When it comes to mixed connective tissue disease, it has characteristics of systemic sclerosis, polymyolitis and systemic lupus. These conditions cause joint pain, skin abnormalities, weakness and internal organ damage. Mixed connective tissue disease also lead to Raynaud’s syndrome where the fingers becomes pale and numb when exposed to cold temperatures.
The symptoms of the separate diseases do not occur at once but they happen in sequence over years which make diagnosis more difficult. The early signs and symptoms usually occur in the hands where the fingers swell like sausages and the fingertips becomes white and numb. In the later stages, some organs of the body will become affected such as the lungs, heart and the kidneys. Women are more susceptible to this condition. If you want to properly manage this condition, read here.
Symptoms of mixed connective tissue disease
- There is a feeling of being unwell and there is an increased fatigue and a mild fever.
- There is Raynaud’s phenomenon where the fingers feels cold and numb caused by cold or stress. The fingers become white and then purplish blue when there is constriction of the blood vessels. After warming, the blood vessel becomes relaxed, there is improved circulation and the fingers will turn red.
- Swelling of the hands and fingers. Oftentimes, the fingers look like sausages.
- Muscle aches and swelling of the joints and pain. Sometimes, the joints will become deformed which are the same symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Some complications that can be caused by mixed connective tissue disease include the following:
- Mixed connective tissue disease can cause the enlargement of some parts of the heart and inflammation around the heart.
- Mixed connective tissue disease can cause high blood pressure and affects the arteries found in the lungs or pulmonary hypertension.
- Mixed connective tissue disease can damage the kidneys and eventually result to kidney failure.
Treatment and home remedies
- If the individual is experiencing Raynaud’s phenomenon, where the fingers feel cold and there is numbness of the fingers, he/she must wear gloves in order to keep the hands warm.
- Stop smoking. Smoking can cause constriction of the blood vessels which worsens Raynaud’s phenomenon.
- Perform relaxation techniques like yoga can help minimize the stress levels.
Some diets that help reduce mixed connective tissue disease symptoms include the following:
Vitamin D is important for the functioning of the immune system. It also helps in the production and development of cells. Sources of Vitamin D include salmon, sardines, mackerel, egg yolk, orange juice and fortified milk.
Fish oil helps relieve stiffness, joint pain and inflammation that usually occur among people suffering from mixed connective tissue disease. The omega-3 fatty acids help in the improvement of the circulation and lessen sensitivities to cold. Sources of fish oil are fish oil supplements, salmon, mackerel, trout, herring, anchovies and sardines.
Bromelain is an enzyme that is consumed to help minimize arthritic pain and stiffness of the joints. This enzyme is found in the stems and core of pineapple and in the pineapple juice.
Eat a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits and vegetable and helps in maintaining proper nutrition and overall health.