Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis Symptoms: Causes And Treatment

Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis is a progressive disease which is usually chronic in nature. While the prevalence of the condition is fairly low, in some cases, partial to complete resolution is observed, without any specific therapy or treatment. Most experts believe that medical treatment of the condition is associated with unreliable results.

The conventional treatment is not only expensive but in most cases, nonproductive.

Cause Of Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis

Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis is a condition characterized by fibrosis of the skin and internal organs, but is different from scleroderma. The condition is attributed to exposure to gadolinium (a contrast agent used for imaging studies in patients with poor renal functions) and there is evidence of the contrast present in the nephorgenic tissue.

The condition is uncommon and the prevalence is fairly low. In a study conducted in Denmark, the condition had an estimated prevalence rate of 12 per million, the highest in the world. Other countries like France have laid down guidelines for the use of gadolinium and no cases have been reported since.

No racial or sexual predisposition has been observed.

Symptoms Of Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis

Reports suggest that the condition is linked with increased mortality and morbidity. The condition can result in increased risk of contractures and fractures in patients within weeks of exposure, leading to most patients becoming dependent on a wheelchair for mobility. Some of the signs associated with the condition include,

  • Dark red patches on the skin. Itching and burning on the skin which is associated with swelling and hardening of the skin. In some cases subcutaneous nodules are also observed. Cellulitis may also be present with typical peau d’orange appearance of the skin. The skin is too shiny and hard to touch.
  • Yellowish spots on the sclera of the eyes. Yellowish discoloration is also observed on the trunk though the face is almost never involved.
  • Stiffness of the joints and trouble especially to move or attempting to straighten the joint.
  • Severe throbbing pain in the bones, especially the arms, wrists, hips and knees. The condition is also accompanied with generalized muscular weakness, which is attributed to formation of contractures and atrophy.

Natural Treatment For Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis

Unfortunately, modern medicine has little to offer in treatment of this condition. While there are host of treatment modalities, there is a clear lack of therapy prescription guidelines, which makes the treatment regimen ineffective.

While there have been different specific treatments/ drugs aimed at improving the texture of the skin or improve joint mobility or enhancing renal functions, in most cases the treatment has been ineffective and incomplete as a whole.

Alternative therapy can be useful and at times can help complement the treatment regimen recommended by physicians. Some of the home remedies/ natural treatment options include,

  • Add two teaspoon of honey and turmeric to a glass of milk and consume three times a day. Honey and turmeric have anti-inflammatory properties and can help in regression of fibrosis of the tissue, especially the skin and muscle tissue. Alternatively local application of turmeric paste may also be useful.
  • Homeopathic drugs namely Bryonia and Rhus Tox can help alleviate the joint pain and generalized muscular weakness. Consumption of these medicines in low potency and repeated four times a day can help improve mobility. Simple and complementary physical therapy should help hasten recovery and ensure mobility.

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