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The board-certified physicians at Norton Rheumatology treat scleroderma in the Louisville area and Southern Indiana. Autoimmune diseases such as scleroderma can affect the whole body. Part of an effective treatment plan means working with specialists in orthopedics, heart and vascular, gastroenterology, and more who are part of Norton Healthcare’s comprehensive system.
Like lupus, scleroderma (literally “hard skin”) is a chronic autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks the body’s tissues. Scleroderma results in the hardening of your body’s connective tissue. Connective tissue is made of many kinds of protein, including collagen, and supports the body’s organs.
In scleroderma, cells start making collagen as if there were an injury that needs repairing. The cells do not turn off as they should and end up making too much collagen. The extra collagen in the tissues can prevent the body’s organs from functioning normally.
Symptoms vary from person to person, depending on factors such as age and the area of the body affected. The collection of symptoms is called CREST syndrome, referring to five main symptoms: calcinosis, Raynaud’s phenomenon, esophageal dismobility, sclerodactyly, telangiectasias.
Medications that help rheumatoid arthritis or lupus typically don’t help scleroderma patients. Your Norton rheumatologist will look to curb your symptoms and prevent further complications.
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