Living Gluten Free

Posts tagged ‘Fibromyalgia’

Autoimmune Diseases and Migraines


I’m writing this because I know a lot of people who suffer from migraines and I had mentioned to a friend on Facebook (that I have never met) about having Sjogren’s Syndrome and migraines, she also suffers from migraines and she mentioned it to her doctor and she found that she also has Sjogren’s Syndrome. So maybe this might help someone else bring this up to their doctor and ask about the possibility of having an autoimmune disease that isn’t often talked about. It doesn’t hurt to ask especially if your migraines are not getting better, it could be something else along with it.

It is estimated there are currently over 100 different autoimmune disease out there and that it is one of the top reasons why there is so much illness in the United States. As many of you that have followed me know I have 4 autoimmune diseases. One autoimmune disease that I have is Sjogren’s Syndrome, it is the most undiagnosed autoimmune disease out there. I should know, I have been tested for everything else but once they found I had Celiac Disease and Fibromyalgia they started to pay attention to the other symptoms I complained about and tested me for Sjogren’s Syndrome.

So briefly I will get into autoimmune diseases, the body’s immune system goes crazy. Normally it  protects the body against foreign invaders like viruses and bacteria.  When it becomes confused, the immune system begins to recognize organs and tissues as invaders and begins to attack the body and healthy organs.

In the case of Sjogren’s Syndrome, the antibodies go to  war on the moisture producing glands and mucus membranes.  Unfortunately the main targets are these moisture producing glands but the entire body is affected and systemic symptoms can be disabling for some patients. Think about this our bodies are water based so this really messes with your body.

Now with Migraine Disease there are more women than men who suffer from them and  90% of Sjogren’s patients are female. So is there a link? Sjogren’s Syndrome is characterized by periods of increased disease activity called a flare. Flares can be caused by many things, stress, physical injury, lack of sleep the list goes on.. So these flares can cause migraines and migraines can cause flares Also medication used for Sjogren’s Syndrome can also often act as triggers for migraines and migraine medication can also cause Sjogren’s Syndrome to flare.

My team of doctors explained it like this to me. My body is in constant fight mode. It never truly rests. Its like on high alert, fighting all the time. And there isn’t much I can do about it, now I’m by no means complaining. If you have read some of my post I have come a long way from 2 years ago. I used to be on 14- 15 med’s and now I’m down to 5. I’m up to 7 supplements but that’s ok. My blood pressure has been so good they finally have lowered my med’s that hasn’t happened in 10 years. I’m at a great weight, I eat healthy and I have had only 2 migraines in the last couple of months. Life is pretty good.

Here are a couple or sites to get more info on

http://www.sjogrens.org/

http://migraine.com/blog/migraine-triggers-and-comorbidities-sjogrens-syndrome/?uuid=5006bb9b82cc4162083477

http://www.sjogrensworld.org/tepper.htm#Headaches

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Is Celiac Disease the causes of other health issues?


There is a lot of personnel information in here and a lot of medical information that I have collected while trying to figure out things that happened health wise to me in the past and linking it to my diagnoses of Celiac Disease in February of 2010. I am not a medical doctor and I don’t pretend to play one. The information I am sharing is only to try to help someone else sitting there going through issues and thinking they are alone. I also don’t want to scare people who are newly diagnosed, again this is information I have collected and what I personally went through

Let me also start by saying that I don’t want anyone to feel bad for me. Things happen for a reason and I do truly believe that. I am exactly where I am supposed to be at this time in my life. Oh one more thing, throughout this blog you will see and read my little sarcastic remarks because well that’s just me.

Most people can just have Celiac Disease or are gluten sensitive and that’s it, some don’t even have symptoms. People who have Celiac Disease do tend to have other autoimmune diseases (Of course we do, why not!)  In which the immune system attacks the body’s healthy cells and tissues. They feel the connection to this may be genetic (Don’t tell my mother, she is still mad because I told her Celiac Disease is genetic. LOL) 14% of the celiac patients had thyroid disease, 6.4% of adults with type 1 diabetes can have celiac disease.

Some of the other autoimmune diseases are (Let me get this one out-of-the-way because YES I have it) is Sjögren’s syndrome, a condition in which the glands that produce tears and saliva are destroyed. Now I have been suffering from dry eyes and dry mouth forever but it wasn’t until I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease did they pay attention to all my other symptoms.  The other diseases they feel are connected to Celiac Disease are Type 1 diabetes, Autoimmune Thyroid Disease, (which I mentioned earlier) Autoimmune Liver Disease (My doctor is on the fence with this one, I must have liver scans every 6 months) Rheumatoid Arthritis and Addison’s disease, a condition in which the glands that produce critical hormones are damaged.

Gluten is also linked to many psychiatric and neurological diseases (OK ready, here we go) such as anxiety, schizophrenia, depression, dementia (My friends tell me I have the start of this), migraines (I have had them my whole life, not fun at all), epilepsy, and neuropathy (nerve damage). Now I do have Fibromyalgia which causes pain and tender points in joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. Is this related to Celiac Disease some say yes others say no.

There are many other health issues that some say are caused by Celiac Disease especially if untreated.  Cancer, miscarriages, infertility and early menopause are also linked to Celiac Disease. I had my first child at 21, a beautiful, healthy boy and delivered in several hours. No biggy, I can do this again. When he was 4 I got pregnant and lost that pregnancy around 4 months.  Over the next 2 1/2 years I lost 2 sons’ that were born premature. Now I wonder did it have anything to do with my undiagnosed celiac? Not sure, I don’t know or really want to know now because you can’t change the past you can only look to the future.  Finally after getting pregnant yet again, I had a surgery called a Cerclage (they suture the cervix shut) and it is usually performed between weeks 14-16 of pregnancy.  These sutures are removed between 36-38 weeks to prevent any problems when you go into labor and for extra care my doctors confined to bed rest after my surgery (That was not fun).  Unfortunately, I couldn’t keep anything down and had to drink Ensure shakes (The smell of them still makes me gag) to get some kind of nutrient in me. I gained 20 lbs and lost 18 of it before the delivery. By the heavens above my youngest and last child was born, a healthy baby boy.

So I can only imagine how overwhelming all this information is, I know it was for me at first. Again I don’t want to scare anyone. I was just giving information from my research over the last year and a half.

Now I was always or at least I thought I was very proactive when it came to my health and I would ask the doctors questions and question their test or medications that they gave me. I had never heard about Celiac Disease and it was never brought up in any conversation with any doctor over the years (25 at least). Since being diagnosed I find that I am not the only one who suffered for most of their lives. Most of us in are 50’s (Yes I will admit to my age) are finding out we were misdiagnosed.

I wrote this blog because I am getting articles from so many people about the diseases and issues it can cause. I have shared this information with the hope that maybe one person will read this and go to a doctor with a little more information than I did or ask one more question than I did or at least won’t feel all alone like I did.