Autoimmune Experiences

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Kindred
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March is Autoimmune Awareness month!
Autoimmune conditions affect hundreds of thousands of people in the UK alone and there are more that 80 different autoimmune conditions currently identified.

This thread is for sharing AI related experiences and general AI discussion.
You can find an AI FAQ/ Q&A thread here:

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=5226070

Do you have an Autoimmune condition and want to share?
Do you know somebody with an autoimmune condition?
Do you want to learn a bit more about autoimmune conditions?
Post away and join in spreading awareness! (feel free to post anonymously)
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chelseadagg3r
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I...might? It's looking increasingly likely that I have rheumatoid arthritis and I have a "rapid access" (my arse) appointment in May. It's really affecting my hands and fingers which worries me most because I'm an art student and it means my hands are preeeetty important. My other joints have been more severely affected for years, but it's my fingers worrying me most for sure
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Kindred
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Okay my turn. I have 2 autoimmune conditions. Luckily they aren't too bad, but they aren't exactly pleasant either.

I have Hashimoto's (autoimmune hypothyroidism) which is where my terribly confused immune system decided my thyroid gland was a risk. My immune system going after my thyroid gland means it can't do it's job well and doesn't produce enough thyroxine. Thyroxine is a hormone which helps control various things in your body so not having enough can make you really tired, mean you're cold a lot, lower your heart rate, make you depressed and even mess with your reproductive stuff. The treatment for it is pretty simple- you take synthetic thyroxine to replace what your gland can't produce. You also need regular blood tests to check your thyroid levels and make sure you're on the right does of thyroxine.
Unfortunately there can be complications from your immune system doing damage to your thyroid gland, but I haven't had any experience with that and hopefully never will.


I've also more recently been diagnoses with a somewhat more interesting one- Palindromic Rheumatism (a form of autoimmune arthritis). Basically with this my immune system- the idiot it is- thinks that my joints are terribly shifty and need to be kept in line. It randomly attacks any joint (or anywhere else with bone) it feels like. Luckily, unlike rheumatoid arthritis (another AI one) though it does not cause permanent damage when it attacks.

PR can cause pain, inflammation and even irritated skin along with flu like symptoms (overheating, feeling run down etc) which can be common with AI conditions. Episodes can last from seconds to months and vary in severity. For me it mostly means constant episodes or short lived pain in various parts of my body including my fingers, elbows, knees and ears along with limited energy and intermittent "flares" where the symptoms are worse and/ or longer lasting and I get more of those flu symptoms. I'm quite pleased because I don't get inflammation, but that combined with it being quite rare/ unheard of even medically does mean that it was a bit of a pain to get diagnosed and that doctors don't really know what to do.

My options for treatment include just managing the symptoms (pain killers and reducing activity basically) or taking medications focused on suppressing my immune system or reducing the inflammatory response. These medications tend to have some rather unpleasant side effects. Currently I'm working on managing symptoms, but the annoyance of being in near constant pain (all be it not too severe) and having to plan careful around my energy levels to avoid starting a flare means I am having to consider the option of medication.
PR doesn't have much known about it, but prognosis seems to be an equal split between it just disappearing on it's own some day, it continuing forever or it developing into something like RA.


If anybody has any questions about my conditions or how they affect me please feel free to ask.
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Rum Ham
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I have psoriasis and doctors are confident I have the start of Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) too. So many people think psoriasis is just a skin condition but its actually an autoimmune disease which affects the immune system, joints, skin, nails and even organs and can increase your risk of heart problems and certain cancers like lymphoma. There's no cure for psoriasis and if you're anything like me, the more you try and treat it, the more it seems to spread and flare up It can also have a negative impact on your mental health too, like it has sadly with me. My grandparents both have psoriasis and my gran has PsA too and my papa has Rheumatoid Arthritis.
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