Multiple Autoimmune Diseases – My Second Autoimmune Disease

It’s December, and as this year approaches and end, I extend warm wishes to you.  Also, I wanted to write a brief post about multiple autoimmune diseases.  I was recently diagnosed with my second autoimmune disease and I am very interested to learn more about how this occurs.  I will share my experience and some links concerning the occurrence of multiple autoimmune diseases.

My Second Diagnosed Autoimmune Disease

In September of this year, I was diagnosed with my second autoimmune disease, Polymyalgia Rheumatica.  I have heard that people who have one autoimmune disease may be susceptible to having additional autoimmune diseases.  Fortunately, my doctor was quick to provide a diagnosis and prescribe medication to allow me to resume functioning “normally”.

When my symptoms were at their worst, I was pretty much bedridden, suffering with notable pain and excessive, unrelenting fatigue that made no logical sense.  Furthermore, I discovered that some ongoing symptoms I had endured off and on for some time, may not have been due to my initial Hashimoto’s diagnosis as I had thought.  Rather,  I now believe, some symptoms were occurring due to my second and previously undiagnosed autoimmune condition with Polymyalgia Rheumatica.

Diagnosing Mysterious Symptoms

If you have ever had a bad case of the flu, you may have experienced very intense body aches and pain, one possible flu symptom.  There was one memorable instance in my life where that happened to me.  My whole body ached from the flu.  It felt as if someone had beat my body with a baseball bat.  I ached all over and felt miserable.

The reason I’m relaying this information is because, towards the end of September 2018 I had upper body pain that felt like this.  I also had a fever.  However, I did not have any of the other symptoms that should have accompanied these if I were sick with the flu.  It was very strange; it felt like the flu, but I knew that it wasn’t.  Additionally, whenever I told friends how I felt, some of them said, “you must have the flu”.  Ultimately, this was proven to not be the case.  I did not have the flu.

Discovering the Culprit

My mother had cancer.  Although she carried it inside her unknowingly for a while, when she went to see her doctor due to a mysterious symptom, they found the cancer immediately; it was not hard to diagnose her with imaging tests.  Diagnosis is also very straight forward , if you have a broken bone for example.  Alternatively, autoimmune diseases can sometimes be very challenging to diagnose correctly or completely.

Strange Symptoms

Before my first autoimmune diagnosis when my flair-up symptoms got really bad, my multiple symptoms seemed somewhat strange and curiously unrelated to me.  Some of my laundry list of bizarre past symptoms included fatigue, stiffness and weakness, brain fog, irregular heart function, breathing issues, body aches and sometimes feeling as if I had been shot with a tranquilizer.  There were other symptoms as well, but you get the idea.  This led me to chase the wrong culprit.

Here is one example.  Twice, I’ve had  EKG stress tests in recent years because my symptoms said my heart was having a problem.  Both times the EKG showed no problems with my heart.  Today, based on my success with medications for two autoimmune diseases, I believe that I never had an actual heart problem per say.  Rather, I now believe those heart related symptoms were somehow due to my misfiring immune system attacking my healthy cells by mistake.

My symptoms pointed to a heart problem in those instances.  However, my EKG tests said no heart problems in two separate stress tests.  The NETFLIX original movie, Brain on Fire is a good example of the difficulty that some people have had in getting the correct diagnosis for an autoimmune disease.  An autoimmune disease can sometimes produce symptoms that look like “something else”.  This can present a serious difficulty, in that if you cannot obtain a correct diagnosis, then you cannot get the correct medication or treatment to help.

Learning, Progress and Information

Two of my doctors were incredibly helpful to provide a very quick diagnosis of my two known autoimmune diseases.  I believe that autoimmune disease is more generally, better understood today than in the past.  I included some links below concerning the condition of having more than one autoimmune disease.  I’m not sure that I have all the answers to my immune malfunctions yet, so I desire to learn more.  For me, the right information can be very powerful and helpful.  Links are below.

Best Wishes and Kindest Regards,
A.H. Browning

Links

Mystery of Multiple Autoimmune Diseases

What Is Multiple Autoimmune Syndrome?

Have One Autoimmune Disease? You May Be at Risk for Another

2 Replies to “Multiple Autoimmune Diseases – My Second Autoimmune Disease”

  1. A friend of mine was diagnose with AI and lupus last December, she died last Feb. Not everyone is actually fully aware of the danger of this disease. The government or other non government organization must need to raise awareness about Ai, so more people would understand about it.

  2. Josefine,

    Thank you for commenting and I am sorry for the loss of your friend. I had never really known about autoimmune disease until I found out I had one in 2015. I was fortunate to receive a quick diagnosis. However, my understanding of autoimmune disease did not come from my doctor so much as from reading books and also anything I could find on the internet. I agree with you. I hope that there will be more efforts to educate everyone about autoimmune diseases.

    Kindest Regards,
    A.H. Browning

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