Systemic Sclerosis: Warning Symptoms To Pay Attention To
February 14, 2018
What is systemic sclerosis?
Systemic sclerosis or systemic scleroderma is an autoimmune disease which targets the connective tissue. The Body produces too much of a particular structural protein called collagen which in turn accumulates in the tissue.
As it is with any autoimmune illness, the immune system attacks its own body which in the case of systemic sclerosis leads to the formation of scar tissue. The name scleroderma (greek - hard skin) comes from the thickening of the skin caused by these scars. Unfortunately, even internal organs can be affected by the scarring which may lead to fatal consequences.
The cause of the disease is still unknown, but it appears to affect women more than men as well as people between the ages of 30 and 55. Systemic sclerosis is not contagious or infectious although it has been linked with an increase in the cancer risk factor. The disease is relatively rare with 300,000 Americans suffering from scleroderma according to the Scleroderma Foundation.