Scleroderma Sufferers Can Benefit From Stem Cells

Scleroderma Sufferers Can Benefit From Stem Cells

Scleroderma is a rare condition that leads to the hardening and tightening of the skin and the connective tissues.  While some people are only affected in their skin, others are affected throughout the whole body.  Scleroderma can negatively impact a person’s quality of life.  In addition, there is no cure for the condition, only treatments to help lessen the symptoms a patient may feel.  Fortunately, with the gaining popularity of stem cell therapy, stem cells have shown promise in helping those who have scleroderma.  While scleroderma is a rare condition, it still affects many people’s daily lives, and the quicker we can find a cure, the better off the world will be.

People who have scleroderma will notice a thickening of the skin and connective tissue.  It tends to be more common in women and in people between the ages of 30 to 50.  Almost all people who have scleroderma will notice hardening and tightening patches of skin.  The amount of skin affected may vary, but the parts that are affected may be difficult to move due to how tight the skin is.  People living with scleroderma may also notice numbness in their fingers and toes, digestive problems, and potential heart, lung, and kidney problems.

The medical community knows scleroderma is caused by the overproduction of collagen in the body.  However, it is not known what causes this overproduction to begin.  It is believed that scleroderma is caused by a mix of factors, including environmental triggers, immune system problems, and genetics.  Some forms of scleroderma run in families.  However, it is certain genetic variations that seem to be linked to the condition.  People who experience various viruses or work hazards may be at higher risk for developing scleroderma as are people who suffer from autoimmune diseases.

Scleroderma can lead to many complications.  It can permanently damage fingertips by restricting the normal blood flow.  It can lead to scarring on the lungs, increased blood pressure in the kidneys, and scarring of the heart, to name a few.  In many cases, the scleroderma that affects skin will clear by itself in one to two years.  However, the scleroderma that affects internal organs is usually lifelong and worsens over time.  Treatment is aimed at lessening symptoms.  This can include medication, physical and occupational therapy, and surgery such as amputation or lung transplants.  In recent years, stem cell therapy has shown to be promising for helping those with scleroderma.

Scleroderma can be a very difficult condition to live with, especially when living with a form that affects internal organs.  While there is currently no cure available and treatments are aimed primarily at lessening symptoms, stem cells may allow for a cure in the future.  Currently, stem cells have shown to greatly help those suffering from scleroderma.  With more research and clinical trials, stem cell therapy may be the treatment of the future.  If you think you may be suffering from scleroderma, be sure to visit your doctor as soon as possible.  Treatment early on is key to slowing the progression.

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