Connective tissue disease is a cluster of disorders of the connective tissues in the body that bind the other organs together. It causes the inflammation of the proteins found in the connective tissue. It impairs the functions of connective tissue such as nourishment, stability, strength, and support to various structures in the body. It affects muscles, skin, bones, joints, even lungs, and heart. Its symptoms are painful swollen joints, shortness of breath, muscle weakness, fatigue, and others. Connective tissue disease cannot be cured and only its symptoms can be managed with various treatment options.
Can Connective Tissue Disease Be Cured?
In modern medicine, there is no cure known for connective tissue diseases. Connective diseases that develop in the body due to autoimmune disorder are treated symptomatically. The main focus of the treatment is to relieve the symptoms and prevent any complication led by the progress of the disease. The medicines commonly used for the treatment of an autoimmune type of the connective tissue diseases are-
Immunomodulators– these medicines rectify the immune system.
Corticosteroids– these medicines reduce the inflammation commenced by the overactive immune system. They also cease the immune system to attack healthy connective tissues.
Calcium Channel Blockers– these medicines dilate the blood vessels by relaxing the muscles of the walls of blood vessels.
Antimalarial Drugs– they prevent the flare-ups of mild connective tissue diseases.
Methotrexate– these medicines are used to manage the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Pulmonary Hypertensive Medicines– in many cases of a connective tissue disorder, pulmonary hypertensive medicines are prescribed to prevent the progress of the disease to pulmonary hypertension. This dilates the blood vessels of the lungs to allow easy blood flow in the lungs.
Surgery For Connective Tissue Disease
In genetic connective tissue diseases like Ehlers Danlos or Marfan’s syndrome, surgical treatment may be required. This is done by surgical operation of an aortic aneurysm to prevent rupture of the aorta and save the life of the patient.
Connective tissue disease refers to a group of disorders that affect the tissues binding the other structures together. It can involve eyes, skin, blood, blood vessels, bones, tendons, cartilage or muscles of the body. It can also affect major organs like the heart or lungs. It affects women more than men.
Symptoms Of Connective Tissue Disease
Connective tissue disease symptoms depend on its type and the areas affected by it. Its symptoms that involve lungs are more serious. The symptoms that involve the lungs are following-
- Difficulty in breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Discomfort or pain in the chest
- Cough with bloody sputum
- Fatigue or tiredness
- Respiratory failure
The symptoms that do not involve the lungs are-
- Pain and swelling in the joints
- Numbness in the fingertips
- White fingertips
- Swelling in the fingers
- Weakness in the muscles
Causes Of connective tissue disease
The exact cause of development of connective tissue disease is not clear in every case. It can happen due to injury or genetic factors. Autoimmune conditions can also cause this condition as immune system mistakenly attacks the connective tissues. It is seen more in some races.
Diagnosis Of Connective Tissue Disease
This disease is diagnosed by its clinical symptoms, medical history and physical examination of the affected joints. A blood test is done to detect the antibodies formed in this disease. Chest X-rays are performed to study the condition of the lungs. Electromyogram is used to record the electric conduction of the muscles. Muscle biopsy or nerve biopsy is done to get a definite diagnosis.
A connective tissue disease is a group of disorders that cause inflammation of the proteins of the connective tissue. It cannot be cured but its symptoms can be relieved with many medicines discussed above. Surgical treatment is done in some severe cases of genetic diseases like Ehlers Danlos or Marfan’s syndrome to save the life. Several studies are in progress to find out its cure.
- Connective Tissue Disease: Types, Symptom, Treatment, Causes, Prevention
- How Does Connective Tissue Disease Affect The Body?
- What Is The Treatment For Connective Tissue Disease?
- Is Mixed Connective Tissue Disease Fatal?
- What Is The Life Expectancy Of Someone With Mixed Connective Tissue Disease?
- Is There A Blood Test For Connective Tissue Disease?