Author Topic: Sjogren's causing asthma?  (Read 2322 times)

tangowhiskie

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Sjogren's causing asthma?
« on: September 08, 2010, 08:58:55 AM »
I have my third appointment with my rheumy on Monday.  I'm still not officially diagnosed with SjS yet, but I'm hoping to cover some more material with him.  One thing I've always been concerned about is my asthma.

Back in 2006, I went to the ER for an adrenal cyst I had that exploded, and while I was there they did a chest x-ray.  I had definitely been having problems with my breathing at this time since it felt heavy, but I thought it was related to my allergies.  The x-ray showed constricted airways, so they diagnosed me with asthma and gave me a fast acting inhaler.  A few months later, I was put on advair.  And a few years later, switched to just asmanex.  I still have a prescription for a fast acting inhaler but I haven't even filled it.  I've never had an asthma attack, and for years my asthma has been controlled.  I've also felt my breathing hasn't felt as heavy since I started treating my GERD (GP said that's because of the mucus the body produces to try and soothe the indigestion).

So, the question is - how many of you have asthma, and how many of you have been told it's connected to your SjS?  And, has taking plaquenil helped any of you with your breathing?

Seeker

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Re: Sjogren's causing asthma?
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2010, 01:22:09 PM »
G'day tangowhiskie, There is a lot out there that can cause breathing problems.  SjS, is one of many.  The Thyroid, is another.  Before you see your doctor, make a list of your symptoms.  Then go over them with him/her. Also have a written list of questions.  Write down what is said.  Do some research on the net.  You and your doctor should be partners in your treatment.  I hope you will get the answers you need.

Seeker

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DragonflyC

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Re: Sjogren's causing asthma?
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2010, 01:32:56 PM »
TW,

You might want to check out this thread started by Magistramarla: http://sjogrensworld.org/forums/index.php?topic=11832.0

It includes her notes about lung complications and Sjogren's from a conference that she attended this past spring. 

Best wishes,
C.
SJS, Hashimoto's, Raynaud's
Plaquenil, Evoxac, Restasis, Levoxyl, fish oil supplements, Vitamin D, NSAIDs, prednisone when flaring
Tested positive for SS-A ( > 8 ) and ANA (>1:640)

Visit me at http://sjogrensstyle.com for ideas about living well despite autoimmune disease.

inga

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Re: Sjogren's causing asthma?
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2010, 01:49:58 PM »
This is one of those issues....one can have unrelated disease.  

Although, one can have lung damage due to AI disease, I would think your asthma is not connected....it just adds to the misery.

That said, if one disease is not controlled well, they all seem to chime in.


DragonflyC

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Re: Sjogren's causing asthma?
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2010, 03:10:35 PM »
Great point, Inga!

Pleurisy was my first ever AI symptom, not that anyone recognized that.  Then, when I was first diagnosed with Hashimoto's, it was because my whole body went arthritic.  My rheum thinks that I was probably having a Sjogren's flare both times because my thyroid was failing. 

When my thyroid got back on track, I still had lung issues for a few months (air hunger, pleurisy, etc.), but then they went away, as did the arthritis.  One thing going wrong set other things off.  When the trigger was controlled, everything else calmed down, too (well, for a few years until SJS really hit). 
SJS, Hashimoto's, Raynaud's
Plaquenil, Evoxac, Restasis, Levoxyl, fish oil supplements, Vitamin D, NSAIDs, prednisone when flaring
Tested positive for SS-A ( > 8 ) and ANA (>1:640)

Visit me at http://sjogrensstyle.com for ideas about living well despite autoimmune disease.

BonusMom

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Re: Sjogren's causing asthma?
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2010, 10:45:21 AM »
I was dx'ed with SjS in 12/08 and asthma in 3/09.  I've only used an inhaler a couple of times.  Cold/wet weather bothers me more than warmer weather.

irish

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Re: Sjogren's causing asthma?
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2010, 11:05:58 PM »
I had just posted about this very same subject on another thread but don't know for sure where.

I have had autoimmune stuff since around early20's and not diagnosed til 2003 at age 60---the asthma was diagnosed in 1981.

I swear that the asthma that I suffer is another manifestation of my sjogrens. I failed the methylcholine challenge years ago but I have never been one to cough. I would get a tight chest but never symptoms like others that I have seen. No coughing til I almost vomited, etc.

Since being diagnosed with sjogrens and doing a lot of research and having several lung diseases related to my low t-cells I finally found myself a pulmonologist. I have been on albuterol inhaler since 1981 and been on QVAR and atrovent for at least 10 years. I was put on a nebulizer about 4 years ago or so as I was having such thick mucus that I could not get it cleared out of my chest. Even with the albuterol nebs I was still having problems. I went back to doc and asked for sterile saline to add to my albuterol nebs and this really helps. I use the individual dose 3 cc ampules or vials--whatever you want to call them.

I also have myasthenia gravis and have weak chest muscles so the doc ordered something called an airway clearance device. The trade name is "The Vest" and it was designed specifically for people with cystic fibrosis to clear mucus out of their lungs. You put it on around your chest and it is hooked to virtually a fancy air compressor that vibrates. Shakes you pretty good and loosens up the mucus. The only reason I got is approved is because I have sjogrens, myasthenia gravis and the low t-cells.

All this being said, I still think that the lung stuff is very closely interntwined and that what seems to be asthma and very well could be a mild case, is also an inflammatory reaction in the lungs related to the sjogrens. This ends up causing us to have a condition called fibrositis--I hope I said the right word. Anyway, seems to me could be related. Thanks Irish ;D

SLEEPY101

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Re: Sjogren's causing asthma?
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2010, 12:09:54 AM »
I have had asthma for 25 years. Since I got sick with possible SJS I do have more chest pain and burning in the chest and coughing with my asthma When I get my cortisone short for my hip it helps my asthma for a few months. I think celebrex helps the inflammation in my lungs also I take advair twice a day that really helps my asthma. I wish one of my Dr would order a check Xray. I haven't had one since I was diagnosed 25 years ago I would like to see what my lungs look like now!:)

irish

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Re: Sjogren's causing asthma?
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2010, 12:39:19 AM »
sleepy, The truth is that chest x-rays aren't all that productive. They show a few things, but not as much as the cat scans. It might be time for you to have a cat scan with contrast as a baseline. A lot of years have gone by and with the sjogrens it may help to have something to refer to down the road. God luck. irish ;D

gphx

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Re: Sjogren's causing asthma?
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2010, 04:26:25 AM »
I don't know if others have the same problem but despite my nose and nostrils being on the large side dryness causes a continual 'stuffy nose' even though there are no obvious secretions blocking up the works. As a result I often mouthbreathe.

As it turns out apparently mouthbreathing can of itself cause problems such as vasoconstriction and bronchoconstriction. It can also dramatically lower oxygen saturation.

Just wanted to mention it because apparently a small conscious change such as closing the mouth and breathing through the nose can have a significant impact on overall physiology.

Here's a link to a research article with regards to the bronchoconstriction specifically:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/677559
Dxed unspecific 'sicca syndrome' eyes and mouth. Neuro issues, muscle weakness. SS Seronegative but high inflammatory markers. Diabetes dx 2010. Glucose control improved neuromuscular issues. Enlarged thyroid under observation 2013. Yippee.

SLEEPY101

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Re: Sjogren's causing asthma?
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2010, 06:55:23 PM »
@gphx
  I have always been a mouth breather due to my allergies and stuffed up nose.