Scleroderma is an uncommon disease that results in hard, thickened areas of skin and sometimes problems with internal organs and blood vessels. It is an auto-immune condition, which means the body attacks its own tissues. In the case of scleroderma, the connective tissue underneath the skin and surrounding internal organs and vessels is affected. This causes scarring and thickening of the tissue in these areas.
Depending on the type of disease, the skin may be affected by a few thickened oval patches that can occur anywhere on the body, or there may be lines of thickened skin across the face, scalp, forearms or legs.
There are two main types of scleroderma:
- localised scleroderma, which just affects the skin
- systemic sclerosis, which affects the internal organs as well as the skin
Localised scleroderma – Thisis the mildest form of the disease and can occur at any age. The disease just affects the skin, causing one or more hard patches. The internal organs are not affected.
Exactly how the skin is affected depends on the type of localised scleroderma. There are two types, which are summarised as follows:
- oval skin patches, which are usually itchy
- often only a few patches
- can affect skin anywhere on the body
- patches may be lighter or darker than normal skin and hairless
- patches may fade after a number of years
- treatment may not be needed
- thickened skin occurs in lines (like a knife wound) across the face or scalp, leg or arm
- children commonly have a thickened line of skin down their leg
- lines persist for longer than morphoea patches
- also affects underlying bone and muscle
- can lead to growth problems in children
- may cause deformity
Systemic sclerosis – This affects the organs as well as the skin. Most people with systemic sclerosis have problems with their gut, such as heartburn and swallowing problems.
The skin becomes puffy and thickens, which can restrict joint movement. The fingers and toes may start to swell like sausages, before the skin becomes hard and tight. The facial skin also becomes tight, especially around the mouth.
Other general symptoms may include:
- hair loss
- weight loss
- joint pain and stiffness
- red spots (broken blood vessels) on the face, hands and arms
Systemic sclerosis most commonly occurs in adults aged between 25 and 55. Children are rarely affected.
There are two types of systemic sclerosis. These are:
Limited Systemic Sclerosis:
- a milder form of systemic sclerosis, which progresses slowly
- often starts as Raynaud’s disease (a circulation problem where fingers and toes turn white in the cold)
- other typical symptoms are thickening of the skin over the extremities and face, red spots (dilated blood vessels) on the skin, and hard lumps of calcium underneath the skin (especially the fingertips)
Diffuse Systemic Sclerosis:
- skin changes can affect the whole body
- symptoms come on suddenly and get worse quickly over the first few years, and then the disease settles and the skin may improve
In some cases of systemic sclerosis the heart, lungs or kidneys are affected. This can cause a range of symptoms such as shortness of breath, high blood pressure and pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the lungs).
If the bowel is affected, it can lead to diarrhoea, constipation or faecal incontinence (leaking of stools).
Normally, the body’s immune system fights off any bacteria or viruses that infect the body by releasing white blood cells into the blood to isolate and destroy the germs. The immune system responds like this to anything in the blood it doesn’t recognise, and dies down when the infection has been cleared.
It is thought that scleroderma happens because the immune system has become overactive and the body starts to attack its own connective tissue. This causes cells in the connective tissue to produce too much collagen, causing fibrosis (scarring and thickening) of the tissue.
It’s not certain exactly why this happens in people with scleroderma. Genes are probably involved, although scleroderma is not regarded an inherited disease and cannot be passed on to relatives.
There are many similar diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, that are caused by the body attacking its own tissues. These are collectively known as auto-immune diseases.
As with all diseases this did not happen overnight. The very first thing you must do is see a licensed health professional. Find a list of practitioners in your local area here
Here are some things you can discuss with your practitioner:
- Eliminate Candida: Click here to find out how
- Do the Hydrogen Peroxide Protocol to strengthen the immune system:
- Drink 3oz of Colloidal Silver, three or four times a day for 60 days www.colloidsforlife.com/ Silver has long been recognised as a powerful natural antibiotic. Colloidal silver is silver that has been removed electronically from its source and then suspended in water. It is used to treat a myriad of diseases.
- Go on a fast to clear your system of toxic waste www.wecarespa.com
Hydrotherapy is the application of water, ice, steam and hot and cold temperatures to maintain and restore health. Treatments include full body immersion, steam baths, saunas, sitz baths, colonic irrigation and the application of hot and/or cold compresses. Hydrotherapy is effective for treating a wide range of conditions and can easily be used in the home as part of a self-care program. Many Naturopathic Physicians, Physical Therapists and Day Spas use Hydrotherapy as part of treatment.
There are several at-home hydrotherapy treatments. For treating rheumatoid arthritis, we recommended constitutional hydrotherapy (apply two to five times weekly) or a heating compress (apply once daily to affected areas). Please seek the advice of your alternative health care practitioner before undergoing these procedures to make sure they are appropriate for you.
- We recommend regular colonics to remove toxicity from the body. Read more about colonics by clicking here. Find a practitioner here.
- Most of the water that we drink is very acidic and in order to heal our bodies need a more alkaline state. During the programme drink alkalised water, which you can buy from Real Waterwww.drinkrealwater.com/
- Take a bath as often as possible up to once a day with two litres of 35% food grade Hydrogen Peroxide. shoppingcart.purehealthsystems.com/?Click=4464
It is important to eat high fiber foods that will not aggravate stomach problems but include anti-oxidants such as cherries, blueberries, tomatoes, peppers and squash.
It is important to not add further toxicity to your system so try to adhere to the following:
- Do not consume any artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda, NutraSweet or Aspartame
- Do not consume high fructose corn syrup or mono-sodium glutamate.
- Do not drink any carbonated beverages.
- Avoid all fast food restaurants.
- Avoid all canned food.
- Eliminate conventional dairy products. The best dairy products are raw, unpasteurised and homogenised dairy from grass fed cows. If this is unavailable, then buy organic dairy.
- Avoid conventional beef. The best beef is organic grass fed beef. www.grasslandbeef.com/StoreFront.bok?affld=104400 The second best is organic meat; this includes beef, veal, lamb, chicken and turkey.
- Take Vitamin D3 50,000-100,000 International Units a day for periods of 4 weeks at a time.
- Wholefood supplements are the best way of ensuring your nutritional needs are met. The best we know on the market is Kevin Trudeau’s “KT Daily” product. You can find more details herekevintrudeaudailylifesessentials.com/
- Take an Omega 3 supplement:
Prescription and non-prescription medication:
What non-prescription and prescription drugs are you taking? Your non-prescription and prescription are partially the reason that you have this illness or disease – you need to get off these medications but do so only under the guidance of a licensed health care practitioner.
We know that when the body is out of balance, energy doesn’t flow, leading blockages and eventually dis-ease. Here are some things you can do to combat stress and restore balance:
- Go to a Dr Morter BEST (Bio-Energetic Synchronisation Technique) Practitioner.
- Sign up for Energetic Re-Balancing: 2 practitioners to consider are.
- Stephen Lewis, founder of the Aim Program. Find out more by clicking here.
- . Find out more by clicking here.
- Consider using Mary Millers Iching System Products – ichingsystemsinstruments.com
- Reiki healing is very powerful in releasing stress and emotional baggage. Find a practitioner here.
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) has had remarkable results in dissolving stress. Find a local practitioner here (link) or go to www.thetappingsolution.com or www.tftrx.com
- Try Hypnotherapy to relax the mind. Find a practitioner here.
As always the fastest most effective way to receive tailored advice to your own situation, you should visit a local licensed practitioner. Find your closest Ayurvedic practitioners here:
Here are some remedies that your practitioner may suggest:
The Ayurvedic treatment of scleroderma focuses on regulating the immune system by using medicines like Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra), Pippali (Piper longum), Rasna (Pluchea lanceolata) and Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia).
Since fibrosis (scar formation) is the hallmark of this disease, the next obvious principle of treatment is reduction or reversal of fibrosis. For this Punarnavadi Guggulu, Gokshuradi Guggulu, Rasayan Vati, Arogya Vardhini, Yashtimadhuk, Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Guduchi, Gokshur (Tribulus terrestris), Kutaj (Holarrhina antidysentrica), Kutki (Picrorrhiza kurroa), Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Musta (Cyperus rotundus) and Patol (Tricosanthe dioica) are recommended.
Traditional Chinese Medicine
To receive bespoke advice based upon your own situation you should visit a local licensed practitioner. Find your closest Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners here:
Here are some remedies that your practitioner may suggest:
TCM begins with removing heat from the blood. The following remedies are often used: shendi, chishao, baishao, taoren, huanghua, xiakucao, dangkuwei, luzenzi, hangliangcao, zicao, dangpi, tufulin,zhimuo, shuinujiao.
Acupunture is also highly beneficial and recommended.
The following oils are soothing and antispasmodic and will reduce inflammation:
Peppermint, patchouli and sandalwood. If peppermint irriates your skin, substitute lavender.
The following are cheering, energising, stimulating and warming :
Orange, nutmeg, rosemary and ginger. Substitute ylang ylang for nutmeg if you are pregnant.
Up to 10 drops of each can be placed in a suitable carrier oil and used as a massage. Alternatively, use the oils in a warm bath.
To ensure positive results, always check that the essential oil is a 100% pure plant distillation and that it comes from a reputable source.
Owing to the principles behind homeopathy (link to full description of what it is) it is essential you see a licensed practitioner to receive your own personalised prescription. Find your closest Homeopath here
Here are some remedies that your practitioner may suggest:
Natrium muriacticum, schizandra sinensis, kalium sulphate, gallium aperine, olea Europa, trifolium pretense, crataegus oxyancanthoides.
Gotu kola, horsetail and licorice are particularly beneficial. Do not take licorice if you have high blood pressure.
Yoga – The physical postures and breathing exercises comprising the practice of yoga have long been proven by scientific research to promote feelings of relaxation while simultaneously strengthening the body. Research conducted since the 1970s has shown that regular yoga practice not only relieves stress, and stressful emotions such as anxiety and depression, but also improves blood pressure rates and overall cardiovascular health. Yoga is also effective for reducing pain, improving gastrointestinal and respiratory function, and for improving cognitive function and enhancing sight and hearing.
Note: If you are just beginning to explore yoga, it is recommended that you initially do so under the guidance of a trained yoga instructor who can guide you to become aware of the subtleties involved in each yoga posture as well as the corresponding method of breathing.
Qigong – Is a wonderful form of exercise, breath work and meditation to relieve stress and tension in the body. See article section for more information about the art of qigong.
Traditional Chinese Medicine – Ancient Healingwww.naturalcures.com/healthblog/traditional_chinese_ancient_healing.php
The best way to cleansing and purification of the body www.naturalcures.com/healthblog/54_the_best_way_to_cleansing_and_purification_of_the_body_110512.php
Mother Nature’s Natural Germ Fighters naturalhealthdossier.com/2012/03/mother-natures-natural-germ-fighters/
Heal Your Body and Raise Your Consciousness – Qigong(from August 2012 newsletter)
Health Care that Won’t Cost You a Single Penny – EFT (June 2012 newsletter)
Become Master of Your Mind – taking charge of your reaction to stress (Oct 2012 newsletter)
Jump for Joy – Rebounding is a great stress busting workout (Oct 2012 newsletter)
Hypnotherapy for stress management – why it is so effectivewww.naturalcures.com/healthblog/hypnotherapy_for_stress.php
Treatment with Chinese herbs and acupuncture: www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzJeu3rReN0
Ayurveda home cures for strengthening the immune system: www.homeveda.com/other-conditions/natural-ayurvedic-home-remedies-for-weak-immune-system.html
EFT for treating disease www.garythink.com/eft/physicial.html
Natural solutions for scleroderma: www.naturalnews.com/029804_scleroderma_natural_remedies.html
Further Information (links and books)
The Scleroderma Book: A Guide for Patients and Families by Maureen D. Mayes; Scleroderma and Dermatomyositis (Clinical Practice of Chinese Medicine) by Chen Da-can
Natural Alternatives to Antibiotics by John McKenna
by Bernie S Siegel
The Healing Power of Nature Foods: 50 Revitalizing Superfoods & Lifestyle Choices To Promote Vibrant Health by Susan Smith Jones
Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fifth Edition: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food … A-To-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies) by Phyllis Balch
Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art by Kathi Keville and Mindi Green
Detox and revitalize by Susana L. Belen
Colloidal Silver: The Natural Antibiotic Alternative by Zane Baranowski
The Secret Language of Your Body by Inna Segal
The Healing Herbs: The Ultimate Guide to the Curative Power of Nature’s Medicines by Michael Castleman and Prevention Magazine
1,000 Indian Recipes (1,000 Recipes) by Neelam Batra;
Food–Your Miracle Medicine by Jean Carper
Andrea Butje | Aromahead firstname.lastname@example.org – aromatherapy
Carrie Vitt email@example.com – organic food recipes.
David Spector-NSR/USA firstname.lastname@example.org – meditation, stress
Judith Hoad email@example.com – herbalist.
Kath May firstname.lastname@example.org – reiki, tai chi.
Lillian Bridges email@example.com – Chinese medicine, living naturally.
Monika firstname.lastname@example.org – aromatherapy.
Rakesh GAC@AyurvedicLifeStyles.com – Ayurvedic Practitioner.