MTCD stands for mixed connective tissue disease. MTCD is used by some doctors to describe a disorder that is evidenced by characteristics of three connective tissue diseases, which are scleroderma, lupus and polymyositis. Because of these qualities, MTCD is sometimes known as an overlap disease.
MTCD is a disorder that occurs most often in women. In fact, women represent about 80% of the people with this disorder. MTCD is diagnosed most often in young adults in their 20s and 30s. However, MTCD may develop anywhere from ages 5 to 80, as children have occasionally been diagnosed with this disorder. MTCD takes place in all races all over the world.
MTCD is a kind of connective tissue disease. It is evidenced by abnormal structure or function of your connective tissue.
A connective tissue disease is any disease that has the connective tissues of your body as its main target. Your connective tissues are the structural portions of your body. They essentially hold the cells of your body together. These connective tissues form a framework or matrix for your body.
Researchers do not know what causes MTCD. MTCD is part of a larger group of diseases that are referred to as autoimmune disorders. Your autoimmune system is what fights any thing foreign that invades your body. An autoimmune disorder is when your immune system for some unknown reason mistakes normal, healthy cells and tissues as invaders. In other words, your immune system attacks your own body’s tissues and cells.
No one knows for sure why your immune system does this. Researchers believe that it may be a complex mixture of genetic factors, viruses and chemicals that may be why this takes place.
MTCD does not have a set of signs and symptoms that are unique to it. Instead, the signs and symptoms of MTCD will be like those of scleroderma, polymyositis and lupus. However, the signs and symptoms of these three diseases do not usually take place at the same time. Some of these signs and symptoms include:
- Muscle weakness
- Mild fever
- Raynaud’s phenomenon – This is blood vessel spasms that interrupt the flow of blood to your ears, nose, finger and toes
- Joint swelling
- Swollen fingers
- Joint pain.