Author Topic: Is our autoimmune disease the same as a "weakened immune system"?  (Read 231 times)

deeindiana

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 525
    • Deb Perry Studio: photography & graphic arts
When evaluating if someone has Covid19 symptoms we see that people with weakened immune systems are considered  vunerable. So is having an autoimmune disease (Sjogrens, Lupus, rhumatoid arthritis, etc) give you a "weakened" immune system? I guess I always thought of mine as an "overactive" or "destructive" immune system because it seems to attack my own body without reason. But is that the same thing as weakened? Are we more suspectable to the virus?
Diagnosed June 2010.
Rheumy at University of Michigan Med Center. Age 52
Severely dry mouth & throat with difficulty swallowing, fibro, allodynia of the scalp.
Medications: Atenolol, Dexilant, Zoloft, Zocor, Flaxseed oil, Vit D, Nasonex, Plaquenil
I am my own worst enemy...

Linda196

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5113
Re: Is our autoimmune disease the same as a "weakened immune system"?
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2020, 09:53:33 AM »
If we are treating with an immunosuppresant, like Prednisone or Methotrexate, that is considered "weakened". A better term would be "compromised" in that it covers suppression (weakening) of the system, but also disregulation, such as we have with the overactive, aggressive or destructive things we see in an autoimmune disease.
 
If asked if I have a weakened Immune system, I would respond that I have a compromised one, without predictability as to how it would react to any infection or exposure. Because I take both Prednisone and Methotrexate, and because of my age, I am considered at risk anyway.
Please check out our home page at http://www.sjogrensworld.org/index.html {{INCLUDES A LINK TO AMAZON SHOPPING!!}}
; and live chat at https://kiwiirc.com/client/irc.dal.net/#SjogrensWorld

Carolina

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5785
  • —if it ain't one thing, it's another." Roseanne R.
Re: Is our autoimmune disease the same as a "weakened immune system"?
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2020, 05:48:41 AM »
Autoimmune Disorders are Immune Disorders, but not a 'weakened immune system'  as such.

I have Primary Immune Disorder, my system has very low amounts of IgG and IgM, two of the antibodies made by our immune system to fight off infections. So my immune system is severely compromised.

I always got every infection that came along, fungal, viral, bacterial.  I was constantly sick.

NOW, my Immune System is strengthened by infusions of the antibody IgG, donated by 1,000-10,000 paid donors.  I have a 3 hours infusion of 35 grams of IgG every four weeks.  A nurse comes to my house to give me the IVIG infusion. 

I've had IVIG every 4 weeks for 7 years, and will have it the rest of my life.  And I almost never get sick, which is amazing.  I am so thankful for the donors who make my life so much better.

The infusions cannot, however protect me from COVID-19.  I get protection from my donors IgG for almost everything.  But since COVID-19 is new, my donors have no antibodies to it.  And if I were exposed, my own Immune System is still weak and unable to fight the virus. I would die, not doubt about it.

I will not be able to leave isolation until there is a safe vaccine for COVID-19, AND I test positive to being immune.  And we know the immunity is permanent.

My husband is in isolation with me, since if he is exposed, he would bring it to me, even if he weren't showing symptoms yet. 

It's gonna be a long long time.

elaine

Female-Elaine,78-CVID-pSJS-IC-PN-CAD-Osteoarthritis-COPD-SFN-Knee/Shoulder Degeneration-SIBO-Intertrigo-Act.Purpura-Raynaud's-Meniere's-Hiatal Hernia-Achalasia-IVIG Gamunex-Medrol-Gabapentin-Atenolol-Pilocarpine-LDN-Nasonex-Lipitor-Estrogel-D-Mannose-NAC-Co-Q10-D3-Omega 3-Naltrexone-Omeprazole-

felpeyu2

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 27
Re: Is our autoimmune disease the same as a "weakened immune system"?
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2020, 11:15:12 PM »
Hello. I am worried about Cytokine storms. As you can read in https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20200417/cytokine-storms-may-be-fueling-some-covid-deaths: "Cytokine Storms May Be Fueling Some COVID Deaths" and "Cytokine storms are known to happen in autoimmune diseases like juvenile arthritis".

So the issue is that we have an autoimmune disease and covid can trigger a very huge autoimmune response like cytokine storms. I would like to know the risk of Sjogren with this cytokine storms.


deeindiana

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 525
    • Deb Perry Studio: photography & graphic arts
Re: Is our autoimmune disease the same as a "weakened immune system"?
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2020, 04:02:06 PM »
Thank you all for sharing your info. All information helps.
Diagnosed June 2010.
Rheumy at University of Michigan Med Center. Age 52
Severely dry mouth & throat with difficulty swallowing, fibro, allodynia of the scalp.
Medications: Atenolol, Dexilant, Zoloft, Zocor, Flaxseed oil, Vit D, Nasonex, Plaquenil
I am my own worst enemy...

Carolina

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5785
  • —if it ain't one thing, it's another." Roseanne R.
Re: Is our autoimmune disease the same as a "weakened immune system"?
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2020, 05:14:54 PM »
Dear felpeyu2,

I asked my Immunologist about Cytokine Storms, because my Defective Immune system mounts attacks on the nerves in my body with Cytokines!!  I have extensive nerve damage throughout my body, as a result.

If you have an Autoimmune Condition, then your Immune System attacks your organs/systems with autoantibodies.

The results are very similar.

So of course I was quite concerned about a Cytokine Storm, in my case.  (Actually since my immune system is profoundly compromised, I would just die right away, no question.)

She said not to worry.  Cytokine storms are very rare, and occur when your immune system is trying to kill invading viruses, but goes into overdrive and begins attacking your own organs/systems. 

It's like your troops are shooting at the enemy and then begin shooting at the generals and headquarters of your own army.

Your immune system normally uses antibodies and cytokines and probably other things I don't know about, to fight invading infectious agents.

Take away:  1. Cytokine storms are very rare.  2. Nothing can be done to prevent a Cytokine Storm .

Falls under 'the things I cannot change', which means accept and forget about it.

Regards, Elaine
Female-Elaine,78-CVID-pSJS-IC-PN-CAD-Osteoarthritis-COPD-SFN-Knee/Shoulder Degeneration-SIBO-Intertrigo-Act.Purpura-Raynaud's-Meniere's-Hiatal Hernia-Achalasia-IVIG Gamunex-Medrol-Gabapentin-Atenolol-Pilocarpine-LDN-Nasonex-Lipitor-Estrogel-D-Mannose-NAC-Co-Q10-D3-Omega 3-Naltrexone-Omeprazole-

felpeyu2

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 27
Re: Is our autoimmune disease the same as a "weakened immune system"?
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2020, 05:34:28 AM »
I do not know if lymphopenia is a typical issue of Sjogren, but I have it. It seems that lymphopenia is bad in order to fight the covid19, but I do not know if this problem with lymphopenia in covid19  is a cause or a consequence.