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What Causes Scleroderma?

Posted Feb 15 2010 12:00am

If you ask the medical community about the causes of Scleroderma, be prepared for answers like this:

"The causes of Scleroderma are largely unknown."

"The cause of Scleroderma is unknown."

"Although scientists & doctors don't know exactly what causes or triggers scleroderma, they are certain that people cannot catch it from or transmit it to others."

Doctors have not yet reached anything approaching a consensus about the underlying cause of the devastating condition. The causes of Scleroderma are an ongoing subject of research. We may not have a firm answer, but we know that most of the research focuses on a handful of factors. Perhaps one of these areas will eventually give us a definitive understanding of the causes of Scleroderma:

Genetics: There does seem to be a genetic predisposition toward the development of Scleroderma. Many Scleroderma patients are able to identify family members who have either been diagnosed with the disease or who struggled with its most common symptoms. Scleroderma is not a genetic disease, however. There is no evidence to suggest that it can be given to a child from his parents. Genetics likely increase the chance or some individuals to develop the condition.

Autoimmune System: Many have classified Scleroderma as an autoimmune disorder. By definition, autoimmune disorders are illness in which a sufferer's body acts against its own best interest. That is consistent with many of Scleroderma's symptoms.

Hormones: Women in their thirties to mid-fifties are as much as twelve times more likely than men to experience Scleroderma. This has led many scientists to hypothesize that the hormonal differences between women and men may shed light on the root causes of Scleroderma. At this point, they've been unable to link the disease to any hormone, but the tremendous difference between contraction rates in men and women will undoubtedly fuel research for some time to come.

Environmental Factors: Researchers have noticed a higher incidence of diseases closely resembling Scleroderma among those who have been exposed to specific environmental triggers. There is no solid evidence isolating any specific environmental factors as causes of Scleroderma, but the fact that similar disorders can be related to outside considerations creates a strong reason to continue research on this front.

The medical and scientific communities haven't come to a point where they're willing to isolate any specific causes of Scleroderma. They are continuing research into the matter in an effort to discover why some people contract this destructive connective tissue disease.

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Mark_R_John

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