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  • Possible Autoimmune Disease

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    Old 09-30-2015, 12:11 PM   #1
    messymama
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    Possible Autoimmune Disease

    Hello, this is my first time ever posting on a board like this, so excuse me if this gets lengthy or if I miss some type of protocol on how to post...

    I am a 30 year old female who has been treated for multiple symptoms by multiple doctors over the last 6 months and I am now wondering if they are actually related.

    Psychiatrist: Treated for anxiety and depression, after hospitalized for severe anxiety attack that happened after a 4 day long migraine. Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and ADHD (all things I have been previously diagnosed and treated for).

    Cardiologist: Primary doctor noted irregular heartbeat and sent to specialist. Diagnosed with low blood pressure (has always been an issue for me), orthostatic hypotension and occasional bradycardia. I also noted shortness of breath, chest pain and feelings of rapid heart rate (even though it wasn't actually fast) as symptoms. Blood work showed very low HDL level (30) and normal but in the low end cholesterol level.

    Hand Surgeon: Hand tremors and trigger finger, had a cyst removed from base of middle finger yet finger locking still occurs on occasions in both hands. I have noted numbness and tingling in both arms and feet.

    Dermatologist: Removed Dermatofibroma from lower leg. I have noticed a second one is now on my opposite leg but further up on my thigh and it seems the initial tumor is back, or possibly just not fully healed after removal.

    General Practitioner: I have asked multiple times about possible thyroid issues but I have been dismissed (I think because I was significantly overweight). I have since lost 75lbs and the symptoms are still issues so I believe my doctor is now taking me more seriously since he ordered more blood work. The symptoms have been fatigue, anxiety, depression, irritability, difficulty concentrating, excessive sweating, constipation, headache, hair loss, darkened pigment above upper lip, tingling in feet and arms, lightheadedness upon standing, shortness of breath... and various other's that I might be missing in the haste of writing this post.

    Also, another thing I feel that is important to note is that in 2011 I was diagnosed with Horner's Syndrome. MRI's were done to rule out the possibility of a brain tumor or aneurysm causing the Horner's so the doctor told me that I must have been born with it. That was always unsettled me.

    Blood work compared from 3/15 to 9/15

    TSH ft4 level
    3/15: 2.61
    9/15: 1.35

    WBC
    3/15: 7.1
    9/15: 5.1

    These are the two more noticeable drops in my blood work although there are others that have changed. My question is... Could this drop in ft4 and my WBC mean an underlying Autoimmune Disorder (coupled with all of the symptoms I described)? I have read some research that suggests that a Horner's Syndrome could actually be caused by a nodule on the thyroid that is compressing the nerve. I have also read that people with Grave's Disease and Hashimoto have cases of multiple Dermatofibroma's. I am completely open to the idea that none of these are related, but if anyone has ANY experience with any of this and could help I would greatly appreciate it.

     
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    Old 10-01-2015, 03:25 AM   #2
    MSNik
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    Re: Possible Autoimmune Disease

    Hi there. I am no expert. But I live with an autoimmune disease- multiple sclerosis. I have blood work done every 3-6 months. I have never had elevated TSH or WBC in my body.
    WBC specifically looks for infections. If it is raised, there is usually some sort of infection present and the standard treatment is an antibiotic. It has absolutely nothing to do with autoimmune disorders.
    Most of the doctors you are seeing also wouldnt have any effect on if you have an autoimmune disease. The tests which are done, are not specific for autoimmune disorders. You need to see a Rheumatoid specialist in order to get the right panel of blood work done. You could also see an infectious disease doctor for inflammatory panels.
    Congratulations on losing weight! That, right there, is huge! And, it will definately change your body chemistry! Keep allowing your doctor to work with you, but next time you see him, ask him about running more specific tests for autoimmune...
    Good luck!
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    Old 10-02-2015, 08:27 AM   #3
    VeeJ
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    Re: Possible Autoimmune Disease

    Hi & welcome! I'm sorry you're having problems & trouble figuring out what they may mean. We do understand that here! I'll add some odds & ends.

    In & of itself, WBC isn't diagnostic of any autoimmune condition. But an active lupus flare can cause it to depress, and so can a virus. Elevation can be caused by steroids or by inflammation. So even though it isn't diagnostic, a doctor should pay attention when it's out-of-range, in the context of your overall symptoms, of course. You stated two recent values, but can you provide the range your lab uses? (I've had leukopenia several times, when WBC falls below a certain defined level. This can occur in lupus, which I do have. A low level hampers your immune system as it works to ward off all the usual suspects & culprits.)

    Re your thyroid values, I'm not sure which you cited, TSH or Free T4? I believe that in hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), TSH rises and several others fall---and the opposite pattern for hyperthyroidism (Graves). You could post all your thyroid values with their reference ranges, if you wish. (I'm no doctor, but some symptoms you cite---constipation, sweating, hair loss, etc.---can occur in thyroid disorders.)

    Tingling is one of those "fuzzier" symptoms that has many possible causes, I think, even certain vitamin deficiencies.

    Another thought: do you take meds? Several friends, and some family members too, have had rip-roaring times with their bipolar meds. I've always understood that these meds can have quite a few possible impacts & side effects. Anyhow, I'm glad you found us. We'll look forward to hearing more soon. Sending warm wishes, bye for now, V

    P.S. I forgot to ask whether you've had an ANA test. It's a "threshold test" for various autoimmune conditions. It can't diagnose anything by itself, but it can suggest the need for additional tests.

    Last edited by VeeJ; 10-02-2015 at 08:33 AM. Reason: added P.S.

     
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    autoimmune dieases, graves disease, hashimoto, thyroid blood test



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