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Symptoms of Scleroderma

Symptoms of Scleroderma: Introduction

The types and severity of symptoms of scleroderma vary greatly between individuals and the type of scleroderma. Symptom severity can range from mild to severe with disabling and life-threatening complications. Symptoms generally begin in adulthood between the ages of 20 and 40.

Symptoms of the milder form of scleroderma, localized scleroderma, which affects the skin and musculoskeletal system, include the development of Raynaud's phenomenon.

Raynaud's phenomenon is the result of spasms of the small blood vessels of the finger and toes and can be triggered by cold temperatures or stress. Symptoms include paleness, coldness, pain and numbness of the fingers and toes. It is important to note that not all people with Raynaud's phenomenon have scleroderma.

Other symptoms of localized scleroderma may include swelling of the fingers, hands, face, forearms, lower legs and/or feet. The skin in these areas eventually becomes hard and thickened, and movement becomes more difficult. Muscles can also become weak and joint stiffness can occur. Sores may develop on the fingers and toes, and small bumps may develop beneath the skin. Joint pain may also occur.

Systemic scleroderma causes additional widespread and serious symptoms because it affects internal organs as well as the skin and musculoskeletal system. Systemic scleroderma can affect many vital organs in the body, such as the heart, lungs, digestive organs, blood vessels and kidneys. Symptoms can include difficulty swallowing, GERD, heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, chest pain, shortness of breath, cough, itching or burning of the eyes, and hematuria.

Serious, life-threatening, complications of systemic scleroderma can include pulmonary fibrosis, abnormal heart rhythms, kidney failure, hypertension, seizures and heart failure....more about Scleroderma »

Symptoms of Scleroderma

The list of signs and symptoms mentioned in various sources for Scleroderma includes the 72 symptoms listed below:

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Scleroderma: Symptom Checkers

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Scleroderma: Symptom Assessment Questionnaires

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Scleroderma: Complications

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Diagnostic Testing

Diagnostic testing of medical conditions related to Scleroderma:

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Do I have Scleroderma?

Wrongly Diagnosed with Scleroderma?

The list of other diseases or medical conditions that may be on the differential diagnosis list of alternative diagnoses for Scleroderma includes:

Scleroderma: Research Doctors & Specialists

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Other Possible Causes of these Symptoms

Click on any of the symptoms below to see a full list of other causes including diseases, medical conditions, toxins, drug interactions, or drug side effect causes of that symptom.

Article Excerpts About Symptoms of Scleroderma:

Understanding Autoimmune Disease: NIAID (Excerpt)

This autoimmune disease results in thickening of the skin and blood vessels. Almost every patient with scleroderma has Raynaud's, which is a spasm of the blood vessels of the fingers and toes. Symptoms of Raynaud's include increased sensitivity of the fingers and toes to the cold, changes in skin color, pain, and occasionally ulcers of the fingertips or toes. In people with scleroderma, thickening of skin and blood vessels can result in loss of movement and shortness of breath or, more rarely, in kidney, heart, or lung failure. The estimated number of people with any type of scleroderma varies from study to study but may range from 1 to 4 affected individuals for every 10,000 Americans (or as many as 1 out of 2500 individuals). (Source: excerpt from Understanding Autoimmune Disease: NIAID)

Connective Tissue Diseases: NWHIC (Excerpt)

In most patients, the first symptoms are Raynaud's phenomenon and swelling and puffiness of the fingers or hands. Skin thickening follows a few months later. Other symptoms include skin ulcers on the fingers, joint stiffness in the hands, pain, sore throat, and diarrhea. (Source: excerpt from Connective Tissue Diseases: NWHIC)

Scleroderma as a Cause of Symptoms or Medical Conditions

When considering symptoms of Scleroderma, it is also important to consider Scleroderma as a possible cause of other medical conditions. The Disease Database lists the following medical conditions that Scleroderma may cause:

- (Source - Diseases Database)

Medical articles and books on symptoms:

These general reference articles may be of interest in relation to medical signs and symptoms of disease in general:

About signs and symptoms of Scleroderma:

The symptom information on this page attempts to provide a list of some possible signs and symptoms of Scleroderma. This signs and symptoms information for Scleroderma has been gathered from various sources, may not be fully accurate, and may not be the full list of Scleroderma signs or Scleroderma symptoms. Furthermore, signs and symptoms of Scleroderma may vary on an individual basis for each patient. Only your doctor can provide adequate diagnosis of any signs or symptoms and whether they are indeed Scleroderma symptoms.


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