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Over 70 male

blue hands itching intestinal problems over 70 male

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#1 stepheng

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Posted 08 January 2016 - 07:55 PM

Hello

Does anyone know the incidence of Scleroderma in men over 70? I have just got a cluster of very recent symptoms ( blue hands, intestinal problems: flatulence, constipation, and skin itching , a small amount of local skin thickening just below the elbow) . My doctor is taking blood tests . I'm worried.

#2 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 09 January 2016 - 05:40 AM

Hi Stephen,

 

Welcome to Sclero Forums.  I'm sorry you are experiencing concerning symptoms and hope that you get some answers soon.

 

As it happens, systemic scleroderma is most common in women of childbearing age. That said, it can occur in absolutely anyone, from newborns to the very elderly, both male and female. When it occurs in men, it is most often due to occupational or environmental exposure (such as certain construction workers.)  See Causes of Scleroderma.

 

It is also possible for symptoms to be caused by aging, and many other diseases, so things like heart disease and diabetes should also be ruled out, which is why your doctor is running tests, of course. Typically, systemic scleroderma skin issues begin with swollen and achy hands, and occurs about equally on both sides of the body; it is not very likely to cause a small patch by the elbow on just one side. However, localized scleroderma (the type that affects primarily the skin, like morphea and linear), occurs in colored (reddish or brownish) patches and does not match on both sides of the body.

 

There are also many other skin conditions that could account for the patch, such as psoriasis or eczema or even a callous.

 

I know how worrisome it can be to have symptoms that are as yet undiagnosed. I find it helpful in situations like that to assess all the possible outcomes (so I am mentally prepared in case of the worst outcome) and then try to pick the most harmless explanation to focus on during the wait for test results. Now you know about the worst it could possibly be, but because scleroderma is so rare, and even more rare in men, not to mention elderly men, I hope you find that to be a little bit comforting -- by at least reducing the statistical odds -- while you wait for answers.

 

The many types of scleroderma can be enormously confusing, so you may want to look at our main site for What is Scleroderma? and also for Diagnosis of Scleroderma.  Please stay in touch and let us know how things turn out for you.

 

:hug-group:


Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#3 Joelf

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Posted 09 January 2016 - 10:39 AM

Hi Stephen,

 

Welcome to these forums!

 

I'm sorry to hear that you're experiencing worrying symptoms and I can understand how anxious you must be feeling. As Shelley has said, scleroderma can affect anyone, although the symptoms you describe could relate to many other causes, but your doctor is running blood tests to try and get a clearer picture of the reasons that you're feeling so poorly. I would just mention that blood tests are by no means conclusive and a positive blood test does not always lead to full blown scleroderma.

 

Should you be unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with scleroderma, we do recommend that you consult a Scleroderma expert, as this disease does require specialist knowledge and expertise.

 

I do hope that your fears will be unfounded, but please do update us and let us know the results of any tests you have.

 

Kind regards,


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#4 regalize

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 05:47 AM

Hi Stepheng and welcome to old folks scleroderma club!

 

I am just coming up 70 and have rapid onset diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis after a scaphoid wrist fracture a year ago. Skin compromise is tight itchy from knuckles to upper arms, ankles to upper thighs and abdomen. All confirmed by rheumatologists by nail fold capillaroscopy and positive ANAs via haematology. Guess you have had a positive  diagnosis via these routes.  IF NOT, then you should demand them. Glad I am not the only one who does not fit in with the general pattern. 

 

Good luck. Stay sane.



#5 Joelf

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 06:23 AM

Hi Regalize,

 

Welcome to these forums!

 

I'm sorry to hear that you have been diagnosed with Diffuse scleroderma and I've included a link to our medical page to give you some more information. I'm assuming you have consulted a Scleroderma expert, to deal with your diagnosis and treatment.

 

I recently suffered a Colles wrist fracture, which had to be plated, so I can sympathise with the discomfort and inconvenience caused by broken bones!

 

Now that you've joined our community, I hope that you will continue posting.

 

Kind regards,


Jo Frowde
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#6 stepheng

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 10:59 AM

Hi Regalize 

 

Do you have any raised patches of skin or local clusters of bumps (bit like insect bites) ?



#7 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 07:09 PM

Hi Stephen,

 

Please keep in mind that I am not a doctor and have no medical training at all, and that we cannot diagnose or rule out any condition on our forums. So I'll only give my best guesses and ask that you rely on your doctors for actually figuring out your present health situation, of course.

 

As it happens, the systemic types of scleroderma do not cause raised patches or local clusters of bumps, a bit like insect bites.  Rather, the skin changes are colorless and affect both sides of the body at the same time, for example, a colorless skin hardening beginning in the fingertips and going up the hands.

 

Morphea scleroderma, which is a form of localized scleroderma, occurs in colored patches of skin, and not matching on both sides of the body. Usually the plaques are reddish with a lighter colored center. Bumps like an insect bite are not a normal description for morphea. Generally, a dermatologist will biopsy unidentifiable skin lesions, and together with the blood tests that might help figure out what is causing your symptoms. Your description -- only of the skin, not your other issues -- sounds a little bit more like eczema than any type of scleroderma. But, I may be wrong -- I often am! -- and of course we are back to that "not a doctor" reminder once again.

 

It's possible that you may have several things wrong at once. That is quite common as we age, and although it may seem to "add up" to an underlying disease, sometimes the problem is really an accumulation of age-related issues or the systemic effects of other illnesses, like diabetes.

 

You just won't know though until you have all the testing done. Please stay in touch and let us know how things turn out. Please remember that we are always here for you, regardless whether your diagnosis is scleroderma, or not.

 

:hug-group:


Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.





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