Connective Tissue Disease: Types And Causes

Connective tissue diseases occur in different parts of the body, know different types and causes of this disease.  

Puru Bansal
Written by: Puru BansalPublished at: Apr 09, 2022Updated at: Apr 09, 2022
Connective Tissue Disease: Types And Causes

Our body is held together with tissues that connect different structures of the body together. Tissues and muscles need to be aligned in a way that there is no discrepancy in the outcomes of activity performed. If you have a come across the disease called connective tissue disorder, then you will notice many abnormal conditions that can hamper your movement and ability to perform daily tasks. There are many different kinds of connective tissue disorder that could negatively impact your health and therefore lead you to autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, etc. Today we will know about connective tissue disease in detail and understand different types of it.  

What are Connective Tissue Diseases? 

A connective tissue disease can affect any part of the body. We spoke to Dr. Umesh Mishra, Head of Ortho Department, BNK Hospital, Bangalore to tell us more about this tissue disease. Connective tissues are made up of two proteins known as collagen and elastin that affect proteins in the tendons, ligaments, skin, cornea, cartilage, bone and blood vessels. This disease can affect almost any part of the body that is connected with the structure together. Especially near the joints, it could have an adverse effect on the health. You may have the risk of developing the following conditions if you have connective tissue disease- 

  • Rheumatoid arthritis 
  • Lupus disease 
  • Scleroderma 


Types of Connective Tissue Diseases

If taken in consideration, there can be more than 200 different types of connective tissue diseases that exist. However, most of them are very rare. Most commonly affected areas are hands and knees. You may have heard about these diseases before but today, know the connection beneath it.  

1. Rheumatoid Arthritis 

It is one of the most commonly affected tissue disorder that can be inherited. Even though rheumatoid arthritis is autoimmune disorder, it can affect your health at any point of the stage. Rheumatoid arthritis affects its own body cells because of which it results to inflammation in the body. Immune cell attacks affect tissue membranes around the joints and can affect some major functions of the body. It can affect your heart, lungs and eyes. This disease also affects more women than men.  

2. Scleroderma 

Another autoimmune condition that can cause scar in the tissue and affect the internal organs in the body. Scleroderma can impact tissue of the skin and gastrointestinal tract and the small blood vessels. It also happens to women more often than men and can remain through rest of their lives. Scarring because scleroderma can occur to women 15 times more during bearing child and during pregnancy.  

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3. Churg Strauss Syndrome 

One of the types of autoimmune vasculitis is because it affects your cells in the blood vessel. This condition can have a major impact on your lungs, gastrointestinal tract and nerves. This is a very serious condition but affects comparatively less people than other connective tissue diseases.  

4. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus 

This is a disease that is responsible for causing inflammation in the connective tissue. It could be very harmful for the body and can affect almost all the organs in the body. These can include brain, skin, blood and then lungs. This connective tissue disorder is around 9 times more common in women than it is in men. 


5. Microscopic Polyangiitis 

This is also known as MPA disease in short form. Microscopic polyangiitis affects your blood vessels present in the organs and that can affect your blood vessels. Blood vessel disorder can spread to any organ in the body because of this condition. It is a rare disease and affects minimal people.  

6. Dermatomyositis  

A disease that is famous to cause inflammation and degeneration of the muscles. When this condition affects your skin then it is called as dermatomyositis. Another name for this disease is called as polymyositis.  

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Causes of Connective Tissue Diseases 

Most of the conditions that are associated with connective tissue disease can be autoimmune disease and thus genetics can play a major role. Heritable disorders of connective tissue can also exist in this where the causes are minimal. It is usually affecting that environment imparts on the body. The other one is non-inherited connective tissue disease that can cause the following symptoms- 

  • Exposure to toxic chemicals 
  • Because of cigarette smoke 
  • Exposure to ultraviolet light 
  • Inadequate nutrition which lacks vitamin D and vitamin C 
  • Infections 

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