Scleroderma and stomach issues

I googled my symptoms and everything I put in points to Scleroderma. I have alot of stomach pain and pain after I eat and colon pain and bleeding. My question is, I am having a upper and lower endoscopy done at the end of this month. Will they be able to tell if I have Scleroderma from these test. I'ts my last hope of getting help if it is what I have. Even though I had a positive ANA and RA and then a negitive one 6 months later. I am puzzled. I believe this is what I have, but because I have had a negitive that after the positive one they said it's Fibromylagia and I don't think It's just that.

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The endoscopy could show whether or not you have what they call "watermelon" stomach -- a specific kind of gastritis that oozes blood and got it's name because it kind of looks like the stripes on a watermelon. Not all gastroenterologists know that it is a classic sign of scleroderma, so be persistent in following up.

Ask to see pictures of the results and take them to a rheumy -- preferably one that knows about systemic sclerosis (another name for systemic scleroderma). This type of gastritis can also be the source of anemia in many SSc patients.

I don't know enough about what it means when the ANA and RA tests are positive one time and negative the next.

Another classic symptom is Raynaud's -- a vascular problem that causes your hands to get very cold and the fingers to turn white and blue when you are exposed to cold. A lot of us experience it in grocery stores and air conditioning.

Good luck with the doctors and don't give up until you get a proper diagnosis -- whatever it ends up being.

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I'm not sure about the colon bleeding (other than the watermelon stomach as mentioned above), but what type of stomach pain are you having? Cramps, heartburn, acid reflux? A common secondary problem to scleroderma is GERD or acid reflux. Not because there is too much acid production, but because we've lost elasticity of the lower esophageal spincter (LES) aka cardiac sphincter. The spincter doesn't close off from the stomach properly, and so results in GERD or acid reflux or heartburn. I did an endoscopy, and it confirmed inflammation which affected the sphincter's function.

I suppose similarly this could affect the Pyloric sphincter on the other end of the stomach as well, and be affecting your small intestines. But I don't know as much about that.

Confirming scleroderma is more than just one test, so the results of your endoscopies may contribute to the diagnosis, but it really does take a team effort. I hope your GI doc will talk to your rheumatologist (I also have a pulmonologist on my 'team'; and don't forget you are the most important team member - it's great that you're here asking questions).

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The ANA and RA shouldn't be the only things they look at. Both of mine have always come back as negative, yet I have a ton of the other symptoms. Stomach issues being one and recently acid reflux becoming a problem. My tests have have many contradictive results. It took the doctor a year before he finally would admit it was schleroderma. He was hoping it was a mimicer.

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Hi, I can't say if your symptoms are related to scleroderma or not, but I can say that after years of intestinal bleeding and stomach/intestinal problems that there can be soooo many causes to these types of problems. If your colonoscopy/endoscopy come back normal don't become discouraged. You should have your small intestine checked as well for problems. A lot of problems go on in the small intestine and only recently have started to be investigated further. A pill endoscopy is one of the better ways to have the small intestine checked. You could have enlarged submucosal lympnodes, ulcerations in the sm intestine, endometriosis (if your female), infections, etc. If you don't feel confident in your doctors findings, push to see alt gi docs till you feel everything has been validated.
I hope that helps.
Sarah M

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