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New & Seeking Advice. What kind of specialist should I go to?


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#1 seeker

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 05:33 PM

Hi everyone. I'm not sure where to turn and was hoping to find some advice here. I do not have scleroderma but my research on my symptoms brought me to finding this forum.

I suffer from Raynaud's and have been told by my general practitioner to wear gloves.

I also have broken blood vessels in my nail beds (for no reason). My fingers are sore and my fingertips are especially tender. I was told I have a fungal infection and given a prescription for anti-fungal tablets. The bruising under my nails looks nothing like a fungal infection.

The Raynaud's is getting progressively worse and more frequent and the bruised nail beds are not improving. In general I don't feel well and I know this is not in my head.

Where do I turn next? Find another family physician for a 2nd opinion? See if I can get into a rheumatologist? Wait for now?

Thank you all in advance.

#2 Sheryl

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 02:14 AM

seeker, welcome to our sclero forums website. You can learn so much about Raynauds and other symptoms you may be having. It is important when you have any autoimmune disease to find a good specialist. Starting out with someone who specializes in Scleroderma can be a benefit. They know what to look for in your nail bed capillaries. They are highly specialized. Ask any questions you would like answers to and we will do our best to tell you what works/worked for us.
Strength and Warmth,
Sheryl

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#3 Jeannie McClelland

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 06:25 AM

Hi Seeker,

Welcome to the Forum.

Have you looked on our page "Finding a Scleroderma Expert"?

We recommend finding one who is a participant in the Scleroderma Clinical Trials Consortium (SCTC) and there is a link on the "experts" page, but this one above will take you directly there. (I'm assuming you are in the USA.) Once there, pick your state and voilá - experts! :D

In the meantime, stay warm wherever you are!

Best wishes,

Jeannie McClelland
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Jeannie McClelland
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International Scleroderma Network

#4 Sweet

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 06:36 AM

Hi Seeker and welcome.

I love it when people are so proactive! I agree with what's been said so far. I would make an appointment with a specialist in Sclero. Jeannie gave you a great link. I hope you can find someone close to you.

Keep up posted!
Warm and gentle hugs,

Pamela
ISN Support Specialist
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#5 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 07:27 AM

Hi Seeker,

I may be wrong (I often am; and I have no medical training at all!) but as I understand it, scleroderma cannot be diagnosed without a spectrum of symptoms and such; and Raynaud's alone would not qualify.

Thus, what I would do, first of all, is get a second opinion from a board certified Internist, and possibly also as well from a board certified dermatologist regarding the "fungus".

Raynaud's, and fungal infections, are very common in the general healthy population. So it would take something more than that, generally, to have any indication that scleroderma or another autoimmune disease is at work. Also, if you do have a fungal infection, you definitely want to have it properly treated before it worsens; and if not, you would want a professional opinion as to what it is, exactly.

Besides, it is much faster and easier to get in with an internist or dermatologist than a scleroderma expert, and without further symptoms documented beforehand, a scleroderma expert might look askance for you, for having "just one" little symptom. So if it were me, I'd rather go up the ladder a little more slowly.

Plus, a good internist should be able to work with you to make sure you get the Raynaud's under adequate control, and they can monitor your health in case any other symptoms arise...and then refer you to a scleroderma expert, if or when that might be necessary. And doctor's put much more stock in patients who are referred by other doctors, which is another reason that I wouldn't self-refer to a scleroderma center, with only one (possible) symptom.

But, like I said, I may be wrong...I often am....
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
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International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
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