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Benefits for Connective Tissue Disability Systemic Sclerosis

Your connective tissue is a type of tissue that is composed of fibers. Connective tissue provides a support structure and framework for your body’s organs and tissues. Your connective tissue is the material that is located between the cells of your body that provides your tissues with strength and form. Your connective tissue works like a cellular glue. Your connective tissue plays a role in taking nutrients to your tissue. It is also involved in the special working of certain of your tissues. Systemic sclerosis is a rare, progressive disease that is marked by the tightening and hardening of your connective tissues and skin. It also affects your internal organs, such as your kidneys, digestive tract, lungs and heart. Systemic sclerosis is generally classified as one of the autoimmune rheumatic diseases. These are diseases that are evidenced by pain in your joints or muscles. Systemic sclerosis is referred to by other names. It is also known as mixed connective disease, crest syndrome, progressive systemic sclerosis, scleroderma, localized scleroderma, limited scleroderma and morphea - linear. Estimates are that somewhere around 300,000 people in the United States are afflicted with some form of systemic sclerosis. However, because the signs and symptoms of systemic sclerosis are like those of other autoimmune diseases, many cases of this disease may be misdiagnosed or undiagnosed. Most of the time, systemic sclerosis takes place in adults. Women outnumber men with this disease by a ratio of about four to one. The average age when systemic sclerosis is diagnosed is the forties. Systemic sclerosis is an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease is one in which your immune system that normally attacks anything foreign that invades your body, for some unknown reason, attacks the healthy cells and tissues of your own body. Collagen is a fibrous type of protein that makes up your body's connective tissues. This also includes your skin. In the case of systemic sclerosis, your immune system causes an  overproduction and accumulation of collagen in the tissues of your body. However, scientists have not yet discovered what causes your immune system to do this. Genetic and environmental factors may play a role in bringing this about. There are several different signs and symptoms that you may experience, which may be an indication of systemic sclerosis. Because systemic sclerosis may affect so much of your body, the signs and symptoms it produces may involve many areas of your body. This includes your kidneys, skin, blood pressure, esophagus, blood vessels, bowels and lungs. Possible signs and symptoms are:
  1. ?  Changes that occur in the color of your nose, ears, fingers and toes
  2. ?  Localized pain that you have in your chest
  3. ?  Problems with swallowing
  4. ?  A decrease in the range of motion that you have with your toes, fingers and jaw
  5. ?  Inflammation that may consist of itching, swelling, redness, pain and tenderness
  6. ?  Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  7. ?  Hardening or tightening of your skin that usually involves your feet, fingers, face and neck
  8. ?  Headache
  9. ?  Shortness of breath
  10. ?  Fatigue
  11. ?  Diarrhea or constipation.