All posts filed under: Autoimmune diseases

Celiac’s Disease not RA

Gluten is not theculprit in RA, but Gluten is the culprit in Celiac’s disease. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and triticale. The small intestine becomes inflamed and damaged when a person with Celiac’s disease ingests food such as bread, beer, cereal, or other foods that contain gluten. As damage occurs to the small intestine, it becomes increasingly difficult for the intestine to absorb nutrients. Celiac’s disease is an autoimmune disease. It is commonly paired with the autoimmune diseases of the thyroid (6%) and type1 diabetes (6%) There is also an increased risk associated with the following: Sjögren’s disease, MS, Autoimmune hepatitis, and arthritis (but not RA). Those with Celiac’s disease and those with a gluten sensitivity should not eat foods containing gluten, such as bread, pasta, and cereal.  The gluten will make them sick.  A gluten free diet is the cure for Celiac’s disease.  Those with Celiac’s disease may experience joint pain but it is not the destructive arthritis of RA. The joint symptoms will lessen as gluten is eliminated from …

MS an autoimmune disease

MS

MS usually affects those who live in the colder northern countries. I was born in the  border town of Fort Covington, just a walk down the street to Canada. And then I grew up in another nearby border town. In the winters our temperature dropped below freezing and stayed there until March.  My mom was Irish and my dad French Canadian. My brother was just like me. MS usually starts somewhere between 20-50 years. Just like RA there is an elderly onset MS striking those age 60 and above. Children also develop MS. MS is an autoimmune disease where the T cells of our immune system think the cells of the myelin sheath, the nerve covering, is foreign and must be attacked. This arbitrary attack affects the brain, spinal cord and the optic nerve and creates a a variety of symptoms. More women than men have MS. Genetics play a role. MS interrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and the body. Walking becomes difficult. Hands may lose their grip. …

Mary Mann inflammatory arhtritis

Meet Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)

Spondylo means vertebrae or bones in your back. So, you can see that AS affects the spine. With the progression of disease, the vertebral joints fuse causing the spine to be stiff. AS affects the  areas where the joint capsules, tendons and ligaments attach to the bones. Pain and swelling occur  along these “hotspots”. The lower back, the sacroiliac joints,  the cervical spine, pelvic bones, the rib joints and the heel. Classic AS involvement. Many other joints can be involved. The joints of the hip, shoulder, and knee are commonly involved. Involvement of fingers, toes, wrists and jaw, although possible, is not common. It is a disease of younger people (teen-40s) usually. It is common in men, but science is learning that women have AS frequently, too. It is a major cause of low back pain. It is an inherited disease. There are many genes involve. The gene HLA-B27 is present in 90% of those who have AS. As in many cases an environmental trigger like an infection activates the genes involved. AS belongs to …

Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR)

I have long  appointments with my rheumatologist. She is thorough and listens to what I say. She does think out loud which may be disturbing to some. I understand where she is going and I understand she is throwing out possibilities not absolutes.  I had a number of revelations but a big one was the possibility of adding polymyalgia rheumatica to my RA diagnosis. Both are autoimmune, inflammatory arthritis disorders that affect the elderly.   Polymyalgia rheumatica is an autoimmune disease that commonly affects the elderly.  The highest prevalence is between 70 and 80. It classically  affects the joints of the pelvic girdle and the shoulders bilaterally. Pain and stiffness. Muscle aching. Inflammatory pain in the neck affects some. It is not a symmetrical disease as is RA. Inflammation in the knees and wrists is usually unilateral. It is not curable. It is manageable however. The drug of choice is corticosteroids which controls the symptoms.  Prednisone is usually started around 25 mg for a month and then tapered to a dose that controls symptoms.  I felt …