Scleroderma - a disease of the connective tissue characterized by its seal (sclerosis). Women suffer from scleroderma 5-6 times more often than men.
There are two forms of scleroderma: skin (alopecia) and systemic (generalized). When the skin (focal) form of scleroderma lesions seals appear only on the skin on the hands and later on the face. Localized scleroderma is relatively favorable course. Systemic scleroderma - a serious disease that causes sclerotic damage not only the skin but also the internal organs, blood vessels. The process may involve the esophagus, heart, lungs, kidneys, joints, muscles and nerves.
The causes of the disease
Similarly, no one knows. It was found that in the development of scleroderma main role is played by the innate inferiority of the immune system leading to autoimmune (directed against its own cells) reactions. Matter transferred acute viral and infectious diseases, chronic exposure to adverse factors: work related to vibration, hazardous substances, cold, neuroendocrine disorders, allergic reactions. For various reasons, the work violated the regulation of small vessels, increasing their permeability, in the surrounding tissue edema, increased synthesis of collagen, the connective tissue is formed. Such violations occur not only in the skin but also the internal organs. Thus, microcirculation disorders cause eating disorders in the tissues, and connective tissue, organ tissue replacement, is a violation of their functions.
It all starts with a kind of bluish spotsmost often in the fingers, hands, forearms, which rather quickly converted into a swollen, densified skin with a yellowish-white surface. As such, the focus may be months or even years. Gradually, in its place develops atrophy: the skin takes the form of tissue paper, loses sensitivity and elasticity, becomes dense and inactive, in the place of destruction fade hair. The hearth may be in the form of plaques, strips, rings.
What is systemic scleroderma
Systemic scleroderma usually begins withchill, cold snaps fingers, reducing their sensitivity, cyanosis caused by a spasm of small blood vessels (Raynaud's syndrome). The disease develops gradually. For a year or two the skin becomes tight, "drum" (taut as a drum), brilliant. Due to the long circulatory disorders at their fingertips can appear small areas of necrosis (necrosis) of tissue ulcers. There is a risk of gangrene.
Typically, an experienced doctor can sometimesdiagnosis of scleroderma is only by looking at the patient. For such a patient is characterized by sedentary frozen face, facial expression which is difficult, mouth pulled like a pouch, the nose becomes thin, like a beak, eyelids often can not sleep, his voice weakening. In the hands and face are telangiectasias (vascular "star", "snake") - expansion of small vessels.
Unfortunately, the disease process extends to the internal organs, which progressively worsen the patient's condition.
Very often it affected esophagus. Replacement of the smooth muscle in the connective tissue leads to difficulty swallowing, to have thrown the stomach contents into the esophagus, the development of esophagitis (inflammation of the esophagus).
Almost always in the process in sclerodermainvolved joints, which is manifested by pain, stiffness, swelling. In severe cases, it comes to contractures (pronounced mobility restrictions). This is usually the joints of fingers, wrist, knee less.
At the heart of the growth of connective tissue leads to an increase in the size, rhythm and conduction disturbances. If involvement of the heart blood vessels develops angina.
Renal vascular scarring lead tothe development of severe renal hypertension. In addition, "scleroderma kidney" can not properly carry out its function of cleaning the blood, leading to kidney failure - a life-threatening condition.
If the process involves the lungs, it originating fibrotic changes in the lungs leads to shortness of breath with little exertion.
Often in scleroderma affects the muscles andmuscle tendon. Substitution muscle fibers at connective tissue leads to a weakening muscles. In the subcutaneous tissue calcification formed - dense "stones" in the muscles.
Involvement of the nervous system is expressedautonomic disorders (sweating, a moderate increase in temperature), emotional instability (irritability, tearfulness and suspiciousness), insomnia.
Laboratory diagnosis of scleroderma is confirmed by detection of specific changes in the immunological status and skin biopsy.
How is the treatment of scleroderma
Suffering scleroderma person should try to avoid vascular spasm, and thus to prevent hypothermia, wear warm clothes and shoes free, he contraindicated any stress.
Drug therapy should be carefullychosen doctor. It is necessary to carry out treatment of foci of infection in the body, because they can support the process of the activity. To do this, carry out a course of antibiotics. To improve microcirculation using nicotinic acid and vitamins. Apply non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, lidasa (resorption foci of sclerosis), penicillamine (to reduce collagen synthesis).
Widely used physiotherapy: ultrasound, massage, radon and coniferous baths, mud therapy, physiotherapy etc.