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Signs and Symptoms

The signs and symptoms that a person with scleroderma experiences may range from mild to debilitating and, in some cases, may be life-threatening. They depend upon the type and severity of the scleroderma and the organs involved and will vary both from person to person and over time. Many of the symptoms may also be seen with other disorders and some are nonspecific. These include:

  • Thickening and hardening of the skin
  • Raynaud phenomenon
  • Joint pain, joint contractures (rigidity)
  • Swelling of hands and feet
  • Gastroesophogeal reflux and difficulty swallowing
  • Fatigue, muscle weakness
  • Dry mouth and mucus membranes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Constipation, diarrhea, and malnutrition

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