According to the Scleroderma Foundation, here’s some scleroderma-related conditions you should look out for:
1 – Gastrointestinal Issues
Individuals living with systemic scleroderma may grow some irregularities from the mouth to the anal canal of the digestive system and gastrointestinal tract.
Also, thickening and fibrosis (or scarring) of the tissues may happen due to the overproduction of collagen that usually occurs in scleroderma patients.
All this combined can result in weakened muscles and lead to the abnormally slow movement of food (dysmotility) in the digestive process.
2 – Gastrointestinal Issues: Esophageal dysfunction
When we eat, food goes from the mouth and throat into the stomach through a tube called the esophagus.
The lower esophageal sphincter, or valve, acts like a gate preventing food from coming back up after passing to the stomach.
Often in systemic scleroderma patients, the gate doesn’t close correctly leaving a backwash of acid and a burning sensation (also know as heartburn) since the food and the stomach acid return into the esophagus.
This process may cause injuries in the lower portion of the esophagus.