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Scleroderma Causes & Symptoms

Causes

While the causes of scleroderma are not clear, it has been suggested that exposure to certain chemicals can play a role. Scleroderma is more common in women than men and usually affects people in their 30s to 50s.

Symptoms

Esophageal scleroderma can present with:

  • weight loss
  • dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
  • bloating
  • regurgitation
  • severe heartburn

Dysphagia, heartburn, and regurgitation are usually due to reflux and dysmotility of the esophagus. Esophageal strictures and Barrett’s esophagus can also be associated with esophageal scleroderma. The symptoms usually progress slowly with time.