Living Gluten Free

Posts tagged ‘Rheumatology’

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


10 medications, 3 doctors and a partridge in a pear tree.

So those of you that follow me know that I have Celiac, Sjogren’s Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and Alopecia. All my doctors know of each other and they are all given what medications each of them give me  just in case one doesn’t work with another. Well a new doctors in town and my new Rheumatologist thinks I do not have Alopecia or Fibromyalgia. She feels I have a form of Lupus instead, which can also mimic Fibromyalgia and Alopecia. So next month doctor 4 a Dermatologists from the University of Illinois Hospital will do a biopsy of my scalp, yep my scalp. I wrote about needing a wig sometime ago because I have a bald spot. So if it comes out lupus then I no longer will be diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Alopecia. YEAH !!! I guess? Still may need a wig or a small hair piece.

Doctors appointments, keeping track of all these med’s. Really!!!, when will I feel better? No one can tell me, I saw 2 my 3 doctors today. More medication for another month, then if things are not better we should think about sending you to the Mayo Clinic, really!!! This sucks. I thought after I was diagnosed and going gluten-free that I would feel great, everyone else seems to say they feel wonderful.  Although I am better I still have several issues that haven’t cleared up. More med’s to help but I am literally taken more medication then my grandmother did (I miss her) I learned today that there is a form of Celiac Disease which is called Nonresponsive CD. The prevalence of nonresponsive CD is unknown (Uggg) Even eating gluten-free may not help, that sucks.

When is enough enough? I don’t know. It could be worse, I know that. I just needed to vent and I thank you for giving me the opportunity to do that. If you need to vent let me know I am a great listener.