Connective Tissue Disease
Connective tissue diseases (CTDs) are a group of closely related multisystem disease conditions with many overlapping clinical features. The diverse and overlapping symptoms, particularly early in the course of the disease, can make diagnosis challenging. Prompt diagnosis and referral to specialist care is essential to prevent avoidable organ damage and death. CTDs are generally rare diseases, although prevalence differs extensively. Sjögren’s Syndrome is the most common CTD, with prevalence that varies from 0.5 percent to 3 percent within different populations.1
A common symptom of a CTD is nonspecific fatigue. Depending on which CTD is present, and how active it is, a wide variety of symptoms may occur. These include fevers, muscle joint pain and stiffness, weakness, and many other symptoms. Keep reading for a brief overview of symptoms on each particular disease.1,2
- Gaubitz M. Epidemiology of Connective Tissue Disease. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2006;4 (Suppl 3):iii3-4.
- Shoenfeld Y, Meroni PL. The General Practice Guide to Autoimmune Diseases. Lengerich: Pabst Science Publishers; 2012.