So, it’s been a while since I’ve chatted. I want to share with you some challenges in living with autoimmune diseases. I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease about 6 years ago. I also have Hashimoto’s which I’ve had for a while. Both are autoimmune diseases and both are quite manageable– gluten free diet and medication for the hypothyroidism. My oldest daughter also has both diseases.
We’ve been told that if you have one autoimmune disease, you’re susceptible to other autoimmune diseases. I’m now struggling with this issue. For the past 6 months I’ve had pretty bad GI issues, joint stiffness, muscle pain, extreme fatigue and sensitivity to the sun. After a lot of blood work and specialists, I learned I have Systemic Lupus. I see a rheumatologist and right now my only treatment is for the joint stiffness and pain. I’m taking a B-12 nasal spray to help with my energy. Other than that, I’m still feeling crappy. I can’t be out in the sun and I have to limit my physical activity so that I don’t overexert myself. Grrrr!!!! I had to give up tennis!! I need to take breaks, often naps. However, I’m so glad that I have my own business. I’m not able to work a scheduled 8-9 hour job every day.
My GI issues are the most problematic. It makes me weak and I’m losing weight. I’ve seen my GI doctor and he’s concerned it may be one of 3 conditions– Crohn’s Disease, Colitis, or Lymphoma. Here are my thoughts on this:
Crohn’s– Well, that would just be a cruel trick of nature to have both Celiac and Crohn’s. So not cool! However, it doesn’t appear that it’s common to have these three together.
Colitis– Still not cool! It’s common in Systemic Lupus. Treatment is typically corticosteroids. I’m not sure about how I feel about that since I have a bad reaction with steroids.
Lymphoma– Seriously not good! My doc’s concern with this is two-fold. I’m “clustering” autoimmune diseases which seem to indicate something seriously wrong with my immune system. Also, he’s concerned that I had Celiac untreated for so long that it may have stirred up some malignant craziness in my intestines.
So, I’m guessing the lesser of those evils may be Colitis? Anyway, this has been on my mind. I’m getting “scoped” June 30. Yep, this 36-year-old is getting her first endoscopy and colonoscopy at the same time! Pure joy! I’m reaching out to my Celiac/Autoimmune Disease friends for thoughts and experiences.