A so-called collagenosis is a special autoimmune disease. In the context of an autoimmune disease, the body’s own tissue is viewed by the human body’s immune system as a so-called foreign body.
What is collagenosis?
Extreme exposure to sunlight is also considered another potential cause of collagenosis.
Collagenosis is recognized by leading medical experts as a serious connective tissue disease. Since several organs can be affected at the same time as part of a collagenosis, different clinical pictures can occur as the disease progresses. See AbbreviationFinder for abbreviations related to Collagenosis.
Among other things, the so-called antiphospholipid syndrome is based on a collagenosis. In this case, the immune system ‘s resistance to the body’s own tissue leads to increased blood clotting.
In addition to the antiphospholipid syndrome, however, the so-called Sjögren syndrome is also mentioned as a typical clinical picture. In the case of Sjögren’s syndrome, those affected primarily complain of painful and burning mucous membranes. The area around the eyes is particularly frequently affected.
To date, the causes of collagenosis could not be fully determined. However, leading physicians see a strong connection between the occurrence of collagenosis and the hereditary factors in those affected.
Since women in particular are particularly frequently affected by collagenosis, physicians focus not only on hereditary factors, but also on the hormone balance of the human body. In addition to the factors already mentioned, a particularly high level of psychological stress can also trigger collagenosis.
Extreme exposure to sunlight is also considered another potential cause of collagenosis. A viral disease is only considered to be the trigger of collagenosis in very few cases. The diagnosis of collagenosis usually requires a longer stay in a clinic.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
A collagenosis initially causes typical general symptoms such as fever and weight loss. Body temperature often remains elevated for long periods, but rarely rises above 38.5 degrees Celsius. Nevertheless, the fever leads to a feeling of illness. In addition to these general signs of illness, various syndromes such as Sjögren’s syndrome or antiphospholipid syndrome appear, which in turn are associated with various symptoms and complaints.
In general, the so-called sicca symptoms develop, with dry eyes and mouth, and vaginal dryness in women. The main symptom of collagenosis is Raynaud’s phenomenon. The fingers turn blue and swell before reddening and eventually dying of the fingers. Associated with this are discomfort, pain and paralysis.
Symptoms can also affect the bones and joints, depending on the type and severity of the autoimmune disease. In severe cases, eczema and erythema also form on the hands and feet, which are occasionally also associated with pain and discomfort. If systemic lupus erythematosus develops as part of collagenosis, skin changes also appear on the face. In addition, cysts form in the area of the palate and the skin becomes sensitive to the sun.
Diagnosis & History
In the context of a comprehensive diagnosis, the taking of a blood sample is always in the foreground. If a first suspicion of collagenosis arises during a blood test in a laboratory, further tests must be considered.
So-called imaging methods, among other things, are used to improve diagnosis. For example, an initial suspicion can be substantiated by means of a chest x-ray. The radiograph should always be taken in two planes. Optimal results can thus be achieved by positioning the radiation source behind the thorax and by positioning the radiation source next to the thorax.
Another imaging method used is an examination of the lungs using ultrasound. As part of this examination, the heart is also subjected to an extensive assessment. If, for example, there is an abnormality in the lungs, in most cases a lung function diagnosis is considered. If the nervous system is already affected by collagenosis, an assessment by a neurologist must be undertaken.
Collagenosis is a relatively serious disease. This severely limits the quality of life and everyday life of those affected. In most cases, this leads to complaints in various organs and also in the nervous system. The exact course of the disease depends on the organs affected, so that a general prediction is not possible in most cases.
If necessary, a transplant is necessary so that the affected person can continue to survive. Paralysis and various sensory disorders can also occur all over the body, making everyday life difficult. It is not uncommon for those affected to also suffer from severe pain, which can lead to irritability and psychological problems. In the treatment of collagenosis, as a rule, there are no special problems or complications.
However, a positive course of the disease cannot be guaranteed in every case. The treatment itself is carried out with the help of medication and can limit those who receive it. Furthermore, some of those affected suffer from so-called phantom pains, which also lead to a reduction in the quality of life. Life expectancy is usually not reduced by collagenosis.
When should you go to the doctor?
If symptoms such as dry mouth or joint pain are noticed, there may be a serious medical condition that needs to be investigated. Medical advice is necessary if the symptoms and complaints increase or have not subsided after a week at the latest. If other health problems develop, such as persistent tiredness or water retention in the hands, it is best to consult your family doctor immediately. Affected persons should have the above-mentioned complaints clarified quickly so that a possible collagenosis can be recognized at an early stage.
If the disease causes severe pain or even psychological problems, the patient must see a doctor immediatelyto inform, who may initiate further therapy and a a psychologist if necessary. can be consulted. From the collagenosis are mainly internistwomenaffected. People who are under stress or have a hormonal disorder are also among the risk groups and should inform their doctor about any unusual symptoms. In addition to the general practitioner, abe consulted. The individual complaints are of differentmedical specialiststo treat. In the late stages, the disease must be treated in the hospital.
Treatment & Therapy
To alleviate the individual symptoms, a therapy tailored to the patient is essential. With regard to the selection of a suitable therapy method, it is essential to name the organs involved in collagenosis .
Patients who are suffering from collagenosis without organ involvement, for example, should primarily be treated symptomatically. Drug therapy is usually initiated in consultation with the treating physicians.
In addition, regular monitoring by a doctor is recommended as part of this form of therapy. If individual organs have been attacked as part of the disease, immunosuppressive treatment should be carried out.
As part of an immunosuppressive treatment, individual processes of the immune system are suppressed. The defense of the immune system is thus turned off. Cortisone is therefore often used at the beginning of therapy.
Outlook & Forecast
Collagenosis is an autoimmune, inflammatory soft tissue rheumatism. The various forms of collagenosis have a good prognosis, but cannot be cured. Living with this autoimmune disease leads the patient permanently through sections of various local inflammations, pain and discomfort, but also through relatively pain-free onestimes. These are also referred to as active and inactive disease phases. The severity of pain symptoms varies. Mild, moderate to severe pain can occur, which is characterized by temporal flare-ups.
The goal with regard to the existing prognosis for collagenosis is to treat the pain symptoms in such a way that a largely symptom-free life is possible for the patient. The use of pain medication and anti-inflammatory drugs is therefore carried out by the doctor individually tailored to the patient and the specific symptoms.
Patients with collagenosis must undergo regular medical check-ups throughout their lives in order to identify and prevent consequential damage and health changes due to various sources of inflammation in good time. In the case of intense flare-ups with severe pain or organic impairments, the doctor should also be consulted. The pain medication may then be adjusted to the temporary flare-up.
Since the causes of collagenosis have not been clearly determined to date, no concrete recommendation for prevention can be given. Thus, only the symptoms associated with the disease can be alleviated. If the individual symptoms are not treated, so-called phantom pains can occur. The so-called phantom pains always lead to lasting symptoms, even though the underlying disease has already been cured.
In the case of collagenosis, those affected usually have very few or even no special options for aftercare, since this disease usually cannot be completely cured. However, since self-healing is not possible either, the person affected by collagenosis should consult a doctor at the first signs and symptoms of the disease in order to prevent the occurrence of further complications or a further deterioration of the symptoms.
An early diagnosis usually has a very positive effect on the further course of the disease. Most patients with this disease depend on taking medication to protect the internal organs from the discomfort and to avoid other complications. The doctor’s instructions must always be followed, and questions or side effects should always be discussed with the doctor first.
Patients with collagenosis should also protect themselves particularly well against infections or other diseases, since the immune system is significantly weakened. The help and care of those affected by their own family can also be very helpful with this disease and prevent possible psychological problems.
You can do that yourself
Since the cause of collagenosis has not been sufficiently researched, no comprehensive self-help measures can be given. The disease represents a serious intervention in the lifestyle of those affected. It is therefore particularly important to pay attention to a stable psyche. Positive thinking is helpful in dealing with the disease in everyday life. Various activities to improve well-being should be undertaken in a targeted manner. Variety and life-affirming leisure activities are recommended.
A reliable social environment is beneficial when dealing with daily challenges. Contacts should therefore be maintained and withdrawal behavior avoided. A healthy lifestyle is beneficial. This includes a balanced diet rich in vitamins and sufficient exercise. The physical activities are to be adapted to the current possibilities. In principle, excessive demands should be avoided. The consumption of alcohol, drugs or medication that has not been agreed with the doctor treating you is to be avoided. Optimal sleep hygiene is necessary for restful sleep. The conditions should therefore be checked and adapted to individual requirements.
For many of those affected, an exchange with other sufferers is very helpful and is perceived as pleasant. In self-help groups or in forums, an exchange with other people can be maintained. Discussions based on trust are held and mutual support is given.