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Ok, new question: What do you suspect contributed to or caused your autoimmune disease? We all read that there is a genetic factor and then something flips the switch..... what do you think flipped your switch?

I definitely believe in the genetic factor. Looking back, I believe my Meemaw (mother's side) had Sjogren's. Anytime she sat down, somebody had better be there with a glass of water. Same when she went to bed. And she had horrid pain with no obvious reason. Nobody believed she really hurt. They just sedated her.

As for my "switch" -- I believe it was a combination of illness and exhaustion. From the time my oldest was born, I don't think I got a decent night's sleep for more than 15 years. Once they were sleeping well, I went back to work. I lived on 4 hours of sleep at night for years. I was constantly at the edge of falling apart. I would cry or rage for "no reason." And I got sick a lot. Pneumonia over and over, lung infections, sinus infections, ear infection that led to broken ear drum, Interstitial cystitis out of control......and then I got hit in the head by a huge, heavy object. I think it was the final straw. I was not well after that.

So, what about you? Did you have a slow slide into illness or was there a moment when you stopped being healthy and became ill?

Sunny
 

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Genetic: my Mother most likely suffered from an autoimmune disease. I can still hear her saying, "Everything is so hard....." I share than some days.
Trigger: duplex. A mess of early childhood traumas and work-related stress.
Douglas+

Good thread by the way.
 

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A year of major stress. Many big losses all at once. No time to regroup before the next hit. Also tested positive for having had the Parvo virus (aka 5th's disease) at one time .There's a theory that a dormant virus can be a trigger.
But really ,I wish I knew... Kate
 

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I think mine is partly genetic, I have at least five members in my family with an autoimmune disease, then I have a bunch of childhood trauma, physical, sexual and emotional abuse, then add the mental illnesses I have been dealing with most of my life, and being totally stressed out for so long and so much just messed my body up.:sadwalk: Karly
 

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My Trigger

I also believe my connection was part genetic. On my mother's side, my grandmother and aunt had RA. On my father's side, my grandmother was never officially diagnosed with anything but was alway's sick and on some type of medication. Many of her sypmtoms are what I have now. My parents just thought she was a hypochondriac.

In my heart, I believe my trigger was from a constant sinus infection that never healed even after having surgery. It was very severe and I had a port in my arm to receive IV antibiotic for 5 weeks. After that, things really went downhill.

Michelle
(SLE, Raynauds, Vasculities, Wegener's Disease)
 

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I strongly suspect UV treatment for teenage skin problems plus constant stress through childhood.
Nobody in my family had any autoimmune illnesses as far as I know so presumably it's not familial in that sense but could be a fluke genetic abnormality or two
Also cigarette smoking.

Clare
 

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My grandmother had scoleraderma and was diagnosed with it back in the
70's. I have lupus and my cousin is now being worked up for an autoimmune disease. I have had lupus for about 13 years and have never had any problems with it until July 07 after I got the MMR injection. I think there is a gentetic link but who knows.
 

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I have the genetic link, too. I have several autoimmune diseases (Hashimoto's, Raynaud's, PSC, RA, AIH) in my extended family, but I am the first with lupus.

As far as the trigger goes, I am pretty sure it was a spider bite. I developed a nasty infection under my scalp that affected my lymph nodes and then went systemic. I was nearly hospitalized. As the infection came under control, I developed severe joint pain just about everywhere. The doctor said it was common in systemic infections and kept me on Daypro for two weeks. My first lupus symtpoms began within six months of the spider bite.

Terri
 

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I think mine was after my second miscarage and had to have a blood transfusion. Have had so many things that i have had over the years that hubby always say there are more parts of me in the hospiatals than are left in my body i have had every medical problem there is to get if i was to list them all i would be here till tommorw not kidding.elisabeth:lol:
 

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I think mine started when I was younger in my 30's. (am now going to be 58,)I have had strepe twice, many sinus infections also. My 1st cousin on my mothers side has Lupus and my mother has been sick too for many years, but never diagnosed with anything.

I think for me the trigger was my dad passed away in 2000, I moved, my daughter graduated from high school, I started a new job, and was taking care of my mom after moving back home. It was exhausting and stressful.

I was diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis in 05. I truly believe I have had this for a very long time, but the inflammation didn't show up till then. It is a very mild form of Inflammtory Arthritis and RA, but there are days of extrodinary fatique. But I am managing quite well so far.
 

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I suppose it sounds a bit like a guilt trip, but i suspect smoking, working with a variety of chemicals, including chemo as a nurse and a variety of cleansing agents for sterilising theatre instruments many years ago, working with other dangerous chemicals as a chemistry technician, inhaling stuff like Nitromors when stripping furniture, then 2 1/2 years sleeping for 2 hour periods with a poorly child, and working night shifts for too many years to fit around child care, and getting so tired I could not remember my journeys home from work ...

Oh, and in every job i ever had - having to lift twice my body weight repeatedly! Well - might be a bit of an exagerration, but that's how it feels!

Hence ORGANIC gardening for a living!

seriously, though - i have no idea. I have abused my body badly, so do feel guilty.
 

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Well for me the genetic thing really fits. On my dad's side of the family both his mum and 2 sisters have/had SLE. My mum's mum has RA. My sister has RA and Fibro plus a load of other stuff. Funnily enough my parents have no sign of any autoimmune disease. Totally skipped a generation! How weird! And I have SLE, Sojerns, Shrinking Lungs and a few other Lupus driven complications

As for triggers I just dont know. Got really sick when I was 17 but no-one could find out why and I eventually got better again. Knowing how I feel now I would say it was Lupus but no-one wanted to suggest that then although I now know family members supected it. It was the least stressful time of my life and I seemed to have no major bugs or anything. Finally diagnosed nearly 10 years later when pneumonia put me in intensive care.

Cant wait til we find some answers! oh yeah and a cure would be quite nice :)

K
 

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I am the first in my family to be diagnosed with any autoimmune disease of any kind. The genetics thing doesn't seem to be an obvious reason in my case.

I had not had any major stressors for nearly 5 years prior to diagnosis, was living a pretty good life really. Had the average number of colds, the flu a few times in my 20s, but recovered from it all in about average time. I had not taken antibiotics - in about 15 years? Long long time!

I suspect in my case it was a lot of... poisons and chemical exposure. In the country in the USA, they spread sewer sludge on farm fields which leaves the air stinking a horrible stench for at least 2 weeks. My diagnosis came less than one year from living in the country near where they spread sewer sludge twice. I also had the Hep B shot which I question if it contributed.
 

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Well, for me, definitely genetics. My Mum has dermatomyositis and lupus. My grandma had lupus and my great grandma had either RA or lupus - That's as far back as I know.

My Mum had six brothers who were all fine (as is my brother) but one of their daughters (out of a whole tribe of children) has MS.

Who knows, other factors may have contributed. Like many people I had major childhood upheaval but, as I say, like many people. I think a lot of people do and other than learning to be survivors their health is fine.

The trigger was most probably my pregnancy with my first son almost 11 years ago. That's when I first started getting unexplained joint pain and tiredness. Then again, I also had an incident when I was 19 where I burned in 5 minutes!! I got second degree burns. I have always had sensitive skin but that was the first time that happened. Since then I can't go out in the sun at all.

Katharine
 

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In my case I cant pinpoint any particular trigger. Certainly around the time when I got my first 'obvious' flare I had been taking echicacea for a couple of months prior to that but I believe this just exaserbated what was already underlying as I had been having increasingly poor health for a couple of years before that - hence the reason why I was taking the echinacea in the first place.. :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Also I was under a period of extreme stress relating to the safety of a child and I could actually physically feel the stress impacting on me at the time.

I also had Hep B shots (related to my work) although its difficult to know if this contributed anything. Although there is some small evidence to show that Hep B vaccine might be followed by various rheumatic conditions in healthy people and can trigger the onset of those who already have the underlying condition, its hard to establish a causal relationship between the vaccine and the onset of rheumatic conditions. Heres a link I came across about it.

http://www.vaccines.net/lupus.htm

Cheers
Joan:rose:
 

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For me the symptoms appeared after I had my 2nd child I became very ill, nursed her which I thought was the reason my immune system was so low, got strep throat twice, flu twice, uti's, etc., went to get checked they ran blood work and said everything was normal eventually the symptoms got better and didn't re-appear until I had a bad car accident and underwent major neck surgery and had horrible back pain then all the lupus symptoms started in and was finally dxd a year later, fortunately for me since I worked for an immunologist I was familiar with the symptoms and knew something was not right. So my was stress induced.:worried:
 

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I am the only one in my family with an autoimmune disease. It's very strange. I did have a great grandmother that died young of MS which is considered an autoimmune disease, but the docs don't seem to think that is related to me.
It could have been environmental. Maybe I was exposed to something at just the right (or wrong) time that caused a chain reaction in my body. Or maybe I have some strange mutation of a gene that went awry during the creation of my DNA.
 

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I think my tattoo did me in

My mom and grandma have RA, raynauds and thyroid probs, so the genetic link was already there.

As a teen, there was always something wrong at one time or another that no one could really explain..but the switch flipped after my tattoo..my body rejected the dye in most places and I developed a minor infection afterwards - after that all sorts of weird illnesses, allergies and rashes developed...and still didnt get diagnosed with lupus till 8 or 9 years later!

I always wonder what would have happened if I never got that tattoo.....

Sharon
 

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Double whammy

Autoimmune and environmental?

On my father's side there are lots of gynae problems, probably autoimmune in origin. His mother had bad vasculitis and a ruptured aortic aneurism killed her. My father had Raynaud's, many strokes (?APS) and a ruptured aortic aneurism (survived for four more years), plagued with TGN, possibly GCA as well but never diagnosed. On my mother's side, my grandmother had RA, myxoedema with kidney involvement and dementia: my mother has OA, fibromyalgia and had rheumatic fever when she was young. My daughter has just been diagnosed with polycystic ovaries. Both my parents smoked until their fifties (mum smoked through my pregnancy).

I had all childhood illnesses, measles particularly bad, recurrent sore throats, had glandular fever at 15-16 and that's when I started having migraines, painful joints and horrendous menstrual problems. On top of all this I worked in chemical laboratories, bathing in all sorts of nasties. I had lots of stresses with a horrible relationship (abuse mentally and physically). When I did meet the right man and married, our kids came home with "slapped cheek" virus (Parvo or 5th's) and spread it around.

So it is sort of inevitable that something was going to happen to me. A major trigger was the birth of my 3rd daughter as I was really ill afterwards (retained products of conception, ERPC which didn't get it all out, pulmonary embolism while in recovery and uterine infection on top). My body then decided enough was enough and over the last 13 years it's been doing its best to get rid of itself!

I think lupus is highly complex with a genetic tendency that can be triggered by environmental and/or infection factors. Having worked in the cancer research field in the past, I know that triggers can come in many guises.

I hope that one day soon we will understand just how it all pieces together so we can get closer to beating these disease.

Hoping you are having a good evening.

Love Judi xx
 

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I'm sure the link with me is genetic as there is RA, Diabetes, Sinusitus, Raynauds and Dermy problems on my Dad's side.

As for the trigger - I was the healthiest and happiest I'd ever been with no stress. In fact I was due to be bridesmaid for my best friend and we were having a great old time. Just the year before I'd lost weight, ate well and took regular exercise.

Previous to that I was always a sickly child with recurrent colds and ENT problems. At 13 I developed Glandular Fever and I never felt completely well (could never put my finger on why).

The only thing that sticks in my mind is that either it was due to alot of antibiotics as a child or excessive sun exposure.

Hugz,

Pam xxx
 
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