Mixed connective tissue disease has signs and symptoms of a combination of disorders — primarily lupus, scleroderma and polymyositis. For this reason, mixed connective tissue disease is sometimes referred to as an overlap disease.

In mixed connective tissue disease, the symptoms of the separate diseases usually don't appear all at once. Instead, they tend to occur in sequence over a number of years, which can make diagnosis more complicated.

Early signs and symptoms often involve the hands. Fingers might swell like sausages, and the fingertips become white and numb. In later stages, some organs — such as the lungs, heart and kidneys — may be affected.

There's no cure for mixed connective tissue disease. The signs and symptoms are usually treated with certain medications, such as prednisone.

April 03, 2015

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