the body. On the other hand, it can occur in a long stretched strip over the body. From a limb or head it appears as stiffer skin to the torso.

Completely affected

In the case of rheumatic systematic scleroderma, the entire body can be affected. It affects the skin but also internally the muscles and organs. Specifically, the following distinction is indicated:
  • intestines: food is less well passed on and absorbed, so that the person decreases in weight more quickly. The peristaltic movement works worse, so that congestion can occur more often;
  • esophagus: food is poorly swallowed, after which it is difficult to get into the stomach;
  • kidneys: waste products are less effectively purified from the body, causing acids and toxins to build up;
  • heart: palpitations and disorders;
  • lungs: the lung tissue reacts stiffly, reducing the inhalation and exhalation considerably. The exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide also decreases over time.

The mere deterioration of an organ can have far-reaching consequences. This is a continuously deteriorating condition, which increasingly worsens the patient's situation. It results in disability until the moment that organs can be replaced. If a suitable donor is not found, the condition can unexpectedly lead to death.

Video: An Overview of Scleroderma Part 2: Treatment and management (February 2020).

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