Scleroderma --The Other Auto Immune
Disease
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Last updated October 20, 2016 (originally published January 26, 2008)


By Martha del Angeles, Contributing Columnist

Scleroderma is an auto-immune disease.  Auto-immune
diseases are perhaps the cruelest diseases known to
humankind because, in these diseases, the body becomes its
own enemy.

The body turns against itself, unleashing the power of its
self-defense system  against its own tissues. Rheumatoid
arthritis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis and Type I diabetes are
other  examples of auto-immune diseases.


Auto-immune diseases are increasingly common in America.
About 16% of people in the US suffers from an auto-immune
disease, more than cancer and heart disease combined.




The word "scleroderma: means "hard skin", and this is what
the disease actually looks like in many people.

The course of scleroderma varies from person to person. Both
my younger sister and I suffer from the disease.  In the milder
form of scleroderma, the kind I have, the disease mostly affects
the epidermis and bones. My hands have painful sores, the
joints of my fingers have curled into a claw.  Sclerodema
impairs my ability to feel warmth. During the winter, my hands
and feet are painfully cold all the time.  

But I have it easy compared to my sister. She has the severe
form of scleroderma. The kind that affects the internal organs.
Scleroderma can cause fatal damage to internal organs
including the lungs, heart, kidneys, esophagus, and
gastrointestinal tract.

The best diet for scleroderma is fish and green vegetables. The
fish oil helps loosen the joints. The fish also helps to relieve the
pain.  Make salmon and oily fish with omega-3 fatty acids a part
of your daily diet to relieve scleroderma.

Sources:
Scleroderma Foundation

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