What can one do against collagenosis?
Medicinal suppression of the immune system occupies the main role in treatment of collagenoses. In addition to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as diclofenac or ibuprofen, D-penicillamine (especially in scleroderma), chloroquine (in lupus and Sjögren's syndrome), azathioprine, methotrexate, other modern immunosuppressants and corticosteroids (in all collagenoses) are used.
Treatment of side effects
All substances lead to a suppression of the immune response, but can also make the body more susceptible to infection as a side effect. In addition, symptoms such as dry eyes or mouth with artificial tear fluid and ample fluid intake can be alleviated.
Against the Raynaud syndrome sufficient protection against cold, against the photosensitivity must be a consistent sunscreen in the form of sunscreen with high SPF used. The limitations of movement in scleroderma and arthritic symptoms can be mitigated with targeted exercises.
While the prognosis for Sjögren syndrome and mixed connective tissue disease is good, the prognosis for fibro- / dermatomyositis and scleroderma is serious: depending on the extent and progression of renal, pulmonary and cardiac involvement, the disease can lead to death.
The lupus disease typically runs in spurts, in total, after 10 years, 90 percent of those affected are still alive.
For all collagenoses, there are self-help groups, which are represented with a variety of information on the Internet.
What are risk factors for collagenosis?
Significantly more women suffer from collagenosis, so that a risk factor that can not be influenced is the female sex. Also, one finds an accumulation of collagenoses in people who have a particular antigenic constellation on their immune cells - if someone is HLA-DR2 or HLA-DR3 positive, the risk of collagenosis is threefold. So the genetic disposition can also play a role.
Other risk factors include the use of contraceptive pills and other drugs or infection with certain pathogens. Finally, the aetiology is largely unclarified.