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One major problem in scleroderma that affects the quality of life of the patients are the symptoms of reflux. What is the cause of this problem? Reflux is a “backwards flow” of stomach acid moving back up into the esophagus.  Normally stomach acid stays in your stomach because it is blocked from going up by the lower esophageal sphincter. When a person has a reflux problem, the sphincter is too weak to hold the acid back. What are the symptoms? Heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest that is caused by stomach acid moving backwards into the esophagus. The pain is in the

Skin itchiness in scleroderma….. Why does my skin itch? First the extra layer of collagen in the inner layer of skin destroys normal sweat and oil glands. Second, the outer layer of the skin usually has fatty substances that moisten the skin. In scleroderma, this outer layer often gets thinner so there is less oil. Finally, in the early phase of scleroderma inflammation in the skin releases histamine and other chemicals that cause the skin to itch. What can I do to prevent the itching? Avoid the following: Scratchy fabrics such as wool Rubbing alcohol or other products containing alcohol (perfume) Harsh soaps,

Plan to quit smoking. Smoking and tobacco use are risk factors for cardiovascular problems to cancer and can hamper your joints. Replace energy drinks and soda with water. Water makes up about 80 percent of your body’s cartilage (the flexible, connective tissue that cushions your joints). Don’t let extra pounds overtax your joints Always warm-up and cool down. Skipping your warm-up can put your joints at a higher risk of strain and overloading on your muscles and joints, putting them at risk for injury. Listen to your body’s cues. Joint pain after exercise is another as your body is

This is one of the difficult questions that patients feel is to hard to raise and discuss with their doctors. Sexuality is an integral part of being human. It is linked to our quality of life and self-identity. Yet, living with the pain, stiffness, fatigue, limited movement, decreased strength, and depression associated with arthritis can reduce our ability for sexual expression and enjoyment. I had this conversation with one of my clients earlier this week, it was bringing issues within the relationship, I felt it would be good to discuss it further …… Common issues that our patients undergo Men Erectile dysfunction Ladies- Some

Planning to have a baby can be an exciting time in a couple’s life. But if you have systemic sclerosis, or scleroderma, the excitement can be tempered by concerns related to your disease: Will scleroderma affect my baby’s development? Will being pregnant make my scleroderma worse? Will scleroderma complicate my delivery or affect my ability to breast feed or take care of my child? Planning a pregnancy? 1.There is no evidence that having scleroderma will affect your ability to get pregnant, so it’s important to practice effective birth control until you decide the time is right for you to have a child. 2.

Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease affecting the skin and other organs of the body, meaning that the body’s immune system is causing inflammation and other abnormalities in these tissues. It often leads to skin tightening and thickening, and may affect the heart, lungs, kidneys, blood vessels or intestines The word “scleroderma” comes from two Greek words: “sclera” meaning hard, and “derma”, meaning skin. Hardening of the skin is one of the most visible manifestations of the disease. The main finding in scleroderma is thickening and tightening of the skin and inflammation and scarring of many body parts, leading to problems in the lungs,

There is an increased rate of hospital-diagnosed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases associated with chronic inflammatory or autoimmune conditions, including systemic autoimmune or immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (AI/IMIDs), according to study results published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. The risks seem to depend on age, the specific disease, and previous therapies; remarkably increased rates were observed in biologic or targeted synthetic but not in conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drug-treated patients. Researchers concluded, “These data provide a basis to improve preventive recommendations to patients [with the rheumatic disease] and to analyze the specific factors involved in COVID-19 susceptibility.” In summary: Prevention, prevention for our

What is lupus? When it is working normally, the body's immune system kills germs and "bad" cells that could turn into cancer. Sometimes, instead of killing only bad cells, something goes wrong and the immune system starts to attack healthy cells. That is called an autoimmune response. It is what happens in lupus. In other words, if you have lupus, your body is attacking itself. Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many different body systems — including your joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs. No two cases of lupus are exactly alike. Signs and symptoms may come on suddenly or

Rheumatology may not seem to be in the frontline with coronavirus, but we do have a key role to play. We have a high percentage of patients who are vulnerable and at increased risk of coronavirus Am I at risk doctor? Generally, all Patients with rheumatic diseases have reduced immunity caused by their underlying disease, drugs and related comorbidities. The patients with a higher risk include the following Patients with Co-morbidity includes: age >70, Diabetes Mellitus, any pre-existing lung disease, renal impairment, any history of Ischaemic Heart Disease or hypertension, Rheumatoid arthritis or Connective tissue related lung disease Patients on

More than 40 % of Kenyan patients suffer with symptoms of Arthritis before being seen by a rheumatologist 50% of Kenyans take time off from work due to rheumatoid arthritis Source: Genga EK et al. Audit on the management of early rheumatoid arthritis in Nairobi. Afr J Rheumatol 2020; Vol 8(1): 22-25.   Majority of the studies in Africa found that it took the patients about 3-4 years before the diagnosis of gout was made  Research has found that emergence of gout in Africa is driven by Adoption of Western lifestyle in the African continent rising numbers of obesity, hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia