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Are there different degrees of sclero?

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This is a hard question for me to answer but I'll give it my best try.

At 18-19 my hair fell out. I had super dry skin and gained a ton of weight (I really didn't eat that much). Tired all the time and constipated. Started having the absolute worst panick attacks, I mean to the point where I couldn't leave my appartment and lost 10 lbs from vomiting out of sheer fear and terror. I was tested for my thyroid a few times which came back "normal" so I just figured it was what it was and blamed it on bad genetics. Finally in my late 20's I was tested again for my thyroid which was way low. Started meds for that and stayed pretty much stable for about 8 years or so. About 3-4 years ago the Raynauds started. That was around the time my mom got ill and had triple bypass (was home taking care of her and working full time). Then my Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimers and Parkinsons. (theres a point I'm getting to with this). While he was ill I did notice the inflamation and red speckles on my face but wasn't really focused on myself at the time. Didn't have the time to actually. My point is, I do think that this disease can be exaserbated (sp?) by stress if you are pre disposed to it. When my dad passed away it really took a toll on me. I was urged to see a rhumetologist/dermatologist which I put off for about a year when I was finally diagnosed with CREST variant without the C and UCTD. I do have some skin involvement, but all tests so far show no internal involvement.

Sorry for such a long blather but these are the peices of the puzzle that are just starting to come together to make a picture. In theory I've been dealing with autoimmune issues since my teens and I am now (gasp) 41.

 

Karen

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My rheumatologist described sclero this way: it is sort of like a glacier moving through. it is at it worst during onset and then as the glacier passes through one is left with the features that is left behind. generally one does not need to worry about new symptoms. this of course is VERY general. it does seem to match with my own story.

 

joe

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Joe's glacier analogy may ring very true for the diffuse form, however the limited systemic form can be very slow and insidious, with earliest symptoms minor enough to ignore or deny.

 

Craig

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