A wide variety of tissues make up the body. Connective tissue refers to fibers that add structure to cells. Muscles are a form of tissue that allows for body movement. Soft tissues cover the body, while nervous system tissues cover the nerves, brain and spinal cord. All these tissues can be affected by disease, which can range from mild to serious.
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Mixed Connective Tissue Disease
The Mayo Clinic says that mixed connective tissue disease is an autoimmune medical condition in which people display symptoms of lupus, scleroderma and polymyositis. Lupus is an autoimmune disorder against certain regions of the body such as the skin and joints. Scleroderma refers to a connective tissue disease affecting areas like the organs and skin. Polymyositis refers to a muscle inflammation disease.
Specific symptoms of mixed connective tissue disease include joint swelling, fatigue, muscle weakness, joint pain, fever and swelling of the fingers. People suffering from this disease can also develop Raynaud's phenomenon, a condition in which the blood vessels suddenly constrict and leave the nose, ears, fingers or toes cold and even numb.
Unfortunately, the exact cause for mixed connective tissue disease is unclear, but it is an autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks itself.
Treatment for this disease involves taking prednisone, a corticosteroid that can reduce swelling and inflammation. Sometimes, treatment may not be necessary if the symptoms are not severe.
Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is a connective tissue disorder that affects less than 1 in every 100,000 people, says UW Medicine. Specific symptoms of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome include soft and stretchable skin, easy bruising or tearing of skin, double jointedness, poor wound healing and curvature of the spine (scoliosis).
Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is the result of a mutation in a gene that is supposed to produce a normal form of collagen. Instead, the collagen produced is abnormal and causes Ehlers-Danlos syndrome's characteristic symptoms.
Avoiding certain high-impact activities, such as baseball, that can aggravate the symptoms is one way to manage the disease. So, take part in low-impact exercises, such as swimming. Keeping the area clear of any objects that may lead to a fall is another way to manage Ehlers -Danlos syndrome. Surgery may be another treatment option to repair any dislocated joints.
MedlinePlus says that rhabdomyosarcoma is a potentially life-threatening soft tissue tumor that is typically found in regions of the head, neck, legs, arms and urogenital tract (kidneys, bladder and genitalia).
MedlinePlus states that symptoms depend on where the tumor is situated. Tumors residing in the throat or nose result in bleeding, nasal congestion and trouble swallowing. Tumors in the bladder or vagina may lead to urinary problems and bowel obstruction. The tumors can actually grow in the muscles can cause a painful lump. Unfortunately, rhabdomyosarcoma's cause is unknown.
Treatment for rhabdomyosarcoma involves taking chemotherapy medications such as vincristine, doxorubicin, topetecan, melphalan or cyclophosphamide. Radiation therapy and surgery are other options to manage rhabdomyosarcoma.