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11/28/2008 11:59 AM

Management of scleroderma

Drpatty

Management of scleroderma

In addition to taking prescribed medications correctly and regularly, there are many steps a person with scleroderma can take to better manage the disease. These include:

Exercise

Regular exercise will not only help improve your overall physical and spiritual well-being, but it will also help keep your joints flexible and improve circulation. Consult your doctor or physical therapist for appropriate exercises.

Joint protection

When your joints hurt, avoid lifting heavy objects or performing chores that may place a strain on them, thus risking further injury. A physical therapist can help you learn new ways to perform daily activities without placing undue strain on your joints.

Protect your skin

Taking proper precautions and care of your skin can be beneficial not only for symptoms of Raynaud's phenomenon, but also in taking care of the dry, thick patches of skin that result from localized scleroderma. There are many ways to accomplish this, including:

During the colder months, be sure to dress appropriately. Keeping your body warm and protected from the cold weather with boots, a hat, gloves and a scarf will help keep the blood vessels in your extremities open and your circulation flowing.

Wear multiple thin layers. These will keep you warmer than wearing one thick layer.

Wear loose-fitting boots or shoes to keep the blood supply moving to your feet.

Put a humidifier in your house to help keep the air moist.

Use soaps and creams that are designed especially for dry skin.

Diet

Aside from eating healthy foods to get the proper amounts of vitamins and nutrients, it is important to eat foods that do not aggravate existing stomach problems. Ways to do this include:

Avoiding foods that cause heartburn.

Drinking water or another liquid to soften food further.

Eating high fiber foods to cut down on constipation.

Eating more, smaller meals as opposed to three large meals. This enables the body to digest the food more easily. If you eat a large meal, wait at least four hours before lying down.

Raising the head of your bed about six inches by placing blocks or bricks underneath it. This will prevent stomach acid from entering the esophagus while you are sleeping.

Dental care

For those patients with scleroderma who also have Sjögren's syndrome, proper dental care is essential. Sjögren's syndrome increases the risk of developing cavities and tooth decay.

Stress management

Because the effects of stress can play a part in reducing your blood flow, as well as affect many other aspects of your emotions and health, it is important to learn to manage or reduce stress. This can be done by taking the following steps:

Getting proper sleep and rest

Avoiding stressful situations when possible

Eating a healthy diet

Learning methods to control anxieties and fears

Exercising

Although no cure has been found for scleroderma, the disease is very often slowly progressive and manageable, and people who have it may lead healthy and productive lives. Like many other conditions, education about scleroderma and local support groups can be the greatest tools for managing the disease and reducing the risk of further complications.

http://my.clevelandclinic.org/disorders/scleroderma/ rheumatology_overview.aspx

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02/03/2009 05:52 PM
darlinfox
darlinfoxPosts: 12
Member

A question, what can i do for the numbness and tingling and pain in my hands and fingers? I work for Target and unload a truck and stock the shelves. The numbness seems to come on mainly when I lay down

02/03/2009 06:38 PM
mitzigirl
mitzigirl  
Posts: 14091
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I dont have the scleroderma but I do have numbness and tingling for nerve pain and they use Lyrica on me I dont know if that would help or not..Just a suggestion..

02/04/2009 06:16 PM
fluffyluggage
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I used to take Lyrica for my FMS. You need to be careful with Lyrica, if your doctor does prescribe it for the scleroderma. There are some nasty side effects, one of which is water retention, causing weight gain. I found that it also increased my muscle twitches. I'm not saying DON'T take it, but I am saying be aware of the side effects, and check it out before you try it! Or be aware of them, and if you decide to try it, watch out for them, and if you notice them, keep in touch with your doctor so you can make the appropriate decisions if anything does happen.

*hugs*

jen Smile


02/04/2009 06:26 PM
skittle0407
 
Posts: 613
Senior Member

We all have different reactions and side effects to meds. and the only way to know for sure if it is right for you is to check with your Dr. and try it and see. I had been on a medication that I did ok with the first time but 1 year later could not handle anywhere near the same dose. It is all so hit or miss, unfortunately we don't know till we try. Just as an opinion, I am on Jen's side with Lyrica, it has a lot of side effects for some people and because it is a newer drug they do not know long term side effects yet. The biggest concern is that it does cause eye problems so your Dr. has got to know everything you experience when you are on it!!!! Hope this helps some. Smile

02/05/2009 11:14 AM
darlinfox
darlinfoxPosts: 12
Member

I cant afford to even see my dr. I am having such a hard time with pain. I have 6 kids and my 2 oldest girls need help so I had to put my pain aside and help them. My 21 year old daughter was living with my x husband and got addicted to herion so I took everything I had and got her into treatment and thank god the withdrawls are over and she is much better.

02/05/2009 11:18 AM
darlinfox
darlinfoxPosts: 12
Member

My 19 year old daughter is having a baby within the next 2 weeks and no father around for the baby. I just lost my house because my hours at work have been reduced to 20 hrs a week, and I have to move by tomorrow, I may not have access to the internet for awhile

02/05/2009 11:21 AM
darlinfox
darlinfoxPosts: 12
Member

Does anyone know what over the counter medicine that helps for entire body pain? It is getting difficult to work with this pain. I work in logistics at target unloading the truck and stocking the floor, a real pain for these old hands

02/05/2009 02:55 PM
mitzigirl
mitzigirl  
Posts: 14091
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I am so sorry darlinfox and I hope this works out for you and I would not know I do not take over the counter meds..So I would be afraid to tell you without a doctors advice...I am praying for you and you family.

Post edited by: mitzigirl, at: 02/05/2009 14:56


02/05/2009 03:52 PM
fluffyluggage
fluffyluggage  
Posts: 4722
VIP Member
I'm an Advocate

Darlinfox,

I'm sorry for your situation, but as far as I'm concerned, OTC meds, just because they are OTC, doesn't mean they are safe, they can't be taken long-term, cuz they are NSAID's, and they DO have side effects, such as they can cause ulcers, thinning of the blood, etc. They also are fairly ineffective at treating most pain, from my own experience. Of course, everyone reacts differently, but I really have no advice there. I can't take them, because NSAID's have been so over-prescribed by my doctors that I took them as directed, and thay gave me ulcers. I'm in bad shape from it, and they really didn't relieve the pain alone. I still had to take a number of other drugs to get relief. So, I'm sorry, but I wish I could help. I hope you can get someone to help you with your pain.

*hugs*

Jen

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