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aayre (@aayre)

UCTD, low MCV, low MCH and low neutrophils

Autoimmune Diseases | Last Active: Apr 25, 2020 | Replies (6)

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Reviewed by Barbara Goldstein, MD (February 01, 2016)

Undifferentiated connective tissue disease (UCTD) is a systemic autoimmune disease. This means the body's natural immune system does not behave normally. Instead of serving to fight infections such as bacteria and viruses, the body's own immune system attacks itself. In UCTD, autoimmunity may cause the immune system to attack specific parts of the body, resulting in a variety of problems.
The phrase "connective tissue disease" is used to describe the diseases of the immune system that are treated primarily by rheumatologists. These represent systemic autoimmune diseases that often involve the joints, cartilage, muscles and skin. They can also involve any other organ system such as the eyes, heart, lungs, kidneys, gastrointestinal tract, bone marrow, nervous system and blood vessels. Examples of connective tissue diseases include lupus, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren's syndrome, myositis and vasculitis.
There are many people who have features of connective tissue disease, however, they do not fulfill the diagnostic criteria established for any one disease. In such circumstances, they are often considered to have "undifferentiated" connective tissue disease. Over time, people with UCTD may evolve into one of the more specific connective tissue diseases, such as lupus, Sjögren's or scleroderma.

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Replies to "Reviewed by Barbara Goldstein, MD (February 01, 2016) Undifferentiated connective tissue disease (UCTD) is a systemic..."

Thank you, Dr. Goldstein, for your very helpful explanation regarding the vagaries of UCTD. Although I consider myself very grateful for such a non-threatening "disorder" (my blood results indicated that I have 3 out of the 4 markers for Lupus), I can't help wondering if there is something to counteract the chronic fatigue that accompanies the disorder. Having been put on Hydroxychloroquine, any pain that arise can be easily eliminated with Advil, Alive or Aspirin (and for that I am truly grateful). I'm 72; normally active (exercise religiously) but no matter how much sleep I get, I am chronically tired. Is it unrealistic to think that there may be something to help with this in an effort to experience "quality of life?" I've heard all the "caveats" (Are you depressed?). If I am, I certainly don't know about it (72; retired; love to go line dancing at a Senior Center here in Tulsa; just had a dog certified as as "Therapy Dog;" love being retired). Is fatigue just "part of the package" for which there is no remedy? In other words, be grateful that's all I have to deal with? It's enough to tempt one into getting some pep pills "off the street" in order to enjoy what's left of life on Planet Earth! (that's a hyperbolic comment, but don't think it hasn't crossed my mind). I'm sending this in case others have felt likewise (and wonder if I'm just lacking in the "grit" to wade through the fatigue). Thanks in advance for your perspective in this matter.

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