In autoimmune diseases, the human body starts attacking its own system. These illnesses share some similarities with one another.
They could include arthritis and artery inflammation in the tissues. Previously, it was thought that these illnesses were always associated with connective tissue or collagen vascular disease.
We have a collagen vascular disease list known currently with these specific names:
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Polyarteritis nodosa
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Mixed connective tissue disease
- Relapsing polychondritis
In cases where a specific disease cannot be identified, broader terminology like collagen vascular disease may be employed.
Collagen Vascular Disease
A collection of connective tissue illnesses brought on by deficiencies in collagen are collectively referred to as collagen vascular disorder or disease in medicine.
A connective tissue made of proteins called collagen joins or connects many tissues and organs, including blood vessels, muscles, joints, and the skin.
Women and those between the ages of 30 and 40 are more likely than men to suffer from collagen vascular disorders, particularly the more prevalent ones like lupus, scleroderma, and rheumatoid arthritis.
However, there are occasional instances where patients who are 15 years old or younger start showing collagen vascular disease symptoms.
Cause of Collagen Vascular Disease
The cause of autoimmune collagen vascular disorders is unknown to experts.
According to some studies, your immune system may change due to specific germs, viruses, or medications. Lupus is one autoimmune condition that frequently runs in families.
Gene mutations cause collagen vascular disorders that inherit in families. The gene mutation may be passed down to you by either or both of your parents. Or it might take place for an unknown reason. Congenital cases are ones where a person inherits the illness from their parents. Several instances include:
- Mutations in the genes COL4A3, COL4A4, and COL4A5 give instructions for producing type IV collagen, resulting in the disorder known as Alport syndrome. The kidneys, inner ear, and ocular components depend on the protein. Hearing loss, eye problems, and glomerulonephritis can all be brought on by the disorder.
- Ehlers-Danlos syndrome – COL5A1 or COL5A2 gene mutations are the most frequent causes of this gradual collagen degeneration.
- The Loeys-Dietz syndrome, which results from a mutation in the TGFBR gene on chromosomes 3 or 9, can produce aortic aneurysms in young persons.
The following are some of the most prevalent autoimmune collagen vascular diseases:
- Sjogren’s syndrome is a chronic condition that slowly worsens and affects a person’s capacity to produce saliva and tears. It frequently coexists with lupus, scleroderma, or rheumatoid arthritis.
- Rheumatoid arthritis is the most prevalent form of autoimmune arthritis and is characterized by inflammation of the joint-containment membranes. It results in stiffness, joint pain, and fewer joint movements. The illness can occasionally impact the skin, eyes, and lungs.
- Scleroderma is a condition that develops when immune cells that make scar tissue are activated. The illness typically affects the epidermis, tiny blood arteries, and internal organs.
Collagen Vascular Diseases Symptoms
The symptoms of collagen vascular disease can change depending on your illness. Generally speaking, numerous collagen vascular diseases symptoms are:
- Painful joints
- Muscle pain.
- Muscle sluggishness
- Skin rash
Your susceptibility to ultraviolet (UV) light may also increase due to several collagen vascular illnesses. For instance, UV exposure or sunburn in lupus patients can cause severe, blistering rashes that resemble an allergic reaction.
Patients may also suffer symptoms specific to their disease in addition to these usual symptoms. For instance, people with lupus frequently experience headaches, mouth ulcers, dry eyes, and chest pain.
Additionally, they are more likely to get a stroke, a miscarriage, and heart disease. In contrast, the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include stiffness, loss of range of motion, and pain and inflammation of the connective tissues between joints.
On the other hand, the indications and symptoms of scleroderma can vary depending on the area of the afflicted body. Patches of skin can become tighter and harder if the disorder affects the skin.
Additionally, the skin may appear extremely glossy, and the affected area may have a limited range of motion.
If the digestive system is the issue, patients frequently experience acid reflux and have difficulty getting enough nutrients from their diet.
The condition known as temporal arteritis affects collagen. Giant cell arteritis is another condition in which the large arteries inflame. Scalp sensitivity, recurrent headaches, jaw discomfort, and eyesight issues can all be brought on by this illness.
Mixed connective tissue diseases can also result in fever, swelling fingers and hands, and numb extremities.
Diagnosis & Tests for Collagen Vascular Disease
Your doctor talks about your symptoms to identify collagen vascular disease. They check you physically to look for indications of connective tissue issues.
They might check your muscles, joints, or skin. A diagnosis of collagen vascular disease may include tests like these:
- X-rays and CT scans are imaging procedures to examine your inside organs and bones.
- Urinalysis to examine your urine for indications of an infection or specific proteins.
- Obtain a blood test to determine your hormone levels and rule out any underlying medical disorders that might be causing your symptoms.
- To examine your heart’s health and blood flow through it, do an echocardiogram.
- Through a biopsy, your connective tissue will be examined under a microscope.
Treatment for Collagen Vascular Disease
Collagen vascular disorders are incurable. However, you can treat your symptoms. For connective tissue illnesses, typical therapies include:
- Corticosteroids are drugs that help your immune system stay stable and minimize inflammation. Some of the most popular medicines for treating autoimmune diseases include corticosteroids. They are made to mimic the actions of the hormones the body naturally produces to manage inflammation and weaken the immune system so it won’t assault healthy tissues.
- Immunosuppressants are drugs that safely lower your immune function so your body won’t assault healthy tissues. Patients are frequently recommended to participate in physical therapy and keep active by performing low-impact exercises to maintain or enhance muscle mobility.
- Physical therapy helps lessen joint or muscle pain and improve strength and range of motion.
The long-term prognosis of collagen vascular disease patients depends on their particular symptoms and access to care. The quality of life for people with collagen illnesses can be enhanced or maintained even though these conditions are chronic and incurable.
The majority of patients with collagen vascular disorder do not require surgery. Your healthcare professional might advise joint replacement surgery if you have a disorder that severely damages your joints.
People with specific connective tissue disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, are more likely to receive this treatment.
At HG Analytics, we provide diagnostic tests for collagen vascular disease. Get in touch with our staff for more details on diagnostic test advantages pre and post-symptoms.