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.
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.
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/recommends/
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
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 [email protected] – aromatherapy
Carrie Vitt [email protected] – organic food recipes.
David Spector-NSR/USA [email protected] – meditation, stress
Judith Hoad [email protected] – herbalist.
Kath May [email protected] – reiki, tai chi.
Lillian Bridges [email protected] – Chinese medicine, living naturally.
Monika [email protected] – aromatherapy.
Rakesh [email protected] – Ayurvedic Practitioner.