In answer to your question about Mixed Connective Tissue Disease:
Mixed connective tissue disease is a term used by some doctors to describe a disorder that has symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis, and polymyositis. Persons with this diagnosis also may have Raynaud's syndrome, joint pains, various skin abnormalities, weakness, and problems with internal organs. Treatment for MCTD is similar to that of systemic lupus erythematosus, often with corticosteroids.
Almost everyone with mixed connective tissue disease has aching joints. About 75% develop the swelling and pain typical of joint inflammation (arthritis). Mixed connective tissue disease damages the muscle fibers, so the muscles may feel weak and sore, especially in the shoulders and hips. Tasks such as lifting the arms above the shoulders, climbing stairs, and getting out of a chair can become very difficult.
Fluid may collect in or around the lungs. In some people, abnormal lung function is the most serious problem, causing shortness of breath during exertion.
Occasionally, the heart is weakened, leading to heart failure (see Heart Failure). Symptoms of heart failure may include fluid retention, shortness of breath, and fatigue. The kidneys and nerves are affected in only 10% of people, and the damage is usually mild compared to the damage caused by lupus. Other symptoms may include fever, swollen lymph nodes, abdominal pain, and persistent hoarseness. Sjögren's syndrome may develop. Over time, most people develop symptoms that are more typical of lupus or systemic sclerosis.
The treatment is similar to the treatment of lupus. Corticosteroids are usually effective, especially when the disease is diagnosed early. Mild cases of MCTD can be treated with aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) or similar drugs, or very low doses of corticosteroids. The more severe the disease, the higher the dose of corticosteroid needed. In severe cases, immunosuppressive drugs (such as azathioprine , methotrexate or cyclophosphamide ) may also be needed.
I hope that I've answered your question. Please let me know if you need anything further!
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