Collagen Vascular Disease

Collagen Vascular Disease: Overview

Collagen vascular disease is a class of autoimmune disease that affects collagen.

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Collagen is a tough, fiber-like protein that makes up about a third of body protein.  It is part of the structure of tendons, bones, and connective tissues.


Several collagen vascular diseases, including lupus, scleroderma, and rheumatoid arthritis, are more common in women than men.  Collagen vascular disease usually affects adults in their 30s and 40s, but children as young as 15 can be diagnosed with lupus.

Signs and Symptoms

Each type of collagen vascular disease has its own unique set of symptoms.  However, most forms of collagen vascular disease do share some general symptoms:

  • fatigue
  • muscle weakness
  • fever
  • body aches
  • joint pain
  • skin rash

Treatment and Prevention

Treatment for collagen vascular disease depends on the underlying condition.  Corticosteroid and immunosuppressant medications are commonly used to treat connective tissue diseases.


The long-term outlook varies by person and depends on the specific disease.  However, all autoimmune diseases are chronic conditions.  They have no cure, and the patient must manage them throughout their life.  Fortunately there are effective treatments to reduce even severe symptoms.

Signs, symptoms & indicators of Collagen Vascular Disease:

Lab Values - Cells

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Conditions that suggest Collagen Vascular Disease:





Recommendations for Collagen Vascular Disease:




When your immune response is lower, your body will no longer attack itself as much.

Physical Medicine

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy or gentle exercise can be used to treat collagen vascular disease.  Range of motion exercises help retain mobility and may reduce joint and muscle pain.

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Weak or unproven link: may be a sign or symptom of
Weak or unproven link:
may be a sign or symptom of
Strong or generally accepted link: often suggests
Strong or generally accepted link:
often suggests
May be useful: may help with
May be useful:
may help with
Very useful: is highly recommended for
Very useful:
is highly recommended for
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