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Old 09-25-2004, 02:10 PM   #1
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LUPUS and BIRTH CONTROL PILLS

I have a question which I read somewhere before that birth control pills can cause Lupus? Can anyone explain about this?

Postie

 
Old 09-25-2004, 04:35 PM   #2
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Re: LUPUS and BIRTH CONTROL PILLS

Postie, I don't personally believe B.C. pills CAUSE lupus, from all that I've read, from what my rheumies & dermies have explained, etc. But I have indeed read that they might EXACERBATE a flare. Ditto with HRT in post-menopausal women, which many rheumies recommend against.

Further, even WITHOUT any pills (B.C. or HRT), it's pretty much believed that *normal* periodic hormonal cycles can worsen symptoms.

PLUS, the ratio of women to men lupus patients is something like 9 women to every 1 man, it's thought. So just being female seems to add risk.

But, bottom line, I think it's still believed that GENETICS (and not just a single gene---but probably quite a few), plus some UNKNOWN ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS, are the root "causes".

Clear as mud, huh? from Vee (trying hard to find good, clear wording but maybe not managing so well...)

 
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Old 09-25-2004, 10:38 PM   #3
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Re: LUPUS and BIRTH CONTROL PILLS

I'm wondering on this same issue about how you lupies out there on birth control respond to them... are you able to take them.... do you notice any difference when you're not on them? I take them and I'm just wondering. I definetely have flares when my period hits and have had that for a year and a half now (I was mostly pregnant the two years before that). Just thought I'd ask!
Love,
SHawnee

 
Old 09-26-2004, 08:03 AM   #4
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Re: LUPUS and BIRTH CONTROL PILLS

Shawnee,

Years back I reacted so badly to B.C. pills that I begged for alternatives. And that was DECADES before rashes, suspected lupus & confirmed lupus barreled into my life.

Then, even with IUD, I felt worse when the PMS hit. Not just cramps & back pain & water retention---I mean all over aches & pains.

I definitely saw what had happened over the years---when I was told that I might have lupus. "Wow", I thought. "That shoe sure seems to fit!""

All my best,
Vee

 
Old 09-27-2004, 06:13 AM   #5
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Re: LUPUS and BIRTH CONTROL PILLS

Quote:
Originally Posted by VeeJ
Postie, I don't personally believe B.C. pills CAUSE lupus, from all that I've read, from what my rheumies & dermies have explained, etc. But I have indeed read that they might EXACERBATE a flare. Ditto with HRT in post-menopausal women, which many rheumies recommend against.

Further, even WITHOUT any pills (B.C. or HRT), it's pretty much believed that *normal* periodic hormonal cycles can worsen symptoms.

PLUS, the ratio of women to men lupus patients is something like 9 women to every 1 man, it's thought. So just being female seems to add risk.

But, bottom line, I think it's still believed that GENETICS (and not just a single gene---but probably quite a few), plus some UNKNOWN ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS, are the root "causes".

Clear as mud, huh? from Vee (trying hard to find good, clear wording but maybe not managing so well...)
Hi VeeJ:

The reason I was asking about bc pills was because I ended up with all my troubles as soon as I went on it. I guess I didn't mean that the bc pills cause Lupus. What I meant to say was I had read that if a person has too many hormones going into their body then it can cause worse symptoms in a person. Do you know anything about that?

As soon as I went on the bc pill it caused everything in my body to have a domino effect.

Postie

 
Old 09-27-2004, 11:21 AM   #6
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Re: LUPUS and BIRTH CONTROL PILLS

Hi, Postie.

I just pulled out my Dr. Wallace book. (Should have done that earlier.) He says that in the 1960's, there were reports of women getting lupus while on the pill---or having their lupus worsened. But by the 1970's, with the advent of lower-estrogen pills, these reports had pretty much stopped.

Weirdly, the *additives* in the higher-estrogen dose pills from that earlier era were the issue, not the estrogen, he points out. "Tartrazine preservatives" were being used, and such "aromatic amines" are now known to out & out CAUSE lupus, he says.

He goes on to say certain people should NOT use even the modern pills: anyone with antiphospholipid antibodies, high blood pressure, migraines, abnormal clotting, or high cholesterol/triglyceride levels.

He says *some* current studies found that modern B.C. pills induce flares, yet *other* studies found they do not. He ends, though, by saying that a "small number" of lupus patients on B.C. pills do indeed seem to get mild flares---and this seems to be his bottom line on the subject.

Postie, I wonder about my own timing, too. I think I just added on symptoms & problems over the years. For sure, early adolescence was a bad time---and that's a time of hormonal changes. Then early 20's---also a period when hormones are probably peaking. Maybe it's the periods of HORMONAL shifts that bring some things out? I don't know---does anyone else have insight?

Good luck & hope you're having a decent week. from Vee

 
Old 09-28-2004, 10:44 PM   #7
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Re: LUPUS and BIRTH CONTROL PILLS

Vee and postie--
I absolutely agree on the hormone issue worsening flares. I know that from personal experience my problems have been coming and going for a few years but that it wasn't until after the birth of my second baby that things started to be just to much to explain away by being a new mom, lowered immune system, not enough sleep, etc... you know all those denial things. Postpartum was not pretty and not just for the first six weeks, like the first six months I had boils, yeast infections (even on my skin) that would not go away or would recur very quickly after treatment, double vision and dizziness for no reason (had MRI too), tingling on my scalp and down my arms, vampire like eye sensitivity to light, plus I was nursing my baby and I got to the point where I just was not producing milk (where I had been successful w/ child #1), once I weaned my little one and put him on formula at six months he ate ravenously and gained weight and baby fat quickly where he'd kind of been a skinny little dude. (If that's related or not I don't know but I think so)
After he had been weaned, I started having periods again. I have always had female troubles and troublesome periods (painful and heavy) but these periods became times where I ached everywhere especially my hips and my knees but all joints hurt and I just found I could not get enough sleep during those bleeding days. I also feel like this when my IBS gets bad and it was when I told my doctor these two things that he decided to test for lupus. It's funny to me though because as my periods have always been a "bad time" for me, I've had several endometriosis symptoms but after surgery endometriosis was not found and then the gyno doc started to look at me like, "coo-coo, coo-coo" when I'd go back and say I was still hurting and just nonfunctional for at least two days during my period. Now that I'm having other symptoms of lupus or CTD at least, I think that was my "female" problem all along. That's just my experience.
Love,
Shawnee

Last edited by UT_mom; 09-28-2004 at 10:46 PM.

 
Old 09-29-2004, 08:05 AM   #8
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Re: LUPUS and BIRTH CONTROL PILLS

Maybe someone already mentioned this and I missed it, but with the additional risk for clotting, in addition to the suspicion that the hormones make symptoms worse, I don't know if birth control pills are a wise choice. All the hormonal birth control methods have warnings about additional risk for blood clots. Lupus comes built in with additional risks for this also. So, you would have two factors putting you at more risk for clots and possible strokes. I loved hormonal birth control, but I had to give up my NuvaRing, which was absolutely blissful, and before that, I was on pills. It is very hard to add the worry of less reliable birth control to all the other worries you are dealing with, I know.

 
Old 09-30-2004, 11:58 AM   #9
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Re: LUPUS and BIRTH CONTROL PILLS

For what it is worth:

I was on Triphasil and way down towards the bottom of the medicine spec sheet was the list of possible side effects. "Lupus Like Syndromes" (I think on page 9)

I had to search on the internet to find it, but all drugs should have a sheet like this that you can check out.

 
Old 09-30-2004, 12:55 PM   #10
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Re: LUPUS and BIRTH CONTROL PILLS

I have a lot of interesting readings on what you are talking about. I have a feeling I know what you are trying to say. I do find it quite interesting that women are 9 times more likely to have an auto-immune disease which leads me to believe hormones must have some sort of role. If you would like the different titles of books I would be happy to give them to you or anyone else. They are wonderful and realy, realy make you think and wonder.

I believe that auto-immune diseases are related to nutrition, hormones, stress, and maybe some inhertance.

I would be happy to share on this subject more. Instead of popping open all the medicine books I decided to pop open the books on why and causes of this disease rather than how to treat the now symptoms.

 
Old 10-02-2004, 10:16 PM   #11
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Re: LUPUS and BIRTH CONTROL PILLS

Well everyone--
You've prompted me to be bold and try something for a few months to see if I notice improvement. I talked to my hubby and I think I'm going to go off of my birth control pills for three months (while using something non hormonal in the meantime). I'm not going to go off until I see my OBGYN but I'm going to call for an appointment next week. If I notice improvements then I'm considering doing something like an IUD for a while until I'm feeling improved enough to try for baby #3. I'll let you know if I notice anything, I am a little worried just because I've had hx of ovarian cysts which require surgery and was told after that to cease ovulation through BC pills in order to keep that problem at bay (that's the reason for the three month trial). I know if it helps my libido problem my husband will be overjoyed but I think a lot of that has to do with being so fatigued and hurting all the time more than anything. Thanks for all your information everyone. Hope you're doing well!
Love,
Shawnee

 
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