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What is Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD)? A few decades ago, scientists discovered that patients with a connective tissue disease had symptoms of both lupus, scleroderma, myositis, etc. These diseases are called ‘overlap-syndromes’. In 1969 Sharp and his co-workers found out that there is one specific type of overlap-syndrome with symptoms of lupus, scleroderma, myositis and rheumatoid arthritis, together with a large quantity of antibodies against one specific antigen, namely U1RNP. They believed it to be a distinct disease entity and called it MCTD. Meanwhile, it is known that Sjogren’s Syndrome is very common in MCTD. It is still a matter of debate whether or not this disorder is diverse from the other overlap-syndromes. In general, however, this disorder is considered a distinct clinical entity. Most important symptoms Raynaud’s phenomenon Is basically always present in the early phase of the disease, mostly without other symptoms at the level of the fingers, unless scleroderma is also present at the onset of the disease. Swollen fingers Mostly all the fingers are swollen in the overall length and become ‘sausage-like’. Sometimes this is only temporary, but occasionally it evolves into sclerodactyly (thin fingers with hard skin and limited mobility). Arthritis In the early phase there is painful swelling of the joints of the hands and feet like in rheumatoid arthritis. Damage to the cartilage or bone, however, is rare. As such, malformations do not occur or only seldom and the function of the joints remains intact. This kind of arthritis is comparable to the arthritis seen in lupus. Muscle inflammation In 10 to 20% of the cases, patients develop a real form of myositis, muscle inflammation (see polymyositis). Two out of three patients suffer from significant muscle pain (no weakening or paralysis), without demonstrable abnormalities in the laboratory test, electromyography or biopsy. Patients complain mostly of pain at the level of the large muscle groups of the shoulder girdle and the upper arms. Lungs The lungs may show the same abnormalities and problems as in scleroderma. Reduced lung volume is common, sometimes reduced absorption of oxygen and rarely overpressure in the lung vessels with fatal outcome occurs. Oesophagus The same complaints as in scleroderma may occur. Heart Inflammation of the heart sac or pericardium (pericarditis) may be acute. Unlike in polymyositis, inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis), which may cause heart failure or arrhythmia, occurs rarely. These complications are very serious and may be life threatening. Neurological damage Meningitis, psychological abnormalities due to brain damage, damage to the spinal marrow or facial nerves have been described. These symptoms occur often in Sjogren’s Syndrome, which often occurs in MCTD. Renal involvement Renal involvement is very rare and can be similar to the damage caused in scleroderma (especially damage to the renal blood vessels) as well as to the damage caused in lupus lupus (damage to the renal filtering units). Skin and mucous membranes The skin may show symptoms of scleroderma as well as of lupus. The mucous membranes (mouth, vagina) and the eyes may be dry due to the Sjogren’s Syndrome . Who can get MCTD and is it hereditary? MCTD is a rare disease. In most cases the age of onset lies between 20 and 50 and 8 to 9 out of 10 patients are female. MCTD is not hereditary. There can be a difference in the disease’s genetic susceptibility: the same susceptibility often seen in lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or Sjogren’s Syndrome, can occur in combination. External factors may also play a role. Some cases of MCTD have been described after the patients had worked professionally with PVC (polyvinylchloride). Evolution Since MCTD overlaps (‘mixes’) different connective tissue disorders, there are many different types, and consequently, many prognoses. Complaints and symptoms depend on the organs involved, the degree of inflammation and the general degree of disease activity. In general the prognosis is favourable if the disease is adequately treated. Life expectancy is comparable to the life expectancy in lupus, i.e. favourable with a few exceptions. Diagnosis The diagnosis is based on complaints, symptoms and organ involvement and on the presence of anti-U1RNP antibodies in high titre (concentration). It is the only connective tissue disease for which one specific type of antibody is necessary to make a diagnosis (at least in most centres). If the doctor suspects the diagnosis of MCTD, some additional tests like lung function tests, heart check-up, examination of the kidneys and blood pressure need to be carried out. In case of muscle complaints or nerve pains an electromyography is necessary. The results of these examinations may also contribute to a diagnosis. Treatment Although treatments with a low dose of corticosteroids have been successful, there is no standard procedure for MCTD. The treatment is based on the type and degree of organ involvement, and can be a treatment for lupus or for scleroderma. The treatment has to be individualised for each patient. MCTD and pregnancy Surveys on the subject are quite different. The influence of pregnancy on MCTD or vice versa can be compared to pregnancy in lupus. Overlapping syndromes Besides MCTD there exist also other overlap syndromes which are less clearly definable or which do not have anti-U1RNP antibodies. As in MCTD, treatment is based on the type and degree of organ involvement and it is individualised for each patient. The evolution and prognosis are also comparable to MCTD, except that there may be more individual dissimilarities among patients. Undefined Connective Tissue Disease (UCTD) In the early phase of a connective tissue disease and especially at the onset of an overlap syndrome or MCTD, the symptoms can be very limited and unusual. Although the onset of a connective tissue disease can be certain in such cases, it is impossible to define the type of disease with certainty. That is why the term UCTD (= undefined connective tissue disease) is used. Mostly Raynaud’s phenomenon, joint pains, sometimes arthritis and muscle pains are present. The evolution is very diverse: some patients remain in this phase while others evolve quickly into a real form of lupus or another type of connective tissue disease. Again, treatment has to be individualised according to each patient. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I do not have all symptoms of this but a lot of them just to give you a general idea.
Wanted to let you know I have new pics of me up in the TUB come check them out and rate them and gimme some comments :) Hugs and Licks, Lizzy B
Hope you all miss me as much as I miss you!! ESpecially my mummers! I hope to be back online fully soon!! I love and miss you all soooo much! Lizzy B
Hey you all, Friends, fans and anyone else!! I am gonna be gone for a while, things in my life are not going well...I had to move out of my house and my struggles have gotten a bit overwhelming. I just want you all to know that I will be back as soon as I can :) Please do not forget me!! I will be adding more pics as soon as I get back too! I hope that you all understand!! Thanks!! Lizzy B
Now this is what I am looking for LMAO! I want a man who will give when he gets :) Or just give hehehe! Anyone that knows me knows I am having a hard time and I am just joking LOL But a man with money does sound nice:) Let me ponder a minute LOL! You know someone who is just a nice man willing to give me SOME :) MONEY YOU DIRTY MINDED MEN! LOL Yes Lizzy B is losing it! Been locked in the snow too long! LMAO!! HUgs and kisses all!

I would love for you to bomb this pic to help me so I can get a blast!! If you do I will thank you in my blast!! And maybe you can get frieds from it too! HELP ME!!! I need a blast...OMG I am beggin LOL

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I put up a few new photos last night that I took myself:) I tried to make them nice. I had not been feeling well for a while but am feeling much better ao I wanted to be (or try to look) as sexy as possible :) Anyway I would love for you all to rate them and comment them to tell me what you think. I am still in the sexiest ass and lips contest if you havent voted here are the links for you again. Thanks again all of you!! KISSES!

I would love to have all you nice sexy men to comment on my ass!! Give it to me BOYS!! Click on the link and comment and rate :D

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