Scleroderma


Overview

Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease affecting the skin and other organs of the body, meaning that the body’s immune system is causing inflammation and other abnormalities in these tissues. The main finding in scleroderma is thickening and tightening of the skin and inflammation and scarring of many body parts, leading to problems in the lungs, kidneys, heart, intestinal system and other areas.

Symptoms

  1. Skin - Ulcers, Oval or straight line patches covering wide areas of the trunk and limbs; harden and tightening appearing shiny.
  2. Fingers or toes - Pain in the toes, Pain in the fingers, Numbness of fingers.Tight and hardened fingers, Numbness of toes.
  3. Digestive system - Abdominal cramps/pain, Diarrhoea, GERD symptoms - Dry mouth, Difficulty swallowing. Constipation, Acid reflux (regurgitation/burping of food or sour liquid), Diarrhoea, Heartburn.
  4. Joints - Joint stiffness.
  5. Lungs - Coughing that lasts three or more weeks, Breathlessness.

Other symptoms

  1. Headache.
  2. Fatigue.
  3. Weight loss.
  4. Sensitivity to cold/ Cold intolerance.

According to Ayurveda there are three elements present in our body : vata, pitta and kapha which should be in balance. Scleroderma is considered as Uttana vatarakta, as the main element involved is vata and it affects rakta dhatu( blood tissue). Because of the above said causes three elements and rakta dhatu get impaired and this vitiated blood causing damage to the tissues and bones of the joint resulting in vatarakta.

Causes

Exact  cause is unknown.

Causes may be.

  1. Eating food before the previous meal is digested.
  2. Untimely food habits.
  3. Incompatible food like having milk and fruits together.
  4.  Excessive consumption of 
    • Spicy, salty, sour, pungent, alkaline food.
    • Radish, Horse gram, Flat beans, Green leafy vegetables.
    • Sea food, Meat and Dry meat
    • Sugar cane.
    • Curd.
    • Alcoholic beverages, especially beer and drinks sweetened with fruit sugar (fructose)
  5.  People of delicate nature who are exposed to the above said causes.
  6.  Fat and people who live in luxury who consume the above said causes
  7.  Substance abuse.
  8.  Excess physical activity.
  9. Stress and Anxiety
  10. Regular habit of sleeping in day time or awakening at night 
  11. Family history of scleroderma.

Treatment

Treatment protocol aims at :

1.Relief from pain and swelling in joints, skin patches and other symptoms

2.Prevent progression of disease.

3.Rejuvinate the whole body and improve overall health of the body.

The first line of treatment should always be avoiding the causative factors. If the problem persists then consider the following treatment protocol.

  • Skin ulcers, shiny patches, pain in fingers and toes, joint stiffness - All these conditions are because of overreaction of the immune system with body cells. Guduchi, Manjistha, Sariva, Ashwagandha, Rasna, Eranda, Punarnava will normalise the immune response by purifying the blood and body channels from toxins (ama), also helps to heal and repair the body cells.
  • Breathlessness and digestive issues  -  In scleroderma, the immune system attacks the cells of lung tissue resulting in damage and scarring, progressively patients feel shortness of breath. Immune system also attacks the Lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the muscle that acts as a valve between your esophagus and stomach and leads to acid back up (GERD condition). Breathlessness and acid regurgitation result in sleep disturbances and poor sleep has been found to trigger inflammation and worsen pain. Can be managed with Lakshmi vilasa rasa, Talisadi churna, Tankan, Kamdudha , Laghusootshekhar ras.
  • Fatigue  - Body's immune system being out of control, lack of quality sleep, and constant pain are all contributory factors in the fatigue. Ashwagandha, Gokshura will balance the vata and pitta, and improve the functioning of reproductive and circulatory systems.

Other therapies - Virechana/Purgation therapy (cleaning digestive tract and purifies blood), Vasti (enema) to reduce inflammation and cleanse the system. Lepa (Lepa: A type of therapy wherein paste of drug is applied to the affected part).

Herbs

Guduchi, Manjistha, Sariva, Ashwagandha, Rasna, Eranda, Punarnava, Ashwagandha, Gokshura, Lakshmi vilasa rasa, Talisadi churna, Tankan, Kamdudha , Laghusootshekhar ras.


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