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Risk of developing scleroderma


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Hey everyone ! I'm 19 and a man and I am just wondering the risk of me developing Scleroderma and if it is genetic.

 

My mother has quite severe Scleroderma. It was developing just before I was born but improved during pregnancy (Due to the extra pint of blood). She also has Raynaud's as an overlap which developed when she was younger.

 

I have showed no symptoms that have cause for alarm but am not sure of all of the symptoms that can be shown, my only longstanding condition is IBS and I have no Raynaud's. There is no known history of scleroderma in the family but some of rheumatoid arthritis.

 

Do I have a high risk of developing this? What should I look out for?

 

Thankyou

 

Jordan

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Hi Jordan,

 

Welcome to these forums!

 

I'm sorry to hear that your mother is suffering with scleroderma. There are several types of scleroderma that are known to run in families, such as Familial CRST with Sicca, and Familial Progressive Systemic Sclerosis. This does not mean, however, that scleroderma is a "genetic illness" per se. They estimate that it is genetic in only 2% of scleroderma patients. However, there are some genes that set the stage for the development of autoimmune disease in general, and scleroderma in particular. I've included a link to our medical pages on Genetics, and also Scleroderma Symptoms, which I hope you'll find helpful and informative.

 

Obviously it's impossible for me to predict whether you will develop scleroderma; it's never certain even with positive antibodies as there are so many variations of the disease and it's symptoms affect everyone differently. I do realise that you are concerned, as the disease is in your family, but would suggest that you try not to worry about whether you will develop it in the future (stress and worry are the very worst things for autoimmune diseases) as even in the worst case scenario, it could simply mean that although you may have some symptoms, you possibly may never go on to develop the full blown disease.

 

As with any illness, if you do have symptoms which are worrying, then I would suggest that you consult your general practitioner, if only to put your mind at rest.

 

Kind regards,

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I read that the heredity factor was 1%, but I'm sure Jo's figures are more accurate. The only symptoms I had earlier in life were heat intolerance, occasional strange cramps in odd places and later on, aching ligaments and tendons resulting in stiffness and discomfort. Not even sure whether these were related.

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Hi Jordan,

 

Welcome to Sclero Forums. I'm very sorry your mom has scleroderma, and send my best wishes to all of you.  As Jo pointed out, scleroderma is hereditary in only about 2% of cases, where it is known to run in the family.  Scleroderma predominantly strikes females (at least a 3 to 1 ratio of women to men), so that further reduces your odds.

 

This means your risk for scleroderma is very low, compared to the more popular ailments.  Thus it is far more likely to pass away from heart disease, lung infection, HIV/AIDS, or COPD.  You are at an age where you can develop good health habits that will likely help you sidestep most of these to increase the odds of living healthfully to a ripe old age. Eat well, get fresh air and exercise, practice safe sex, and steer clear of any sort of smoke or street drugs. Find some healthy sources of happiness and joy every day, to inspire you to keep on living well, and to help buffer the stress of your mom being so ill.

 

Most of all, remember we are always here for you, and you are always welcome here.  Most of us would rather have scleroderma ourselves than to watch a loved one suffer with it.

 

:hug-group:

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hey! Update here

 

My auntie (Mum's sister) has been recently diagnosed with Raynaud's, rheumatoid arthritis and potentially scleroderma just like my mum.

 

dimarzio . In reply to you, the only cramping I get is my IBS (but I have always had stomach problems from colic when I was younger)  but I also can't wear anything with wool in.

 

I am going with my mum to her consultant to have a genetic test as it has been confirmed that my aunt is the carrier of the gene defect causing disposition to scleroderma and autoimmune disease. I'll let you know how it goes if you are interested.

 

As I live in Cornwall, and cadmium levels are high, I heard a doctor say that sometimes increased exposure to cadmium can cause rheumatoid arthritis but I'm not sure if this is correct.

 

Thanks for your help.

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  • 3 years later...

Hey! Update here

 

Still nothing on my end, mum unfortunately passed away of advanced pulmonary  fibrosis.
 

Still hoping I won't go on to develop anything. No signs of Raynaud's,  but I do have some acid reflux, mild though I need to see about.

 

Hope all is well with everyone.

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