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Heart athrosclerosis with limited scleroderma?

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#1 Tootired



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Posted 22 August 2011 - 10:30 PM

I am new to this site, but not new to scleroderma. I was diagnosed over 25 years ago, and have not had serious symptoms until lately. I am losing a lot of strength in my hands and have GI issues. At 60 years old, I expect problems, but didn't expect a heart attack. I exercise regularly, am of average weight, have a very low fat diet (GERD with Barrett's), and a total cholesterol of 159 with a good ratio. I didn't expect to have a heart attack after a 20 mile bike ride. I had been riding regularly and had no symptoms of impending heart stress. My RDA was almost totally blocked and I was fortunate to be near medical help. Is there any association of CREST with heart disease?

#2 Jeannie McClelland

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 10:48 PM

Hi Tootired, welcome to the ISN Forums.

I'm sorry you've had a heart attack, very scary when they come out of the blue like that. I hope your 'event' was a one and only. We've got a little bit of an atherosclerosis section as it relates to scleroderma. You can find it here.

Has your doctor proposed physical therapy for your hand strength issues by any chance? It often helps more than the patient expects.

I hope you'll post often and let us get to know you. In the meantime, I send you my best wishes,
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#3 Joelf


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Posted 23 August 2011 - 06:57 AM

Hi Tootired,

Welcome to these forums!

I'm very sorry to hear that you've suffered a heart attack; that must have been extremely frightening and I do hope it doesn't occur again. Although signs and symptoms of Limited Scleroderma usually develop more gradually than Diffuse Scleroderma unfortunately it can in some cases affect the lungs or heart, with potentially serious results.

We have a link here to some hand exercises which I hope you might find beneficial; I've also included a link to Barrett's Oesophagus and GERD which again may give you some more information.

Do please keep posting and let us know how you're faring.


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#4 Tootired



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Posted 23 August 2011 - 08:34 PM

Thank you for your response and the information sites.

#5 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 01:43 PM

Hello Tootired

I have diffuse systemic sclerosis with myocardial fibrosis and subsequent heart failure, all my ailments are a direct result of scleroderma. Interestingly my mother has atherosclerosis resulting in 3 heart attacks the first of which was before she was 50, various stents put in and now a totally dead artery...creepy gross huh? She is still walking and talking though!

Love your name and if I could have a user name it would be tootiredtwo!

Take care and keep posting.
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#6 Tootired



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Posted 26 August 2011 - 09:43 AM

Thanks for the reply. I think (and hope I'm correct..) that systemic scleroderma is different in symptoms from CREST. I appreciate everyone's responses, but I have CREST syndrome, and, from my "research" which scant, I found heart involvement is rare unless associated with pulmonary fibrosis. So far, I've found this site to be incredibly helpful. The last "forum" I joined had only 13 members with scleroderma and no one answered posts.

#7 KarenL


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Posted 12 November 2011 - 04:21 PM

Hi Tootired,

This happened to me too, two heart attacks in 2 years at ages, 47 and 49. I don't smoke, have good cholesterol, no family history, etc. the doctors insist it's not related, but they can't give me a good reason why it happened either. I'm on Plavix, aspirin and fish oil to help it not happen again and so far so good for 4 years. Keeping my fingers crossed and hope you get answers!


#8 JBG


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Posted 13 November 2011 - 04:26 PM

I also have CREST and experienced a 90 percent coronary blockage in 2003. I had a stent
inserted. Since then I've been fine with my heart symptoms. The doctors said the blockage was not from having CREST.