Mixed connective tissue disease is a progressive disease. It presents the symptoms which overlap the symptoms of Systemic lupus erythematosus, Systemic Sclerosis, and Polymyositis.
What Is The Life Expectancy Of Someone With Mixed Connective Tissue Disease?
The life expectancy of someone with mixed connective tissue disease depends upon the type of dominant disease symptoms, rate of progression and the type of complication.
Various complications related to mixed connective tissue disease result in fatal complications. The prognosis of the disease depends upon the severity of disease, the rate of progression, complications, and response to treatment. The prognosis of the mixed connective tissue disease depends upon the organs involved in the disease and its complications.
The patient’s pulmonary system involvement in mixed connective tissue disease has a poor prognosis. It has been seen that not of the death occurring due to this condition is pulmonary arterial hypertension. It has been found that 80% of the people suffering from mixed connective tissue disease have survived for 10 years.
The mixed connective tissue involves the symptoms of three diseases. These diseases are Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic Sclerosis, and Polymyositis. The prognosis for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus is good as compared to Systemic Sclerosis and Polymyositis. Pulmonary arterial hypertension is the leading cause of mortality among patients with mixed connective tissue disease. Various other complications also make the prognosis of disease worse. These include cardiovascular complications such as pericarditis, interstitial lung disease, systemic infection, and neurological complications.
Symptoms Of Mixed Connective Tissue Disease
Following are the various symptoms associated with mixed connective tissue disease:
Fatigue. The patient of mixed connective tissue disease may experience weakness, fever and overall malaise.
Raynaud’s Syndrome. The patient becomes extremely sensitive to cold and exposure to cold may change the color of fingers. This condition is characterized by a reduction of blood in these organs.
Swollen Fingers. The fingers of the patients with mixed connective tissue disease are swollen.
Joint Pain. The patient of mixed connective tissue disease also presents muscular and joint pain.
Lifestyle Changes For Mixed Connective Tissue Disease
Mixed connective tissue disease is not curable, but the symptoms are managed with the help of medications. These medications are taken for a long time and they have their own side effects. The patients, through various lifestyles, reduce the burden of medicines for managing the symptoms. Following lifestyle should be followed by the patients suffering from mixed connective tissue disease.
Exercise. Moderate exercise regimen should be followed by the patient. Weight exercise can be done to improve muscle stiffness. Further aerobic exercise and water exercise such as swimming can be performed by the patient. Aqua rehab centers are also opened up to assist water exercises.
Stress Management. Emotional stress leads to the aggravation of mixed connective tissue disease. Thus, the patient should manage the stress.
Immune System Modulation. Mixed connective tissue disease is a chronic autoimmune disorder. The immune system of the body becomes hyperactive and starts damaging the body’s own cells. Thus, food with immunomodulation property should be incorporated in the diet to reduce the action of the immune system.
Infection. Systemic infection leads to fever, fatigue, and weakness. The infection may be due to mixed connective tissue disease. Thus proper care should be taken by the patient to prevent any infection.
Sleep. Insomnia and autoimmune disorder are directly linked by various studies. Thus, a proper sleep pattern should be followed.
Diet. Diet plays an important role in the management of symptoms of mixed connective tissue disease. The patient should incorporate omega-3 fatty acids in the diet. The diet also includes high fiber foods to maintain a healthy digestive system. Low sodium diet should be followed as it will reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
Avoid Smoking. As smoking increases the risk of mixed connective tissue disease, it also increases the blood pressure by narrowing arteries. It also aggravates the symptoms of Raynaud’s syndrome.
Almost 80% of the people survive for 10 years after the diagnosis of the disease. The prognosis is worse if the symptoms of systemic sclerosis and polymyositis are dominant. Pulmonary hypertension reduces the life expectancy and so are pericarditis and systemic infections.