Scleroderma is one such condition when there are certain dry skin patches over various areas of the body like the face, mouth or fingers. It may look innocuous to begin with, but later the thickened patches seem to extend and other symptoms of other organs of the body come up. Underneath the skin and important organs of the body are the firm and supple layer of connective tissue which keeps the integrity, shape, structure and function of the organs it underlines intact. In such a condition of Scleroderma, the body imagines differently and tends to affect the connective tissue causing it to thicken and leaves scar.
·As such, there is no cause for this auto immune disease to come up, but it has been found that certain genes have been found to have a predisposition to developing this condition.
·It is the skin on the face, around the nose and mouth that is affected when the area appears dark, thick and tight due to the thickening. Later, it could also affect the fingers and sometimes the toes. There is also formation of tiny deposits of calcium underneath the skin and appear tender and hard on the elbows, knees and fingers.
·The affected fingers can have limitation of movement as the strength of the area is lost. Neck, jaw and toes could have similar limitation when those areas are affected.
·The connective tissue underneath the blood vessels supplying to the fingers, toes, nose, tongue and ears is thickened and there is a compromise of blood circulation to those areas.
·The food traverses down from the back of the mouth into the stomach through a long tube of oesophagus, which also gets affected as it is thickened and such patients have difficulty in swallowing.
·When the blood vessels are thickened and certain amount of blocking takes place, the compromised blood circulation to important organs like the kidneys causes insufficiency and thereby gradual failure. Also, the connective tissue seems to encompass the functional area of the kidney furthering the damage.
·The increased thickening of the blood vessel also means that the heart has to pump at a greater force to reach blood circulation to the areas which causes hypertension or high blood pressure.
·If the blood circulation to the lungs is affected, patients complain of shortness of breath on slightest physical exertion.
When your homeopath suspects that you have a condition, which is not just thickening and hardening of the skin and if the pain in the fingers and other joints is more than rheumatoid arthritis, he will ask you to go for certain investigations. If the disease is active CRP in the blood is high and amongst the anti-nuclear antibody blood tests, certain markers are positive confirming this condition. Accordingly, appropriate treatment is taken up.
Homeopathic medicines help in reducing the symptoms. Remedies like secale cor, actea spicata, caulophyllum relieve the pain and stiffness of the joints. If it is heartburn, one can go for remedies like kali bich and China help. If the blood vessels suppying to the important organs of the body are affected, arnica, hamamelllis, calc flour, plumbum work in halting further compromising of the circulation.
Dr Venugopal Gouri
Gouri Homeo Healthway