Do You Have a Scleroderma Diagnosis? Find Serious Treatment Right Here in New Jersey.

Living with a serious, chronic disease, such as scleroderma, is challenging both physically and emotionally. This autoimmune disorder requires the most advanced clinical expertise to make an accurate diagnosis, monitor treatment, and work with patients for the long haul. Exactly what patients can expect from the scleroderma specialists at Arthritis, Rheumatic & Back Disease associates (ARBDA) in New Jersey. 

What causes scleroderma?

Scleroderma is a disease where the immune system mistakenly attacks the body it’s meant to protect. For unknown reasons, the disorder triggers cells to produce collagen as through an injury needs repairing.

The abnormal collagen production causes the connective tissue, the most abundant tissue in the body, to harden. Think of connective tissue as a framework that provides structure and support throughout the body. 

What are common scleroderma symptoms?

Scleroderma symptoms vary from person to person, so it’s important to determine which organs are affected and the severity of damage. This in turn, will help a physician determine the appropriate scleroderma treatment. 

People with scleroderma often experience symptoms in the following parts of the body: 

Skin: Those suffering from scleroderma experience tightening and hardening of areas on the skin. The patches of skin affected appear to be shaped like ovals or straight lines and may restrict movement.

Fingers or Toes: An early sign of scleroderma is Raynaud’s disease, which causes poor blood flow in the fingers and toes. As a result, the affected area may turn blue or feel numb or painful. 

Digestive System: If the digestive system is affected, individuals may experience heartburn or have difficulty swallowing. Cramps, diarrhea, bloating, or constipation may occur if the intestines are affected.

Heart, Lungs, or Kidneys: In some cases, scleroderma can affect the heart, lungs, or kidneys. Problems in these affected areas should not be left untreated, as they can become life-threatening.

To determine whether it’s necessary to seek treatment for scleroderma, it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis from an experienced professional.

How is Scleroderma diagnosed?

Diagnosing scleroderma can be quite a challenge, as the disease can affect many different parts of the body, like the joints. The doctors at ARBDA in New Jersey work very closely with each individual with scleroderma to determine which organs are affected in order to plan an appropriate course of scleroderma treatment. Our doctors will perform a thorough physical exam and order tests to confirm the diagnosis and the severity of the disease.  

What Does Scleroderma Treatment Involve?

Once a scleroderma, diagnosis is confirmed, your ARBDA physician will create a treatment plan to effectively limit the damage caused by this autoimmune disease. While there is no cure for scleroderma, a comprehensive treatment plan can help control symptoms. The wide range of symptoms someone with scleroderma may experience can be daunting, so treatment and management may require a combination of approaches, including treatment of the skin or lung disease, or various digestive remedies. Living with an autoimmune disease can feel like you’re on an endless roller coaster of emotions and symptoms, so the support of family, friends and doctors is critical. Get the help you need to manage your scleroderma by scheduling an appointment for scleroderma treatment with ARBDA today. Contact us to find out more information about our practice, including how we can help with ankylosing spondylitis treatmentgout treatment and more.