I Was "diagnosed" With Lupus About 2 Years Ago. My Rheumatologist Believes I Have A Mild Case But Has Not Actually Recorded The Dx In My Chart- He Says He Does Not Want Me To Be "labeled" For Life For Insurance Purposes. He Put Me On Plaquinil (200 Mg) To See If I Responded And I Feel Like A New Person! I Still Have Flares, Usually Around The Time Of My Period, But They Are Not Nearly As Severe. The Fatigue Has Vastly Improved. Anyway, I Have Bronchial Asthma And Get Bronchitis/sinusitis About 5 Times A Year And I Was Wondering If Anyone Else Has This Problem? Does Lupus Weaken Your Immune System? Thanks For Your Response, Liss
I was diagnosed with Lupus 3 mo ago. Although symtoms stemmed back 13 yrs ago. I am also confused, does having Lupus really affect your immune system? Everything that I have read says your immune system is compromised. My Rheumie says my immune system is fine and not affected. When I was first diagnosed 3 mo ago she called me at home. Her exact words were that she was sorry, but I had Lupus & I didn't have an immune system. Also that I had Rheumatoid. So for 1 solid week waiting for my next appt date I worried myself sick about the no immune system deal. When I saw her the next time just 1 wk later I asked her about it. She changed her mind & said yes that I did have an immune system & that she had jumped the gun and was confused.
I questioned her only because I had sudden chronic sinusitis for 1 straight year (2004-2005). Never have I had that problem before. Finally my ENT Dr said I needed sinus surgery because I could not live on antibiotics the rest of my life. He said they corrected 6 different things during that surgery. I was on antibiotics 4 months post op then contracted staph/MRSA at that time. I was mortified to say the least. I took oral Vaco for 1 month following & was taken off work. I work in a hospital. So since my surgery 1 yr ago I continue to have sinusitus/bacterial infections. No one else has gotten staph...just me. We're all exposed to the same patients every day too.
No one (family Dr, ENT, Rheumie) can tell me why I can't get well. Why? It is so frustrating & depressing. I have the best Dr's you can get, but yet I have no answers and I'm still sick with a bacterial infection as we speak. I have been feeling very sick inside & out in the last 2 yrs. So it doesn't surprise me with the confirmed Lupus diagnosis now.
Maybe some of the others can shed some light.
by for now
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Hi Roses! I am sorry that you have been feeling so crummy! It's the pits that you had surgery and it didn't even solve the problem! I think that there is a lot that the doctors just don't know. I am also a breast cancer survivor and have found the same with those doctors, such as side effects from the chemo. Maybe this website will shed some light on our symptoms. I have gotten different answers from different doctors to this question, but I believe that because of a weakened immune system we are more susceptible to these infections. Do you have asthma? What other lupus symptoms do you have? I hope you get to feeling better! Liss
Others can help me out here, but I don't think it is the lupus itself that weakens the immune system, but the drug treatments we take to treat lupus that suppress the immune system to varying degrees that leave us vulnerable to infections and other immune system-related conditions. To have untreated lupus is to have an over-active immune system, is that not right? It is only after you begin treatment that you tend to get more infections. Then you take the drugs that suppress (steroids/chemo drugs) or alter (plaquenil, others) your immune system, which then makes you vulnerable to infections and such. Not that you couldn't be getting too many infections before being diagnosed or treated for lupus, but maybe that just means that they weren't necessarily related to lupus at that time. Am I just screwed up with this?
I don't have asthma, but it is my understanding that it is an immune/allergic disorder that results from inflammed brochial passages that constrict and that it is treated with some of the same drugs (steroids) that lupus is. I have no personal knowledge of this, but it would seem logical that any systemic drugs, including plaqenil, taken to reduce inflammation would help out with stuff like asthma, but that could be wrong. But, they might make you more susceptible to stuff like bronchitis or sinus infections by making it easier for bacterial infections to take hold in your body.