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Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD) Print E-mail
by Ron Kennedy, M.D., Santa Rosa, CA

Dr. Kennedy Mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD) is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease. Autoimmune disorders are caused when the body's immune system, which is meant to defend the body against bacteria, viruses, and any other foreign product, malfunctions and produces antibodies against healthy tissue, cells and organs. Distinguishing it as different from lupus or rheumatoid arthritis is difficult. The syndrome is characterized by joint pain, muscle weakness, cardiac, lung and skin manifestations, kidney disease, and dysfunction of the esophagus.

The term (MCTD) is used to describe overlapping groups of connective tissue disorders that cannot be distinguished in more precise terms. Whether MCTD should be considered a distinct clinical entity is still a matter of debate. Mixed connective tissue disease can occur at any age, with the average age of onset between 20 and 30. Eight out of ten patients are women. The disease occurs in all races and is found worldwide.

Conventional treatment involves the use of Prednisone and other corticosteroids. Often patients are unable to tolerate the toxic side effects of these drugs. Symptoms are as follows: joint pain, muscle weakness, shortness of breath, lung and skin manifestations, kidney disease, difficulty swallowing.

The alternative, nutritional medicine approach is to identify hidden allergies by blood test and avoid those allergens (primarily foods). Also enzyme potentiated desensitization holds hope for putting the disease in long term remission. As with all autoimmune disorders, detoxification and dietary changes are usually helpful. For best results this should be done under the supervision of a doctor experienced in nutritional medicine. The approach used in homeopathy is to attempt to restore the balance of the system using dilute solutions of natural substances specific to the disorder.

The information in this article is not meant to be medical advice.�Treatment for a medical condition should come at the recommendation of your personal physician.

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