americanmike

What Was The Environmental Spark!

52 posts in this topic

This is a very interesting thread, and I can relate to several of the possible reasons put forward.

However, just now I'm not going into it, but wanted to say that many of you may like to read the webpage on the ISN website about The History of Scleroderma

One remarkable point is that Scleroderma was first described by Hippocrates around 400 BC.

And also:
The first clear description of it was made by Dr. Carlo Curzio in the mid-1700's.


I wonder what common points these patients so long ago shared with scleroderma patients of today? Particularly way back in 400 BC!

This page also has a number of items about Paul Klee, the famous artist from the earlier 1900's, who had scleroderma.

One other point......... I wonder if the proliferation we are seeing of new scleroderma cases now comes from there being actually MORE scleroderma around, or is it because they are being diagnosed better? There may always have been scleroderma in the general populace, but it was seldom diagnosed. Instead put down to something like bad circulation, stomach problems, skin problems etc. or all of those plus more. And without the meds to alleviate many of the problems which go with scleroderma, the unfortunate patients often didn't last very long!

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Hi Sherrill and everyone,

 

It was more common to use pewter cups and dinnerware made with lead in the 1700's, which came here from Europe, not to mention that the entire water system in the ancient Roman world (and most drinking vessels) were also made of lead. Think of all the cadmium and lead Klee must have been exposed to as well!

 

I got my first two fillings in 1972, two more between 1980 and '81 and you know about the old amalgams and the debate about replacing them; I had two replaced in 2000 and 2005 and definitely got more symptoms afterwards. That's not to say it caused all the CTD's on it's own--just another trigger on top of it all. And all those dental x-rays! I'm a great night light. A lot of us broke thermometers and rolled the mercury around I bet, so don't feel alone!

 

And a few more things...two pregnancies of course, then remodeling and inhaling who knows what from a century+ old house, well water (more like ill water) for a few years at two houses, breathing in oil fumes from a dying furnace for two years (the bottoms of the white curtains were black after one winter), but the real kicker I believe was being a low birth weight baby. That's where I believe the trouble started and everything else was icing on the cake.

 

It seems that we all have a ton of things in common, but since kids are now being diagnosis'ed much more frequently, I believe it's our environment more than hormones or even a virus.

 

Take care,

Elehos

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I hate to admit this - but I used to do alot of speed (meth) prior to my diagnosis. My doctor often wondered if this played a factor in my diagnosis of Raynaud's.

 

Thankfully, I am now drug free!! I still find myself blaming "me" for getting Scleroderma/Raynaud's though. If only I would have lived a 'cleaner' life.......urghhh

 

Sakar

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Hi Sakar,

 

I've never had any desire to use any street drugs, and still have had Raynaud's and OA since childhood. We probably all have things from our pasts that worsened our condition, but there's no sense blaming yourself now--just keep clean like you're doing, and hang around here for info and support!

 

Best wishes,

Elehos

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Hi all,

Based on my medical history my mom said if it was weird I'd get it, and this was long before I was diagnosed with sclero.

For me: no drugs, pregnancy, cancer, Choctaw Indians or autoimmune diseases except for my grandma's cousin who had lupus. No metal anything in my body and all my amalgams were removed with my baby teeth so they weren't in very long. My last dentist (who I worked for) switched to electronic x-rays with a lot less radiation. And really tons of people get those x-rays done and mercury/amalgam fillings that I doubt it's a cause but maybe an instigator? If you are worried about x-rays find a dentist that uses digital x-rays. They're more accurate and less exposure.

I've had my share of chemical exposure: I may have chewed on a battery when I was a kid (gross, but I didn't know better). As an adult I ran the autoclave at the dentist office, worked with formaldyde-covered plants, and was exposed to other art related chemicals, but this was years after my hands first started turning blue.

It's all so much guessing because our disease is so rare. For me: maybe I had only Raynauds, then years later I went through a patch of anxiety & depression + all that exposure kicked it into full-fledged scleroderma. But who knows?

peanut


You can deprive the body but the soul needs chocolate

my HMO makes me wear a helmet...

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Hi Elehos,

There are so many things which *may* contribute to causing scleroderma! But the fact is that none of them in isolation seem to be the cause. It seems to require something plus something else at least, and maybe even more than that!

OK, pewter and lead drinking vessels, maybe, but in that case why didn't everyone get scleroderma, as they were probably widely used.

Pewter is an alloy of tin with various amounts of other metals in it such as antimony, copper, or lead. The *other* metals I have just referred to are probably the most dangerous. Tin is a pure metal which is extracted from ore, and of course is still widely used today.

Scleroderma is still regarded as a rare disease, and back many years ago would have been even more rare. However, this may only have been for want of an accurate diagnosis. The doctors or alchemists in those times just wouldn't have had a clue what they were dealing with!

Returning to my comments of needing more than one thing to start scleroderma: My husband and I had our own business as commercial greenhouse tomato growers. We did this for 23 years. Of course people now who hear this say what about the sprays? Shock, horror! Well, I didn't do the spraying, my husband did, and we shut up the greenhouse after that for a few days. My husband is absolutely fine, with no signs of scleroderma, so...?

Further more, my husband built several boats over the years, with of course epoxy resin included in their making. This is another *possible* in scleroderma. Shock, horror again! But he's not the one with the scleroderma!

However, I put the 10 years of stress we had prior to me developing scleroderma, as the largest factor for my illness, but once again, it would still have needed another factor as a catalyst to "set it off". This I attribute to genetic factors. My mother, I am sure, has had scleroderma most of her life, and I think her father also had it. But scleroderma was very rarely diagnosed back then. She was told she had "bad circulation". She had/has the worst Raynaud's I have ever seen! She also has always had shocking esophageal, stomach and bowel problems! When she had me she nearly died due to complete lack of elasticity in her tissues! But hey, she's 90 in April, and doesn't want a diagnosis now!

Oh, I almost forgot, my mother is an artist, and has used many types of art mediums most of her life! Just to confuse the issue! :rolleyes:

So that's the genetic factor in my family. As to the 10 years of stress, my brother-in-law contracted HIV, and subsequently died from AIDS. I had a lot to do with him in trying to help him, and believe me it was difficult! His parents couldn't handle it at all and his father had a heart attack at 67 and died a year later from a stroke. His mother then got lymphoma, and died nearly 3 years later. All through this I was very involved. Then my father got cancer and died, and we had a complete change of business, shortly after retiring.

I became ill about 9 months after all this, though I strongly suspect that I was germinating the scleroderma for some years prior. Certainly if the overwhelming fatigue was anything to go by!!

However, I once more reiterate that my husband stayed healthy, although all this was just as hard on him. We "scleroderma-ites' seem to be quite an elite bunch don't we?

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I lived at an altitude of 7500 above sea level when I was diagnosed and when I first started getting symptoms. I came down with diffuse sclero after a bout in Mexico. Guess I got ran down or something, who knows. I think the altitude has something to do with perhaps. I know three others in that town, population around 7000, that have scleroderma. There are more, but I know of three.

It's cold there too, which certainly does not help Raynauds. I've been better since moving to Arkansas, but I am actually moving back to Denver in a few months.

Jennifer

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Hi Sherrill,

 

When you look at life expectancy rates until the mid 20th century, I think a lot of people supposedly died of "old age" when it wasn't just a natural aging process, but the air and water were much cleaner centuries ago. The metals in pewter weren't good for you, and it was phased out after the Colonial period in favor of imported items--china looked better than dull gray plates for starters. It's also odd to think that you could be middle aged by 24 in the 18th and 19th centuries, but overall life expectancy was lower in those days for most.

 

No, not everyone got sick, but not every smoker gets cancer, has heart attacks, or strokes either and you know the doctors opinion about that. I mention that because the only ones in my family (immediate and extended) that have had any serious health issues or died young were life long non-smokers. The smokers were all healthy and lived into their mid to late 80's. No one get any ideas here! It's just to point out that while certain people are affected by toxins, some might respond differently.

 

And if scleroderma was considered primarily a "woman's disease" in the mind of many of the male doctors centuries ago, how many undocumented cases were there?

 

Best to you,

Elehos

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Jennifer, I hope your move goes smoothly. Well, at least you waited to move until after they got most of the countrys accumulation of snow. Is this where your parents and family live? Colorado is beautiful (in the summer) yes siree. Sheryl


Strength and Warmth,

Sheryl

 

Sheryl Doom

ISN Support Specialist

(Retired) ISN Chat Moderator

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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Jennifer,

I live right at the mile high marker in Albuquerque and I do know that the altitude affects my lungs. When I go higher, I can't breathe, but whenever I go to sea level, I breathe so much better and I don't get near SOB. Oh Well - I love living here and wouldn't live any where else. Right now we're still digging out of the 16 inches of snow we got last week and they are saying more snow tonight. It's beautiful!!! The kids have had off all week so they have been sledding every day in the park across the street. I love sitting at my computer listening to the little girls screaming as they go down the hills. Nothing like a little girl's "fun scream."

 

I hope you have a safe and not too tiring move back to Denver. I hope it doesn't have too much of an effect on your health.

 

Big Hugs,

Janey


Janey Willis

ISN Support Specialist

(Retired) ISN Assistant Webmaster

(Retired) ISN News Director

(Retired) ISN Technical Writer for Training Manuals

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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I am moving back to Denver to marry the man I left behind five months ago, to move to a lower altitude and be with my family in Arkansas. I miss him too much and so the love story goes, I went back to Denver last weekend and came home engaged. I have no doubt it's going to be harder on me but I'll just have to use more supplemental oxygen. drag...but in the name of love I will do it. Yes, it's snowing again there...and the summers are fantastic...all five months.

thanks,

Jennifer

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If people get this disease after being sick or tired and run down. If you are a child and sick alot had maybe tonsils and adnoides out and dental work is done, could that be where ours orinigated. A couple surgeries on top of being run down in the first place. Are we getting hotter. I don't think so. But, we have to go thru what happens to the kids up until they are diagnosed I would think. It could be so simple and everyone is overlooking it. Where is our think tank? Sheryl


Strength and Warmth,

Sheryl

 

Sheryl Doom

ISN Support Specialist

(Retired) ISN Chat Moderator

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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Hi Jennifer,

 

Congratulations on your engagement! That is so wonderful. I do hope your move goes smoothly and you are able to re-aclimate to Denver's weather without too much difficulty.

 

Warm wishes,

Heidi

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