Scleroderma In Saginaw, MI
Scleroderma is an autoimmune condition characterized by hardening or scarring of the skin and connective tissues. Scleroderma is generally more prevalent in women than men and typically affects individuals aged between 30 and 50. Scleroderma occurs due to an overproduction of collagen, the most abundant protein in the body.
When it occurs, scleroderma may affect different body organs, including your skin, lungs, heart, digestive system, kidneys, and blood vessels.
There’s no cure for scleroderma. However, MI Health Clinic offers various personalized treatments and interventions to help scleroderma patients enjoy fulfilling lives. If you’ve recently noticed a marked change in your skin texture and appearance, please reach out to our doctors in Saginaw, MI, to get evaluated for scleroderma.
Symptoms and Risk Factors of Scleroderma
Scleroderma symptoms vary depending on the body part that’s affected. During the early stages of the disease, you may notice your skin hardening or thickening and the development of shiny areas around your mouth, fingers, and nose. As the disease progresses, other symptoms may begin to appear. These include:
- Joint pain
- Shortness of breath
- Hair loss
- Dry cough
- White lumps under your skin (calcium deposits)
- Difficulty swallowing
- Bloating after meals
On their own, any of these symptoms can be attributed to other conditions. That’s why it’s essential to get checked by a doctor regularly. Our doctors have the skills, expertise, and technology to catch various autoimmune diseases while they’re still in their early stages.
It’s not known what exactly causes collagen overproduction in scleroderma patients. However, research has shown that risk factors for scleroderma include genetics, immune system disorders, and exposure to certain medications, toxins, and viruses.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Because scleroderma takes on various forms and can affect different parts of the body, it can be challenging to diagnose. After performing a thorough physical exam, our doctors may suggest blood tests to check for heightened levels of antibodies. In some cases, our doctors near you may also perform biopsy tests to examine tissue obtained from various parts of your body closely. Imaging and organ-function tests may also be required.
Treatment for scleroderma involves medication to ease the symptoms, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. We tailor our treatments to suit the patient’s needs.
If you’re living with scleroderma in Saginaw, MI, contact MI Health Clinic today to experience personalized care.