Connective Tissue Disorders – Symptoms & Treatment

Connective Tissue Disorders

Tissues that link all of the body’s components together hold your body together. These linking structures are harmed when you have a connective tissue illness. Autoimmune conditions including lupus, scleroderma, and rheumatoid arthritis are examples of connective tissue disorders.

Connective Tissue Disorders

Any condition that affects the body’s connective tissues, which hold its structures together, refer to as connective tissue disorder. Collagen and elastin are the two proteins that make up connective tissues. The protein collagen is present in blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, skin, cornea, cartilage, and other body tissues.

The main protein in ligaments and skin, elastin is flexible and resembles a rubber band. Collagen and elastin irritate those who have connective tissue diseases. Both the proteins and the bodily components to which they are connected are affected.

Symptoms of Connective Tissue Diseases

Depending on the afflicted regions, connective tissue diseases can cause a variety of symptoms. Also, the inflammation surrounding the lungs is what is causing the most severe symptoms. Lung-related signs and symptoms might consist of:

  • Breathe more difficult.
  • Breathe more slowly.
  • Breathlessness.
  • Fatigue.
  • Bloody phlegm from a cough.
  • Also, anxiety or soreness in the chest.
  • Inability to breathe.

Other signs that do not relate to the lungs include:

  • Inflammation in the fingertips.
  • White fingertips
  • Numb fingertips
  • Weak or painful joints.
  • Muscle weakness


These ailments, often known as heritable connective tissue illnesses, can be inherited from one family member to another. Environmental factors can also contribute to connective tissue disorders. Autoimmune forms of connective tissue disease may have non-inherited origins such as:

  • Exposure to harmful substances, such as those present in cigarette smoke and air pollution.
  • UV light exposure.
  • Inadequate diet, particularly a deficiency in D and C vitamins.
  • Infections.


A medical history and a neurological examination are the first steps in the diagnosis. Diagnostic testing will aid in excluding other causes and confirming a diagnosis. Because connective tissue diseases might present with symptoms that are similar to those of other ailments. A lumbar puncture, commonly known as a spinal tap, and an MRI scan of the brain and spinal cord may be part of these studies.

To check for indications of lung inflammation, a doctor may conduct a chest X-ray. In addition, an electromyogram, which records the impulses sent and received by muscles and nerves, as well as a nerve or muscle biopsy of the afflicted region, may be performed.


Depending on the type of connective tissue condition the patient has, several treatments are available. Also, corticosteroids can be beneficial temporarily or permanently to alleviate inflammation.

Physical and occupational therapy may be a means of managing symptoms. Also, this aids patients in adjusting to living and working settings. Because some disorders might influence a patient’s day-to-day activities. Additional physical assistance, such as braces or a cane, can be necessary. The treatment of pain may be essential for some people.


Every person with connective tissue disorders is unique. It depends on the sort of condition you have, whether you receive therapy, how successful that treatment is, and if you receive it at all. Some connective tissue conditions can be harmful (if they damage the heart, lungs, or kidneys), while others can have very mild effects. While some of these diseases have painful symptoms, others have softer ones. You could be urged to alter your way of life. Thus, it is advisable to consult with your healthcare provider regarding the same.