CREST syndrome is an acronym for the features that it packs viz. Calcinosis, Raynaud Phenomenon, Esophaegal dismotility, Sclerodactyly and Telangiectasia. It is basically a class of sclerosis. It is an auto immune disease which is also systemic in nature. Like the case of Scleroderma or sclerosis, there is no definite cure of this condition. However, the treatment is usually done for the symptoms that this condition surfaces.
In this segment we will discuss numerous symptoms of this syndrome. It is important to recognise them and get a correct diagnosis of this condition since if it remains unchecked then severe cases may even require amputation of a body part.
Symptoms Of CREST Syndrome
As in sclerosis, the skin may show signs of hardening. The skin is stretched, fibrous and looks glazy. In extreme cases there might be difficulty in bending and moving fingers. The usual affliction takes place in hands, feet, neck and face region. This syndrome attacks the connective tissue in the body which can then affect other parts of the body as well.
In this condition, calcium deposits begin to accumulate on the soft tissue of the body. In some cases, the build up of calcium deposits can even harm the kidneys making them inefficient in blood purification.
Calcinosis or calcification on skin tissue is a rare phenomenon and is normally a consequence of imbalance in metabolism in the body. Therefore, it makes a vicious circle whereby the access calcium is created and due to disturbances in the metabolism it does not get washed out of the body as well.
Dilation Of Blood Vessels
This is the symptom of Telangiectasia in which the blood vessels or mucous membrane get dilated beyond their usual size and appear as spider veins under the surface of the skin and visible externally. These visible networks of veins may appear on legs, cheeks, skin and in some cases even in the eyes. Women are known to show these symptoms more than the men and afflicts at an age range of 25- 45 years.
On exposure to cold temperatures the fingers or extremities may turn pale white and then into a blue tinge. This happens due to spasms in the blood vessels that run through the fingers.
Though the condition of change in skin colour takes place normally on exposure to cold but the frequency and severity of this condition distinguishes the Raynaud’s phenomenon from rest of the occurrence. This change in skin colour is followed by numbness as well. Emotional stress is also known to cause this kind of muscle spasm and smoking is a risk factor for this condition.
Oesophageal Motility Disorder
Oesophagus transports the food from mouth to the stomach for digestion. Oesophagus plays an important part whereby it ensures one way transportation of food and stops the acid reflux from coming out of the stomach and into the food tract. The motility disorder makes it difficult for a person to swallow the food and they may also experience severe chest pain which usually happens due to disruption in the process of food delivery into the stomach and escaping gas from the stomach.