View Full Version : connective tissue disease
Hi I'm new today 9/2. Anyone have a connective tissue problem?
09-02-2006, 10:25 AM
I guess you could say we all do, as lupus is classified as one of several connective tissue disorders. There are a number of different connective tissue diseases - UCTD, MCTD, lupus, systemic scleroderma, etc. It can be a little confusing as some doctors call these connective tissue diseases while others refer to them as autoimmune disorders.
Do you have a specific diagnosis, or has your doctor told you he suspects a connective tissue disease?
He calls it MCTD or CREST syndrome. He never calls it lupus. When people ask I say it's lupus because it's what most people have heard of. I have severe reynaud's, scleroderma on the fingers. Lots of other stuff. Have you ever heard of anyone losing fingernails? The nails on my right hand are lifting.
09-03-2006, 08:40 AM
Hi, Barb. CREST syndrome is actually a form of scleroderma, which like lupus is considered a connective tissue disease. The name is an acronym for the main symptoms of the disease - (calcinosis, Raynauds phenomenon, esophageal dysmotility, sclerodactyly, and telangiectasia) - and it's considered to be a milder forn of systemic scleroderma, If you go the website for the Scleroderma Foundation , you should be able to get a lot of information about CREST syndrome.
It's possible to be have both lupus and CREST syndrome as part of an "overlap" syndrome where you have symptoms of more than one connective tissue disease. Some doctors also use the term "mixed connective tissue disorder" to refer to these overlap syndromes. It really gets confusing because other doctors use MCTD to refer to a specific condition which is a mix of lupus, RA, and polyomyositis. This condition is also called Sharpe's disease.
In answer to your question about your fingernails, yes, that's very common in CREST - it's the sclerodactyly part of the disease, which primarily affects your fingertips. Wearing compression gloves may help some. Your doctor may also be able to recommend a nail conditioner - be careful about drugstore nail products - they make make it worse. You may also notice that your nails start to flatten out or become spoon shaped. If you do lose a couple of fingernails, they do grow back.
Although the folks on this forum are great, you might be able to find more specific answers about your condition on some of the scleroderma forums - I don't know any specific links but an online search for scleroderma forum or online support group should turn up something. Wish I could help more.
09-03-2006, 12:43 PM
It's so nice that you've joined us; and how lucky are you - that Marycain found you. Isn't she wonderful? She is a deep fountain of information, and so caring too.
So welcome to the "family", we're glad you're here and we hope you'll stay awhile. So kick off your shoes, and share with us.