Crest Syndrome Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment Options
Crest syndrome is an acronym for Calcinosis; Reynaud’ssyndrome; Esophagealdysmotility; Sclerodactyly and Telangiectasia. It is also known as Limited scleroderma. The disease affects the lungs or heart, with potentially serious results. Limited scleroderma has no known cure, and treatments focus on managing symptoms and preventing serious complications. It is known to affect one’s physical appearance and the ability to perform simple tasks.
CREST syndrome can be difficult to diagnose because its symptoms vary widely and often resemble those of other connective tissue and autoimmune diseases.
The common symptoms are tight, hardened skin; small blood vessels in the fingers and toes going into spasms in response to cold or emotional stress, blocking the flow of blood ; red spots or lines on skin, bumps under the skin and problems regarding esophagus in which the patient experiences difficulty in swallowing.
It is believed that CREST syndrome is an autoimmune disorder, in which the immune system of one’s body turns against its own. The immune system stimulates the production of excess collagen, which is a key component of connective tissues. The excess collagen builds up and impairs the function of internal organs and skin.
Several medications are prescribed by the doctor to relieve the patient from the symptoms and reduce the chances of further complications. They may include Antacid drugs, Blood pressure lowering drugs and drugs to suppress the immune system. The doctor may prescribe for Physical therapy or Occupational therapy. An alternative medication includes trying hypnosis or biofeedback, a technique that teaches one to control certain body responses.