ZocdocAnswersIs undifferentiated connective tissue disease an autoimmune disease?

Question

Is undifferentiated connective tissue disease an autoimmune disease?

Hello. I'm 38 and have connective tissue disease. Will my body attack itself? What can I do? Is this like AIDS?

Answer

What you are describing is probably a type of autoimmune disease. A connective tissue disease is a generic term to describe an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks its own tissues. An undifferentiated connective tissue disease is a term which basically says that a doctor thinks that you have one of these diseases, but no diagnosis has been made yet. There are many examples of connective tissue diseases including systemic lupus erythematosis, scleroderma, and mixed connective tissue disease. A connective tissue disease has no relation to AIDS. AIDS is an immune system deficiency disease caused by the HIV virus. In some senses, the AIDS and an autoimmune disease are exact opposites. In the former, the immune system is too weak, and in the later, the immune system is too active. Connective tissue diseases require a specialist for treatment. In your case, you should seek care from a specialist to both receive an official diagnosis and to receive treatment. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your rheumatologist. The two of you can discuss what diagnostic tests are necessary to give you an official diagnosis which type of connective tissue disease you have. From there you can be begin treatment that is specific to this disease.

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