What Is Colagenose and the Main Symptoms

The colagenose, also known as a disease of collagen, and is characterized by a group of auto-immune diseases and inflammatory disorders that affect the connective tissue of the body, which is the tissue formed by fibers, such as collagen, and is responsible for functions such as fill in the spaces between organs, provide support, and help in the defense of the body.

The changes caused by the colagenoses can reach various organs and systems of the body, such as skin, lungs, blood vessels, and lymph tissues, for example, and produces the signs and symptoms mainly dermatological and rheumatology, which include joint pain, skin lesions, changes in blood circulation or in the mouth and dry eyes.

1. Lupus

It is the main autoimmune disease, which causes lesions in the organs and cells due to the action of auto-antibodies, and is more common in young women, although it can arise in any person. Its cause is still not completely known, and the disease usually develop slowly and continuous, with symptoms that can be mild to severe which varies from person to person.

  • Signs and symptoms: lupus can cause a wide variety of clinical manifestations, from localized to disseminated by the body, which include skin patches, oral ulcers, arthritis, changes of renal, disorders of the blood, inflammation in the lungs and the heart.

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2. Scleroderma

Also known as systemic sclerosis, is a disease that causes accumulation of collagen fibers in the body, the cause is still unknown, and affects mainly the skin and the blood circulation in this organ, and may also reach the internal organs, such as lungs, heart, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tract.

  • Signs and symptoms: there is usually thickening of the skin, which is more rigid, shiny and with difficulties in blood circulation, which worsens slow and continuous. When it reaches the internal organs of its kind to diffuse, can cause breathing difficulties, changes of the digestive tract, in addition to the commitment of the functions of the heart and kidneys, for example.

3. Sjögren’s syndrome

Is another type of autoimmune disease, characterized by the infiltration of defense cells in the glands of the body, hindering the production of secretion by the glands lacrimal and salivary. This disease is more common in middle-aged women, but can arise in any person and can arise in isolation or accompanied by diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, vasculitis, or hepatitis, for example.

  • Signs and symptoms: mouth and dry eyes are the main symptoms, which can worsen slowly and progressive, and cause redness, burning and feeling of sand in the eye or difficulty swallowing, speaking, increased dental caries, and a feeling of queimor in the mouth. Symptoms in other locations of the body are more rare, but can include fatigue, fever and joint and muscle pain, for example.

4. Dermatomyositis

It is also a type of autoimmune disease that attacks and impairs the muscles and the skin. When it affects only the muscles, can also be known as polymyositis. Its cause is unknown, and may arise in people of all ages.

  • Signs and symptoms: it is common to have muscle weakness, more common in the trunk, hindering the movements of the arms and of the basin, such as combing their hair or sit/stand. However, any muscle can be hit, causing swallowing difficulties, move around the neck, walk, or breathe, for example. The lesions on the skin include reddish brown or purplish and descamações that may worsen with the sun.

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How to treat colagenose

The treatment of a colagenose, as well as any autoimmune disease, depends on its type and severity, and should be guided by a rheumatologist or dermatologist. Usually, involves the use of corticosteroids, such as Prednisone or Prednisolone, and other immunosuppressive agents or regulators of immunity more powerful, such as Azathioprine, Methotrexate, Cyclosporine, or Rituximab, for example, as a way of controlling immunity and decrease their effects on the body.

In addition, some measures such as sunscreen protection to avoid skin lesions, and eye drops or salivas, artificial to decrease the dryness of the eyes and mouth, they can be an alternative to lessen the symptoms.

The colagenose has no cure, however science have sought to develop therapies to more modern, based in the control of immunity with immunotherapy, so that these diseases can be controlled more effectively.

The main causes

There is still not a cause clarified for the emergence of the group of autoimmune diseases that cause colagenose. Despite being related to the activation of wrong and excessive immune system, it is not known exactly what causes this situation.

It is quite likely that there are genetic mechanisms and, even, of the environment, such as living habits and food, as the cause of these diseases, however, the science still needs to better determine these suspicions by further studies.

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To diagnose the colagenose, in addition to the clinical evaluation, the doctor may order blood tests that identify inflammation and antibodies present in these diseases, as a FAN, Mi-2, SRP, Jo-1, Ro/SS-A or La/SS-B, for example. It may also be necessary to carry out biopsies or analyses of tissues with inflammations.