Scleroderma: Understanding Your Treatment Options

A rare autoimmune disease, scleroderma involves the hardening of connective tissue throughout your body. Connective tissue holds the different parts of your body together and gives your body structure: Your skin, tendons, and ligaments are all examples of connective tissue. 

With an autoimmune disease, your own body works against you. In the case of scleroderma, that means that your body mistakenly recognizes your own tissues as invaders and produces extra collagen (a protein found in skin) as if there were an injury that needs healing. 

Warning signs of scleroderma

Scleroderma affects everyone differently. In some people, the disease targets only the skin, but in others, the disease may affect virtually every organ. 

Though the signs and symptoms of scleroderma vary from person to person, you can expect any of these warning signs: 

If scleroderma is affecting your blood vessels, lungs, kidneys, digestive system, or heart, you may experience more severe symptoms, such as: 

Scleroderma treatment options

Unfortunately, there’s not yet a cure for scleroderma. There are, however, many treatment options that can ease symptoms, relieve pain, and improve your quality of life. 

When you come to Pacific Rheumatology Medical Center to see us, Dr. Khaleghi may prescribe medications to help with various aspects of scleroderma, including: 

If medications aren’t helping enough on their own, Dr. Khaleghi might refer you to a physical therapist who can help you manage pain, retain your range of motion, build strength, and ensure your independence with day-to-day activities. 

In severe cases, some patients with scleroderma need surgery. If Raynaud’s disease develops in addition to scleroderma, it might mean the amputation of affected fingertips becomes necessary. Raynaud’s disease involves constriction of blood vessels, and if it becomes severe enough, the tissue in the fingertips or toes may die. 

People who have systemic scleroderma (scleroderma that affects the organ systems) may need a variety of surgeries to extend their lives. In these cases, Dr. Khaleghi refers you to a qualified surgeon. 

If you have scleroderma or think you may have symptoms of scleroderma, visit Dr. Khaleghi right away to get started with the best course of treatment. Call our office location that’s nearest to you in either Orange, or Laguna Hills, California, or book an appointment online

You Might Also Enjoy...

Easing a Gout Attack: Your 10-Point Management Plan

Even if you’re not familiar with gout, you’ll recognize a gout attack. These attacks occur suddenly, causing rapid inflammation and severe pain — usually in the joint of your big toe. Here are 10 steps you can take to ease a gout attack.

Can PRP Therapy Help My Joint Pain?

Can you think of any better way to relieve joint pain than by healing the damaged tissues? The only way to do that is with regenerative therapies such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP), a natural and safe treatment that can ease arthritis pain.

Are You at Risk for a Vitamin Deficiency?

Did you know that you can be the picture of health and still have a vitamin deficiency? Your risk rises if you have an illness or health condition like a rheumatic disease. Here’s what you need to know about the risk factors for vitamin deficiencies.

What You Need to Know About Regenerative Medicine

Regenerative medicine is one of the most exciting fields in health care. Why? Because it does something you can’t get from medications and surgery: It turns the body’s healing cells into a treatment that regenerates and restores damaged tissues.

Five Common Signs of Dehydration

You know one of the first signs of dehydration — thirst — but it's important to know all the possible signs so that you drink fluids and rehydrate as quickly as possible. Becoming severely dehydrated causes severe health problems.

Is Your Diet to Blame for Inflammation?

Following a healthy diet has a new meaning when you know that the foods you eat can either increase or decrease inflammation. Here's what you should know about the effect of foods and how you can use them to get relief from inflammatory conditions.