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Lupus

Auto-Immune Disorders

01/09/2001

Question:

Hello. I am a 43 year old female, and while I don`t have Lupus, I do have some auto-immune disorders I`m hoping you can help me with. The conditions that I have been positively diagnosed with are: Idiopathic, non-diabetic gastroparesis, Hashimoto`s Thyroiditis, ulcerative colitis, and borderline low, to low (varies) idiopathic pancytopenia, primarily involving the platelets, which have gone from a low of 97 to my current high of around 140. My real question is, since I seem to be gaining new conditions (the thyroid and colitis this year), and I`m told that these are "probably" all inter-related, what should I be doing to insure my best chance at health? Is there anything I or a specialist in Immunology can do in the way of prevention of anything more? Thank you for your time and consideration.

Answer:

Sometimes patients do not develop a classic connective tissue disease or autoimmune disorder. They have a few autoantibodies and `Bits and pieces` from more than one connective tissue disease. We call this an Undifferentiated Connective Tissue disorder and follow the patient for eventual development of a specific condition. There nothing to be done to prevent it. At the same time patients may have multiple autoimmune conditions, sometimes involving several endocrine systems (diabetes, pernicious anemia, hypothyroidism, adrenal gland insufficiency). These sometimes run in families and some types start in childhood. I think you should see a specialist and make sure that all those diagnoses are real and see if you have any particular, specific autoantibodies and also if all your problems can be part of one condition. At the same time this will provide you a good follow up to see if anything else develops.

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Response by:

Yolanda   Farhey, MD Yolanda Farhey, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati