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Flutherit's avatar

What kind of doctor and how do they test for schleroderma?

Asked by Flutherit (52points) May 18th, 2011

I need to know.

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9 Answers

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Go to your primary care doctor, have them figure out who is best to refer you to based on your symptoms.

Seaofclouds's avatar

There are a number of tests (blood tests, xrays, ct scans, and more) that can be done depending on the symptoms the person is having. A general family doctor could start the tests and then refer the patient to a rheumatologist or other specialist (cardiologist, pulmonologist, etc.) depending on what symptoms the patient has. Some patients end up needing to see multiple specialist at the same time because of the symptoms they experience.

JLeslie's avatar

Rheumatologist for sure. They will do a lot of bloodwork and look at the skin for hardening. Can I ask why you think for sure schleroderma is a possibility? What are the symptoms you or the person has?

Flutherit's avatar

@JLeslie skin hardening, pain, stiff….

JLeslie's avatar

@Flutherit They will also check for lung involvement, sometimes seen fairly early, definitey the doctor will listen to breathing and maybe more extensive lung tests. Many times they might do an echo or some other test fort he heart. Depends what they find when they examine the patient. But for sure blood tests. Rule other rheumatological possibilities out.

Are your hands very cold all of the time?

Flutherit's avatar

@JLeslie You asked me in your comment.

JLeslie's avatar

@Flutherit I know, I already changed it. It was so late at night I did not realize you were the OP at first. Sorry for the mistake initially. My apologies. I hope you are able to get your answers at the doctor. I personally think the little bit of research done regarding schleroderma being infectious is very interesting. I think a lot of autoimmune is actually infectious. There were small nonscientific studies done using minocycline, the doctors wanted to thik it was a different property in the antibiotic making patients better, not the antibacterial property. I have no idea if bigger studies were done. I don’t think antibiotics are commonly used present day, and it is still considered autoimmune so I would guess that research went nowhere.

There are other diseases that causes the skin to harden. I think NSF? Is related to kidney disease? I don’t know enough about it.

See a Rheumotoloist.

Flutherit's avatar

@jLeslie I thought I was seeing things when I didnt see your answer.No, my hands arent cold.
What is NSF?

JLeslie's avatar

@Flutherit I know very little about it. I remember hearing about it related to the dye they inject for MRI’s with contrast or something like that? I think it is only a risk if the person has kidney problems. What I don’t know is if it is a risk simply with kidney problems in general? I wish I knew more for you regarding NSF. I know a little more about schleroderma obviously. Schleroderma can be very localized or systemic. Systemic can get to be very serious, so you might want to be evaluated sooner rather then later. But, my favorite rheumatologist once said to me, “if you are only a little sick you might never get a good diagnosis, when you very sick that is when the medical doctor might finally figure it out.” I have had a few wrong diagnosis in my lifetime.

Any chance you could be allergic to something? A soap? That can tighten the skin over time.

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