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Posts posted by dimarzio

  1. The brain plays a huge part, but there is no substitute for a healthy eating and exercise.  When I was able to play sport regularly, I could eat whatever I wanted. Nowadays I have to be much more careful, especially with my high glucose levels.


    I've long felt that when I've lost weight,it goes back on over time because my brain is telling me my body needs to be the same weight as it was before, when in truth, it's more about gradually being less careful about what I eat once I've lost that 14 pounds or whatever I was aiming for.


    You don't find any overweight people in areas of famine do you? During food rationing of WW11 everyone was slim.  Food, especially unhealthy food is readily available in the western world and that is the principal driver of obesity.


  2. Cellcept is an immunosuppresent and Thyroxine is a popular medication for under active thyroid.  I have found no known interactions between these on the databases.


    If these are the two medications, they appear safe to be used together, which seems logical as they do very different things.


    That said, I would echo Jo's advice to double check with your pharmacy or the prescriber before taking them.

  3. There seems to be a theme here of doctors dishing out anti anxiety pills and telling us we are imagining our symptoms or treating us as if we are nuts until a diagnosis is eventually made.  I was verbally abused by a general practitioner and virtually thrown out of the surgery for making a fuss over nothing.  Never got an apology though.

  4. Hi Kellbell,


    I'm assuming that you have had a positive blood test result but it's too early to say much until you have seen your rheumatologist. There is currently no cure and treatment is usually symptom based using drugs to aid gastric and esophageal problems, help circulation, etc.  Drugs to lower your immune response, steroids to help lung conditions, etc.


    Sometimes surgery is necessary too, over time for various complications.


    There are several variants, some of which are milder and have little effect on longevity and some more serious or that become more serious over time.


    Try to get a referral to a Scleroderma specialist if you can as they do have a lot more knowledge and experience in this area.  In the mean time, you will find a lot of help and information on this site and by reading some of the threads on this forum.


    Don't panic, the majority of cases are the milder or slowly progressing variants and there are many here who have lived with the disease for 20 or 30 years.  Even the more serious complications can be alleviated with surgical intervention.


    A lot of research is going on, especially in the fields of gene therapy and stem cell treatment and this may hopefully eventually lead to a cure for autoimmune diseases.


    I wish you well, but please keep in touch on the forum to let us know how things progress as we can all learn so much from each other.

  5. I find that an expectorant for chesty coughs relaxes the throat as well as the chest, but need to be careful that it doesn't react with any other medications. Your reflux does sound pretty bad as if some kind of surgery is called for. I hope your medics can find a way to relieve it.

    Diet is usually the best way to manage reflux if you can, but in your case, it seems that it's not enough.

  6. Interesting article.  A lot seems to be going in to finding a cure for MS but so little by comparison into Scleroderma.  By the time stem cell transplants become mainstream, it could be too late for many of us.


    Stem cell transplantation could stop the march of Scleroderma as much as it could MS.  Same goes for other autoimmune diseases.


    Autoimmune disease is becoming so much more common, yet money is still being pumped into cancer and heart research.  Time for a bit more effort going into helping those with autoimmune disease.

  7. Are you on any medications?  A lot of these can give you dry mouth and ulcers?

    Are your eyes or any other areas dry?

    Hopefully your rheumatologist will be able to tell you more.

    Some people have positive ANA results with few or no symptoms and others seem to have autoimmune disease where ANA results are negative.

    Diagnosis tends to be a combination of the assessment of symptoms, physical examination and ANA results.

  8. Viral infections could be the most likely, but it is possible.  You need to request an antinuclear antibody test, which would give a clue as to whether it is scleroderma or any other autoimune disease.

    Do you have any other relevant symptoms?

  9. Hi everyone, I have recently visited my Rheumatologist who says that my condition is somatic.  i.e. imaginary and that  I only have Limited (i.e. low grade) Systemic Sclerosis.

    Last year, I was hospitalised with aspiration pneumonia resulting from gastric reflux, though again, this had nothing to do with Systemic Sclerosis.


    He also said that I should wean myself off of my proton pump inhibitor, but when I do, I am unable to sleep due to severe reflux, which I occasionally choke on.

    I've recently had an operation to correct urine flow due to fibrosis of the urethra, which again is apparently not related to Systemic Sclerosis.

    I now have to catheterise weekly to keep the urethra dilated, which resulted in strong antibiotics being prescribed, the result of this was severe black blistering on my hand (I posted a picture of this earlier). I believe that this was a severe reaction of my immune system to either the infection, or more likely the antibiotic.

    My Raynauds  is not considered severe, yet the pain of what feels like frostbite is simply awful (but apparently imaginary).

    I can definitely feel that I am getting out of breath a lot more of late, though my lung function tests appear to be OK as has been my echocardiogram and renal tests.

    He also thinks that I should wean myself off Pregabalin because he says that it is not being used for anything to do with Systemic Sclerosis.

    On a side note, my Hba1c level is 49, but my general practitioner says that I am not diabetic. Is that correct?



  10. I've been doing a little research on this and have been a number of articles and studies to read through, but this interview gives a clear, non technical interpretation:




    Has anyone else done any research of this interesting treatment, know of any UK centres that might consider offering this or have any idea of the costs involved, bearing in mind that the NHS will not provide it?

  11. Not particularly worried about the bottom end, but I have heard heard mixed reaction from those that have had top end, some saying that they feel like they are choking and others who say it is no big deal.


    I do wonder if it may have something to do with who is actually carrying out the procedure along with their experience and how much care they take.

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