Scleroderma is a relatively rare and challenging disease. About 75,000 to 100,000 people in the U.S. suffer from this disease. It affects women more often than men, especially those who are between 30 and 50. It can also become a severe condition that shortens life expectancy, causes physical pain, and results in disability.
Due to such a situation, scleroderma patients may feel uneasy and self-conscious about their looks. This brings on social discomfort, anxiety, and even melancholy. Also, the symptoms and other severity depend from person to person, and even scientists and researchers aren’t exactly sure about the cause of this disease.
In this blog, we will talk about scleroderma and its treatment, causes, and much more.
Scleroderma is an uncommon but chronic autoimmune disease in which dense, thick fibrous tissue replaces healthy tissue.
Usually, the immune system helps defend the body against disease and infection. But people with scleroderma, their immune system triggers other cells to produce too much collagen. The skin and organs get this additional collagen, which thickens and hardens.
Scleroderma can also affect the gastrointestinal tract, lungs, kidneys, heart, blood vessels, muscles, joints, and skin, but most often, it affects the skin. Also, in the most severe cases, it can be fatal.
Doctors still are not aware of what causes scleroderma. But they do believe that it is an autoimmune disease that makes the body produce too much connective tissue. This leads to thickening, fibrosis, and scarring of tissue.
The fibers that make up the framework that supports the body are formed by connective tissue. They mainly occur beneath the skin, around the blood vessels and internal organs, and support the bones and muscles.
Also, according to many situations, it has been seen that genetic factors possibly play a role, and environmental factors too. This health issue frequently comes from families where another autoimmune condition already exists.
In addition to the thickening of the skin, here are some other symptoms:
There isn’t a single course of action for every scleroderma patient. However, some natural treatments for scleroderma can still lessen the harm done to your particular organs that are impacted.
There are still some natural treatments for scleroderma, which will definitely lower your problem and help you lead a quality life.
Physical therapy helps you in improving your painful joints. Taking the physical treatment regularly aids you in preventing joint motion loss, which happens when blood flow is reduced, and your skin gets tense. Exercises like stretching your fingers, hands, wrists, and shoulders help you in expanding your range of motion.
Not only this, but it can also help you carry out your daily tasks without putting undue strain on your joints. Moreover, to prevent your joints from stiffening up, you should frequently follow the stretching regimen at home, which helps you get relief from scleroderma.
According to studies, it has been recorded that 60 to 83 percent of patients with scleroderma experience pain that reduces their physical and social functioning.
The pain associated with scleroderma varies, affecting different body areas and ranging in intensity. So, there’s not one tool for pain management that will work for everyone.
However, engaging in physical activity can help reduce pain by relieving muscle tension, improving circulation, stretching, and strengthening your joints. To get rid of the pain, you must try low-impact exercises like swimming, water aerobics, walking, cycling, using an elliptical, and yoga.
Suffering from dry, stiff, and thick skin is one of the major problems that is caused due to scleroderma. So you should always make sure to keep your skin moist. You must moisturize your entire body as soon as you get out of the bath or shower.
You can also consider using natural moisturizers like coconut oil, olive oil, or almond oil, which will help your skin store the moisturizer for a longer time. Also, as a cooling agent, you can consider using essential oils with menthol, which can help you in reducing inflammation, reduce itchiness, and relieve pain.
However, it is important to avoid harsh soaps, laundry detergents, and household cleaners, which contain dangerous chemicals that can make your scleroderma symptoms worse. Even taking very hot showers or baths can also dry your skin.
About 30 percent of patients with scleroderma are at risk of malnutrition. So as part of the multidisciplinary treatment plan, you should include nutritional intervention which improves gastrointestinal symptoms and quality of life.
While scleroderma is an autoimmune disease, you always need to avoid any food triggers that will cause you an immune response and inflammation.
Certain foods can particularly aggravate the gastrointestinal tract, affecting your scleroderma. This includes refined carbohydrates, artificial ingredients, spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine.
You should always try to bring healing foods into your diet. Some of the best foods that you can eat to help heal your body and reduce inflammation include:
Probiotics is also considered as one of the natural treatments for scleroderma which may help in reducing your scleroderma symptoms as they help in repairing your gut and tissues. The microbiome plays a significant role in keeping your immune system in check, so it doesn’t produce too many antibodies. When you have good bacteria in your gut, they help restore a balance between pro and anti-inflammatory immune cells.
Scleroderma refers to a number of conditions that affect the skin and the body’s connective tissues. The impact on the body can range from mild to severe, depending on the bodily systems it affects. However, It is not spreadable. But still, the actual cause of Scleroderma is unknown.
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