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Danigirl22 06-04-2010 03:29 PM

Do you get sick more or less often?
I asked my rheumatologist if people with Sjogren's Syndrome get sick more or less often than before they had it. If your immune system is over-active, you'd think it would help fight viruses better. Her answer was it could go either way. Some people get sick less often because of their over-active immune system, but others get sick more often because their immune system is working so hard attacking moisture-producing glands that it doesn't fight the virus.

So far I've gotten sick less often. The last time I was sick was October, 2008, knock on wood. I traveled and was around sneezing and coughing people in December, 2009, expecting to get sick and didn't!

I'm curious if others tend to get sick more or less often. Hopefully less!

shawnmariehardy 10-19-2010 12:01 PM

Re: Do you get sick more or less often?
For several years now I have wondered why I have not had a cold. I have had a gut feeling that it was due to something autoimmune, but how can I know for sure? I can't. Either I am extremely healthy, which I don't think I am, or something else is at work.

I am 49, 5'7", 150 pounds, and as physically fit as I can tolerate being without being in constant pain (if I don't exercise I am much worse, but it is an on-again, off-again thing depending on my flare-ups). i started having major problems over 10 years ago, just after the birth of my daughter, who is now 12. It has progressed to what I think is going to turn out to be Sjogren's Syndrome. The reason I think that is because I have dry eyes, nose, ears, mouth, skin, etc. I was diagnosed with Osteoporosis early in 2010, with Insterstitial Cystitis back in 2007, with Fibromyalgia in 2005, and with early menopause in 2004. I have a history of chronic gum and nasal lesions, lost sense of smell and taste (or the sense of smelling things that aren't there), high cholesterol, tinnitus, neuropathy, Raynauds, Chronic Fatigue, Cramp Fasiculation Syndrome, arthritis (shown on x-ray only), a blister-like rash that looks like herpes, an intermitant "mildly positive" test for Celiac Disease, superventricular tachycardia, fungal infections under my toenails and in a certain unmentionable spot, low blood pressure and heart rate, fainting, and a condition that was diagnosed as Myotonia, simply because that is what it presents as--the muscle testing showed a negative, but the fact remains: when I clench my fingers tightly, or my eyes, or my jaw, then relax, the muscles stay contracted and only after several minutes do they fully relax.

I am very frustrated. My primary care physcian is irritated with me because I won't take Boniva or take the yearly injection for the osteoporosis, or the statins for high cholesterol. My cholesterol was 234 at last count, which was lowered by several points by a change of diet and exercise. Triglycerides are normal I have chronic muscle pain and twitching due to that half-diagnosed underlying problem, so I don't want to take the drugs. I have enough pain. I won't take oral meds for osteoporosis because of the history of stomach and esophageal cancer in my family, and my own history of GERD (which I treat naturally with DGL licorice), I won't take the injections because they are killing women and I don't believe enough studies have been done on them...heck, the injection is once a year so you know it's going to be strong and tough on someone, like me, who has little tolerance of pills.

So, that's the medium-length version of my story, and back to your question...well, I get all these other odd things inside and out, but I have not had a cold since about 2006. I had a really bad sinus infection in 2004 after a bad case of the flu too. After that, it all tapered off. I picked up some weird bug in January 2008, three days after I disembarked from a plane that came from Auckland, New Zealand. The only symtpoms were a fever of 104.5 and the worst headache imaginable. That lasted for a week and I have had nothing since. Even if I feel like I might be getting something, my nose doesn't make mucous (even though I can never breath out of it and it feels like it's stuffed). I irrigate with saline, which helps.

I have had a slew of doctors, some who have been very helpful and others who should not be in the profession. My current doctor will not refer me to a rheumatologist for a second opinion on the Sjogren's, so I am looking for another doctor. My ANA was normal. I want the lip biopsy and the saliva and eye tests done.

My mom has sero-negative RA and I wonder if I follow in her footsteps.

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