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Any other autoimmune disorders??

Discussion in 'Women's Alopecia Areata' started by sgomez33, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. sgomez33

    sgomez33 Guest

    Since I have been reading and posting on these boards, I have noticed an uncanny assosiation between having Alopecia Areata and other autoimmune disorders. I also read in the NAAF pamphlet that poeple w/ Alopecia Areata are more suseptable to other autoimmune disorders such as lupus,early onset diabetes, thyroid problems, and rheumatoid arthritis, eczema, and nail deffects. I was wondering if anyone on these boards was also diagnosed with any of these other conditions.

    I myself have had eczema since I was a baby, and have recently been diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroiditis, and my doctor suspects I have a form of Reumatoid Arthritis caused by lupus. It has affected my knee to where I had very limited range of motion, and just recently it has affected my ankle. It feels much like a bad sprain, eccept I didn't sprain it. I find this very frusterating, and I am starting to feel a bit helpless and hopeless. The condition that I fear the most is diabetes. It runs in both sides of my family so that makes me even more suseptable because of my AT.

    If any of you find yourselves in similar situations I would love to talk about it. I really need support, and I would also like to educate myself a bit regarding other autoimmune conditions assosiated w/ Alopecia Areata. Thanks :) Sarah
     
  2. Redheaduk

    Redheaduk Guest

    Hi Sarah,

    I've heard this too.

    I had infantile eczema but I grew out of that.

    My derm also said things like hayfever and asthma increased your chances of devoping Alopecia Areata.
     
  3. SAMANTHA07

    SAMANTHA07 Guest

    i have hayfever but nowadays it is so normal with the polluted air!!
     
  4. crashanna

    crashanna Guest

    where do I begin!! I have asthma, hayfever, excema (very bad as a child), as yet undiagnosed endometriosis and to top it all off a nice shiney chrome dome!!!....all autoimmune. My auntie has very bad rheumatoid and my mum has fibromyalgia both of which are also autoimmune. Scraped the bottom of the gene pool hey??
     
  5. justme

    justme Experienced Member

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    Does your mom have thinning hair or just easy to break ? I have fibro and that is how my hair is . I read fibro can be bad on your hair as well as giving you non stop pain, and i guess the stress of that isnt good for your hair or anything else.
    :(
    thanks

    valentine :heart:
     
  6. crashanna

    crashanna Guest

    I was home in february in in the 2 years it had been since I last saw my mum she has thinned quite badly. Typical Androgenetic Alopecia pattern with thinning at the front and on the crown. Quite hard for me to see as this is about a month before I gave up the fight and bought a wig and also I know that although she didn't say much she is upset over it....BUT has also made me try hard to get on the road to acceptance with being bald, my mum has genetic thinning, I have areata....the odds are stacked against me so the only thing to do is become comfortable with who I am and not waste any more time being miserable about this. It's a day to day thing but I think I'm doing pretty well ;)
     
  7. Joann

    Joann Moderator

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    Hi Sarah & Girls,

    I hear you. I had very bad eczema through my childhood and teens. I occasionally get a bit on my hands. I have had endometriosis in the past. I'm also hypothyroid , have a high rheumatoid factor, Sjogren's Syndrome and most recently been diagnosed with sleep apenea. I see an immunologist twice a year who monitors me as some with Sjogren's develop lymphoma.

    Alopecia Areata and other autoimmune conditons do seem to go hand in hand but there are many diagnosed with Alopecia Areata who don't have any other autoimmune conditons going on & are quite healthy.

    I'm glad to help with your concerns or questions if I can.

    Hugs, Joann
     
  8. Hi, I have Alopecia Areata, my daughter has endometriosis I didn't realize it was an auto immune disease is that correct?
     
  9. GoodYear

    GoodYear Guest

    Well, I have the other way around: I have rheumatic arthritis, but I do not have other auto immune diseases. It also does not run in the family (not a single auto immune disease). So, I am the lucky one! I also have Androgenetic Alopecia, as the single one in my family. Lucky me! I do not have excema to, and my family also not. In fact our whole family has a skin to be jalous off (well, now I am lucky!).

    I hope I stay with RA. RA is hard enough. I am watching now at my pink finger and I see distortion of the bones. I hope it is not damaged, but 'only' swelling.
     
  10. catfancy

    catfancy Guest

    I have bouts with eczema. I had it a bit when I was 8-9 but it went away but returned when I was 19. I also have Hashimoto's and PCOS (I guess).

    My mother had type 1 diabetes (the autoimmune kind) and she was hypothyroid, but I don't know if she had Hashimoto's or not. I doubt she ever had her antibodies tested. This is why some of my docs think I might have Alopecia Areata. But who knows?
     
  11. sgomez33

    sgomez33 Guest

    Wow, ladies, thanks for your responses.

    Well, it seems as if though autoimmune dicorders are even more common than Alopecia Areata.

    Joanne,

    I also have eczema on my hands, but all the time. I think it's because I'm constantly washing my hands and doing dishes. I can't wear the latez gloves, or the vinyl ones when I clean. They irritate me more. I didn't know that there was a specific doctor for autoimmune disorders. I am seeing an endo for my thyroid, but he said that he can't treat me for RA. He recommended I see a rheumotologist. What does your doctor specialize in? How does he monitor you? I know your live in Canada, and maybe things are different there, but you give great advice. What kinds of questions should I be asking my docs? It seems that every time I go to the doctor's, I feel pressed for time and I don't know what I should be asking, or I just forget.
     
  12. catfancy

    catfancy Guest

    Joann-- what's the relationship between sleep apnea and autoimmune disease? I had sleep apnea when I was an infant and toddler, and I had my tonsils and adenoids removed when I was 3 years old because of it (I guess that was how they treated it in the early '80s).
     
  13. GoodYear

    GoodYear Guest

    Sarah, for the RA your really need a rheumotologist. This disease is to specific (and severe) to treat by a doctor not specialized in it. You also need strong medicin probably. (i dont want to scare you...).
     
  14. moonbeauty

    moonbeauty Guest

    Hi
    I was interested to read your post. I too have been struggling for months with very limited range of motion and pain in my knee and foot. I suspect mine resulted from overuse but sometimes I'm just not so sure. Having been a professional athlete for decades the possibility is there, but I have been worried about any link between that and my fast departing hair. I have been medicated for hypothyroidism for life, but just today had an extensive workup by an endrocrinologist (which I'd never had) who performed an ultrasound of the thyroid and looked at alot of lab work and says he doubts I have thyroid problems. He doubts adrenal problems, but there can be a condition where you loose hair and gain weight which I have experienced even though I maintain a rather greuling exercise regiment and fairly healthy eating pattern- save for a few beers or wines. I've been spending much time twice daily to dealing with my knee and ankle issue, seems the ITB band keeps tightening up along with the piriformis. Not sure why but it feels like a rope is running from my hip to my ankle, not normal. Modified training has been the key and frequent moving about. Sitting still and resting seems to make it worse, hinting at tendonitis. Lotsa luck. MB
     
  15. sgomez33

    sgomez33 Guest

    Thanks Goodyear. Don't worry, you didn't scare me. I just want to know what it is that I have, and how to treat it becaue I'm in pain ALL the time. I will make an appointment to get the necessary lab work. I've been beating around the bush about getting it done. :$
     
  16. sgomez33

    sgomez33 Guest

    I also find that sitting still for a while makes it worse. Mornings are particularlly bad. Do your knee and ankle swell up and become warm to the touch? I have been excersizing regularly for 3 1/2 months now, and my knee feels a little better, but I think it's mostly becaue I've lost 22 pounds. Now my ankle is acting up. It's so frusterating! I have never been the athletic type, so I don't think I have any kind of soft tissue damage. I don't do any high impact excersizes either. I did have an MRI done of my knee last year. The doctor said that all he could see was fluid build-up around the miniscus and that it could be early RA. He was an orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in knees. He gave me a cortizone shot, but it didn't really help. I haven't been back to see him since. Honestly, I'm so scared of getting the shot again! :freaked: I can't believe that I have gone through natural labor, but can't do a simple cortizone shot! I totally freaked out!

    That's weird that your doctor didn't find any thyroid problems at your last check up after you have been in treatment for years! How strange! But good news. I definetly have Hashimoto's. At my last lab work-up, my numbers were in the thousands when they're supposed to be in the 30's! But I'm on medication, so I'm good.
     
  17. Joann

    Joann Moderator

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    Hi Sarah & Girls,

    I was a bit off topic when I mentioned sleep apnea on this message thread. Part of the reason is that one of the symptoms of Sjogren's is fatigue that can be quite debilatating at times. I get days when I have to drop whatever I'm doing to have a 2- 3 hour nap through the day. Being diagnosed with sleep apnea is a double whammy for me. I'm going in on July 6th to have another sleep study done hooked up to a CPAP machine which is supposed to help alot. I hope so anyway . We'll see.

    I found out about the immunologist I see from another woman who I met in an online Alopecia Areata support group I'm in. She's lives about an hour away from me and her husband works at a teaching hospital. The hospital runs a clinic where there are derms rheumatologists & an immunologist there as well. I was able to get her name and have my family doctor refer me .

    The immunologist is the one who diagnosed the Sjogren's. I kept going to my family doctor who kept checking my ferriten and thyroid levels. They were normal so she kept saying my fatigue was from stress. :dunno: Like all other autoimmune conditions there is no cure for Sjogren's Syndrome but at least I know why I feel like I do some days.

    My RA is manageable and I hope it remains so. My immunologist said if it ever gets out of hand she will have me see one of the rheumatologists in the clinic as they are the specialists for that.

    I always have extensive bloodwork and urine done at my 6 month check ups to make sure nothing has changed. She gives me a physical examination too. One test is the anti -nuclear antibodies. I test positive on that and that is usually an indication of other autoimmune problems. A lot of my friends with Alopecia Areata have a negative ANA so having Alopecia Areata does not mean you necessary will test positive or have other autoimmune stuff going on.

    Some of the immune testing for Sjogren's I had done were as follows:

    ANA (Anti-Nuclear Antibody)
    ANAs are a group of antibodies that react against normal components of a cell nucleus. About 70% of Sjögren's patients have a positive ANA test result.


    SSA and SSB
    The antibodies SSA (or RO) and SSB (or LA) are often found in Sjögren's syndrome; 70% of patients are positive for SSA and 40% are positive for SSB.


    RF (Rheumatoid Factor)
    This antibody test is indicative of a rheumatic disease. In Sjögren's patients, 60-70% have a positive RF.


    ESR (Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate)
    This test measures inflammation. An elevated ESR can indicate an inflammatory disorder, including Sjögren's syndrome.


    IGs (Immunoglobulins)
    These are normal blood proteinsThey are usually elevated in Sjögren's.

    Hope I've helped with some of your questions.

    Hugs, Joann
     
  18. GoodYear

    GoodYear Guest

    [quote="sgomez33] I also find that sitting still for a while makes it worse. Mornings are particularlly bad. Do your knee and ankle swell up and become warm to the touch? I have been excersizing regularly for 3 1/2 months now, and my knee feels a little better, but I think it's mostly becaue I've lost 22 pounds. Now my ankle is acting up. [/quote]

    This really sounds like RA. I have the same sympthons and it is typically RA. (morning pain and stifness, warm, swollen parts around the joints which are inflamed).
    You should get more research of it and you dont need necesaiily the shots. I dont have them too. I have other meds (daily ones).
    I hope you find answers.
     
  19. sgomez33

    sgomez33 Guest

    Goodyear and Joann,

    Thank you ladies so much. I wish I could hug you!! I will see a doctor soon to get some labs. I will keep you ladies posted. You are so awesome! I feel better just to be able to talk about it w/ you. I usually just try to ignore it and get on w/ my day. But when I am not able to do the things I've always been able to do before, it really gets to me. Thanks for your help and support. :)
     
  20. angieangie

    angieangie Guest

    Is PCOS an autoimmune disorder?
     

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