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Answers tagged scleroderma: Page 1 of 1

Travis from Calgary asks: Do rheumatologists treat Raynaud’s phenomenon?

Raynaud’s is a condition where upon exposure to cold, the peripheral parts of the body – fingers and toes, but sometimes nose or ears – can become painful and change colours from white to blue to red.  It is certainly a condition that rheumatologists may see. Raynaud’s can occur in individuals “just because”, often starting as a young adult.  It can also happen in association with other rheumatic diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and scleroderma.  A rheumatologist can assess a person for Raynaud’s, make suggestions to help, and also ensure the person does not have any underlying rheumatic disease too.


Bethany from Olds asks: My grandmother died from Scleroderma complications at 48 in 1970. I have exhibited many symptoms of Scleroderma for years, and they have all become worse in the last six months.  All the general blood tests my GP has access to have come back negative but is still going to refer me to a Rheumatologist. What are the chances I could have Scleroderma even though all my blood work was fine?

Like many rheumatic conditions, a diagnosis of Scleroderma is not always made based on lab tests.  A good history and physical examination by a scleroderma specialist – usually a rheumatologist – combined with appropriate investigations, will help lead to the correct diagnosis and treatment plan.  While there are a number of blood tests that can be associated with scleroderma, it is possible for them to be negative and still have the condition.


Shawna from Drumheller asks: My Father has been diagnosed with Crest Syndrome.  I have gone to my family physician because of this family history and have found through some basic testing that I am ANA+. They have tested for lupus but nothing come back. Is this something that I should have further investigated or should I not be concerned?

For everyone else, CREST syndrome is now more commonly referred to limited scleroderma, or systemic sclerosis.  CREST stands for Calcinosis, Raynaud’s, Esophageal Dysmotility, Sclerodactyly and Telangiectasias, which are common but not complete manifestations of scleroderma.

An ANA test is a non-specific test on its own.  Approximately 10% of the population is ANA+, and over 95% of them will never have an autoimmune disease.  The most important thing to do, whether or not an individual is ANA positive, is to always monitor for manifestations of illness and to follow up with your physician at that time.  For more on lupus, click here.

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