Just as scleroderma could affect any organ by limiting its functions, the function of the lungs is also greatly interfered with if a patient would get scleroderma in his or her lungs. This is seen by numerous lung illnesses such as shortness of breath and coughing. This in turn can also cause problems with the heart such as hypertension and other heart illnesses.
Scleroderma usually begins with Raynaud’s phenomenon which happens on the skin. If the case is limited scleroderma, it would stop there however if it develops into something worse and would start affecting organs within, then that condition is known as systemic sclerosis. This is more likely to happen in women than it is on men and it usually develops somewhere between the ages of 30 and 50. Scleroderma rarely occurs in children.
How Are The Lungs Involved In Scleroderma?
Scleroderma happens when the antibodies in a person’s immune system would attack their own tissues, which is contradicting to their main purpose of protecting it. The cause of this happening is not yet known although some theories have been made. Some have said that the cause of it is genetic and that scleroderma is hereditary while others would say that scleroderma is brought about unwanted factors in the environment such as bacteria or viruses.
If scleroderma reaches the lungs, then that is the beginning of pulmonary involvement in scleroderma. The first signs that can be seen are shortness of breath and dry cough without mucus. If this worsens, this would lead to lung problems that are much worse and even hypertension. Fortunately, medications and other treatments are available for cases of pulmonary involvement in scleroderma.