Mixed connective tissue disease is a combination of connective tissue diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus, and polymyositis. This condition is also called overlap disease as their characteristic symptoms overlap with each other. It is an autoimmune disease. In this condition, the representing symptoms are so jumbled that the doctors cannot diagnose a particular disease.
Mixed connective tissue disease is seen more in women than men. Women usually develop this disorder below the age of 50 years.
Is There A Best Medicine For Mixed Connective Tissue Disease?
Mixed connective tissue disease cannot be cured. However, its symptoms can be efficiently managed with medicines. Mild types of this disease often do not require treatment. This disease tends to go into remission, that is, its symptoms disappear completely for a period of years. So, treatment of its symptoms is only required only at the time of its flare-ups. Its treatment depends on the symptoms and severity of the disease.
Mixed connective tissue disease is an autoimmune disease, so its best medicine is the suppression of the immune system. It can be achieved by the following medicines-
Immunosuppressants– usually patients with mixed connective tissue disease require long term treatment with immunosuppressant medicines to control the exaggeration of the immune system in severe cases. These medicines are azathioprine, mycophenolate, etc.
Corticosteroids– corticosteroid medicines such as prednisone play an important role in the regulation of inflammation and overactivity of the immune system. However, it should be given in limited doses to avoid side effects like cataracts, mood swings, etc.
Other medicines for mixed connective tissue disease:
Anti-Inflammatory Medicines– mixed connective tissue disease causes inflammatory changes in various organs such as skin, bones, muscles, and other organs. This leads to pain and swelling in affected bone or muscles. It may also result in fluid buildup in various organs. It is treated by anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.
Antimalarial Drugs– Mixed connective tissue disease has flare-ups and remissions. It can be prevented by antimalarial medicines like hydroxychloroquine, etc. these medicines can be useful in the mild form of the disease.
Calcium Channel Blockers– Raynaud’s phenomenon can be treated by calcium channel blocker medicines like nifedipine and amlodipine.
Pulmonary Hypertensive Medicines– this disease can cause complications like pulmonary hypertension that can result in death. This can be prevented by the use of pulmonary hypertensive medicines like bosentan or sildenafil.
Lifestyle Changes For Mixed Connective Tissue Disease
- Regular exercises done four to five times a day is helpful to improve the strength of the muscles and affected parts. It also enhances the health of the heart and lungs.
- The diet should be improvised with the introduction of fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains to recover fast.
- Smoking should be stopped as it narrows down the blood vessels and elevates blood pressure apart from other health hazards.
- Iron deficiency anemia is a common complication of mixed connective tissue disease. It can be tackled with iron supplements.
- Salt intake limitation also helps in the prevention of pulmonary hypertension.
It is advisable to wear gloves to keep the hands and fingers warm during cold exposure to prevent Raynaud’s phenomenon.
Mixed connective tissue disease is a group of connective tissue diseases that may develop in the body leading to a mixture of their clinical features. These mixtures are so jumbled that it becomes difficult to diagnose the connective tissue diseases separately. Its causes are not clear. Its symptoms involve Raynaud’s phenomenon, shortness of breath, swollen and painful joints and others. These symptoms appear only in flare-ups of the disease as disappears during the remission period. This disease cannot be cured completely, but its symptoms can be managed with treatment options available.
Mixed connective tissue disease is a rare autoimmune disease that has a combination of connective tissue diseases. Suppression of overactive immune system is the best way to treat the disease. Corticosteroids or immunosuppressant is the best medicine to treat the disease.
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