What is scleroderma and what causes it? Is it fatal? Health care professionals are not exactly sure why scleroderma happens. I mean, they don’t know what causes it. They think it’s because of an abnormal immune system and too much collagen. When you have an overrun of collagen, it causes the connective tissues to build up, grow thick.
Maybe it’s bleomycin (chemotherapy) that causes it. Researchers are guessing at this point. They say more so it could be because of overexposure to silica dust, heavy metals, paint thinners and solvents with an overwhelming odor. Normally, scleroderma attacks people between 20 and 50 years old. Oddly enough, it doesn’t affect children as much as adults.
BUT women are 3xs more likely to have this disease. This is one of the few times when African American women aren’t the first to get a disease. Rather, our sisters in the Choctaw Nation are among the first people to have symptoms.
What are Scleroderma Symptoms?
I don’t know whether or not to shout for joy, but thank goodness there are only two kinds of localized scleroderma; linear and morphea.
- Linear scleroderma affects the skin on the legs, forehead and arms. It will cause the skin to have streaks and to harden.
- Morphea scleroderma will cause you to have oval patches of purple skin around the edges of your arms, chest, legs, back and stomach, but it will be white in the middle.
Just so you don’t down play what I’m saying, check out this video which explains the autoimmune disease more in-depth.
As you can see, systemic scleroderma is a different story. There are a few types of scleroderma; limited, diffuse, and sine scleroderma.
- Sine scleroderma: Well, there’s good news and then there’s ‘I don’t want to hear this news.’ I’ll give you the news you’d rather not hear first. It only affects organs your and not your skin.
- Diffuse scleroderma is when the skin gets hard on the neck, face, hands, legs, and buttocks. When the skin hardens, it’s difficult to use your hands and legs. Anyone suffering from this form of the disease has an increased risk of organ damage.
- Limited scleroderma only affects the lower parts of the body; neck fingers, legs, and lower body. I don’t make it sound as serious as it is, but you should take note of this disease and treat it.
Surprisingly, GERD is another symptom of limited scleroderma. Yes, so if you see those tiny red spots on your face and hand, or swollen blood vessels on your hands, forearms, lips, palms and face, get it checked. Until then, look what you can do to help yourself.
Natural Remedies for Scleroderma
Supplements like probiotic, omega-3 fatty acid and evening primrose can help reduce some symptoms you may experience. Still, there are other ways.
You could have a vitamin D deficiency and not know it. Many people are not aware that treating minor illnesses with vitamins is all it takes to be well again. Those with systemic scleroderma don’t get enough of this vitamin, and it’s so easy to get. Sunlight with moderation will supply the body with enough vitamin D that it’s sufficient. If not sunlight, then try eating more eggs or sardines.
You can apply vitamin E directly on the skin ulcers and it will heal quicker than if applied another way.
Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory that contains the phytonutrient curcumin. Because it’s an anti-inflammatory, it eliminates inflammation in the body and reduces pain associated with the disease.
Read THIS: Cannabis Strains For Scleroderma
Evidence suggests gotu kola decreases symptoms. Researchers believe is helps with blood vessel health, including strengthening weak veins, circulation, and connective tissue repair. Health care professionals suggest using 50 – 250 mg of gotu kola 2-3 times a day, but they will prescribe the correct dosage according to your condition. Other than that, you can:
- Avoid the cold weather, stress, and smoke like the plague
- Put down the caffeine and learn to say no to those mouth watering margaritas or any beverages containing alcohol
- Stay active! Join a self-defense class, a salsa dance class, or get your neighborhood to walk with you 3xs a week. It should be fun, even if you don’t like all of them. You can stand to be around them for 30 minutes, can’t you?
I know it’s easy to throw a boxed meal in the microwave, but think twice about it, along with eating pastas and breads. Try adding more nutritious foods like broccoli, asparagus, and berries on your plate from now on.
Can you die from scleroderma?
Yes, it can be fatal. It very much depends on if the disease has attacked vital organs and if you have sought treatment or not. Although it’s not likely you’ll die from localized scleroderma, systemic scleroderma is not something you want to sleep on my friends.