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Lifestyle Changes to Manage Scleroderma
by Rosalyn Carson-DeWitt, MD
A number of lifestyle changes can help address specific symptoms of scleroderma.
General Guidelines for Managing Scleroderma
Manage Raynaud’s Phenomenon
If you also have Raynaud’s phenomenon, the following changes can help relieve Raynaud’s symptoms:
Maintain Flexibility TOP
Get advice from your doctor about starting an appropriate exercise program to help you continue your daily activities. Learn facial exercises to decrease stiffness of the face and mask-like appearance. Include exercises that help you maintain the range of motion in your joints, improve circulation, and boost your energy levels. Ask your doctor if a consultation with a physical or occupational therapist may help in creating the right program for you.
Improve Your Skin’s Health TOP
Here are strategies:
Decrease Gastrointestinal Problems TOP
Tips for reducing gastrointestinal symptoms include:
Seek Support TOP
Some people with scleroderma may experience depression and anxiety. Consider finding a support group where you can meet other people who have learned to cope with the challenges of scleroderma. Sharing your own struggles and triumphs, and learning from the struggles and triumphs of others can be very helpful. If you smoke, seek help from your doctor or a support group to stop.
Coping with scleroderma. Scleroderma Foundation website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed November 29, 2016.
Localized scleroderma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated June 4, 2013. Accessed November 29, 2016.
Scleroderma. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Scleroderma/default.asp. Updated August 2016. Accessed November 29, 2016.
Systemic sclerosis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116347/Systemic-sclerosis. Updated June 9, 2016. Accessed November 29, 2016.
Last reviewed November 2016 by Michael Woods, MD
Last Updated: 5/20/2015