Myositis and Overlap Syndrome

As with most autoimmune diseases, Myositis seems to enjoy company. Overlap Syndrome is where a patient is diagnosed with two or more autoimmune diseases.

The treatment of overlap syndrome is mainly based on the use of corticosteroids and immunosuppressants.  Learn more about the potential overlaps with Myositis, such as Lupus and Scleroderma.

Some common Overlap Diseases with Myositis


Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease, which frequently overlaps with Myositis. An estimated 1.5 million Americans currently have Lupus compared to 50,000 to 75,000 Americans living with Myositis. While there are four types of Lupus, two are the most common: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, referred to as SLE, and Discoid, also referred to as Cutaneous.

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The word “scleroderma” means “hard skin” and is believed to be caused by an overproduction of collagen. Like most forms of Myositis, it is considered a chronic autoimmune disease primarily affecting the connective tissue, which is tissue that supports organs and other parts of the body. Approximately 300k people in the U.S. have Scleroderma, compared to an estimated 50-75K people with Myositis.

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What is Raynaud's Phenomenon?


Those with Raynaud’s Phenomenon may experience numbness, tingling, prickling,
and/or painful sensations and can see color changes in the skin; mainly in the hands and feet.

Learn more about Raynaud's Phenomenon

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease which can overlap with Myositis. The disease involves the lining of the joints, causing the joints to become swollen and inflamed. RA is not a rare disease, approximately 41 people out of every 100,000 people are diagnosed with the disease. As in most autoimmune diseases, there is no one known cause, and it is more common in women than men.

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Sjögren's Syndrome

Sjögren’s (SHOW-grins) syndrome is primarily characterized by eye and mouth symptoms caused by an abnormal composition and/or impaired production of tear fluid and saliva. White blood cells, in this case, lymphocytes, are attacking the moisture-producing glands causing inflammation in the lacrimal and salivary glands. This causes dry eye and dry mouth. Sjögren’s is the third most common autoimmune disease.

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