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Question on scleroderma affecting the intestines


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#1 Patty Arche-Hueck

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 02:03 AM

Hi anyone, how do you know the scleroderma is affecting your intestine? What are the symptoms? And which tests must be done?

#2 Jeannie McClelland

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 09:33 AM

Hi Patty,

We have a section on Bowel Involvement (which includes the intestines) on our main site. I have the typical pattern of alternating constipation and diarrhea, lots of gas, bloating, and so on. Because we already knew my esophagus was involved, it was a pretty fair guess that my problems are caused by scleroderma. I did have a colonoscopy, just to be on the safe side. Since I responded well to a couple of medications, no other tests were done until yesterday when I had a blood draw done to test for Celiac Disease which often goes hand-in-hand with the Irritable Bowel Syndrome that I have developed in the last several months.

I've got a great GI doctor and when he prescribes a medication, I take it. He has't steered me wrong yet. I find watching my diet also helpful. Certain foods seem to make my symptoms worse, so I tend to avoid them. I kind of went crazy once I had a fundoplication and GERD was no longer a problem - eating lots of spicy things and drinking coffee again. Hmmm, not such a good idea. :barf:
Jeannie McClelland
(Retired) ISN Director of Support Services
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International Scleroderma Network

#3 Patty Arche-Hueck

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 11:04 AM

I have IBS due to the fibromalgia,and some muscle relaxers. Anyways, I am eating with water now, and the doctor is monitoring this. My diet is very good usually. So far my rheumatologist has no problem with my eating, and I have no bloating, but I am worried about the constipation.

#4 Patty Arche-Hueck

Patty Arche-Hueck

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 11:14 AM

Jeannie: Thanks I read the Bowel Involvement section, very informative. Now I can talk to my doctor with more information. Thanks.