Saturday, December 5, 2015

Scleroderma And The Digestive System (part 2 of 2)

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How Is This Treated?

As of today, there is no known cause for scleroderma and because of that, diagnosis is mainly based on symptoms. Doctors can start off by giving a patient medication to help ease him or her of the symptoms. These medications are given in attempt to lessen acid production but if that does not do anything, then procedures that are specific to the affected area are done to relieve a patient of discomforting symptoms.

Medications however are only given to relieve a patient from the effects brought about by scleroderma and not to entirely remove scleroderma from a patient. The cause of scleroderma is unknown and with that, there is no known medicine. Treatment for scleroderma is patient-specific even when it comes to gastro-intestinal involvement. This however can be managed effectively with the help of medical procedures.

How Is This Diagnosed?

If medications do not work or if a patient would develop side effects, then that is where one should have medical procedures. If the esophagus is affected, some medical procedures that can help would be endoscopy, barium swallow and esophageal manometry.

If the stomach is affected, then the patient could also have barium swallow which is similar the one referring to esophageal involvement and a gastric emptying study of which a person eats small amounts of material followed by taking x-rays of their stomach.

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