Fibromyalgia is an autoimmune illness

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by marcus1243, Aug 18, 2003.

  1. marcus1243

    marcus1243 New Member

    According to my rheumy, who works in a hospital rheumatology clinic. I know this isn't news to many of you, but it's significant that he's revised his opinions after saying for so long that FM isn't autoimmune. Apparently, current thinking in the medical profession is that Fibro *is* autoimmune after all, but not with the same severity as RA, Lupus, Scleroderma, MS etc. And it still fails to show up in tests, unlike the aforementioned diseases, which can be 90% diagnosed from lab tests.
    Anyway, what he's now saying is that it might be possible to improve if:
    1) A dietary regime is followed to detox/cleanse the body
    2) Appropriate vitamins/supplements taken to boost the immune system
    3)The body is cleansed of any known antagonists/stressors to the immune system such as heavy metal poisoning/environmental toxins/candida etc
    If any of these three are not followed, improvement is unlikely, it seems. But I'm now on a similar regime to the above, so we'll see if there's any basis to it. I must admit, I'm sceptical, because I also think there's an endocrine dysfunction going on too, but hey, it's worth a shot, I guess.
    Just thought you might be interested.
  2. bamboo

    bamboo New Member

    i've had so many unsupportive experiences with mainstream medicine in the past that i am pleasantly surprised to hear that a rheumatologist is now thinking along these lines! thanks for sharing this. has this rheumy also started you on the routines he/she suggests, or have you been referred to someone in "alternative" medicine?
  3. DemiMorgue

    DemiMorgue New Member

    i was told that i have no immunity to rubella, and since my husband and i are about to go tho invitro with a surrogate, my doc's office (that ordered the blood tests) has suggested that the ivf doctor may require me to have a vaccination against it...

    if my immune system is down, do i really want them shooting me with the MMR vaccine???

    i know it will be my doctor that answers that "for sure", but it's that waiting for the call back that makes your head spin with all the questions....

    anyone have any thoughts???
  4. IgotYou

    IgotYou New Member

    After all, all of the inflammation tests and autoimmune tests that peg most other autoimmune diseases come back negative on this one. I chased down an autoimmunity explanation for my fibro symptoms for years because I also had been diagnosed with sarcoidosis. Because it didn't explain all my symptoms, I thought I might have another autoimmune disease as well. It was frustrating, because none of the various autoimmune diseases fit perfectly - some of the symptoms would match, but not enough of them, and my blood tests didn't show anything (my sarcoidosis was in remission). I never even considered fibro - what a shock it was when I was diagnosed and then read up and realized I had found the answer at last. It was such a relief to find that something was a perfect match for what I was experiencing! My personal gut feeling is that fibro is not an autoimmune disease, but that it so weakens the body that those who are susceptible to autoimmune activity have a greater chance of it being triggered. But I'm no doctor. I will grant that it certainly FEELS like an autoimmune disease.

    P.S. To contradict myself, I have noticed that everything that strains my immune system launches me into another flare. My current one started following the flu. I've had them following vaccines, colds, stress, accidents, and surgery. All of those affect the immune system. So maybe it is autoimmune? I don't know.[This Message was Edited on 08/19/2003]
  5. marcus1243

    marcus1243 New Member

    The rheumy has started me on a dietary and supplement regime, tho interestingly, he did recommend seeing an 'alternative' or holistic practitioner. That may not be as wild as it seems, because their speciality is in treating the whole body rather than looking at symptomatically as doctors do. I'll give it a go I think -- nothing to lose eh?
  6. Spoclar

    Spoclar New Member

    My dx is UCTD - Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease - due to a high ANA and some various pain symptoms, but negative (so far anyway) for lupus, RA, etc. I went to a lecture given by a clinical immunologist a couple years ago. He mentioned a theory that FM may be an autoimmune condition of the pain receptors in the body.

    Recently my rheumatologist mentioned that he thinks I may also have FM. So I'm thinking back to that seminar and very glad to see this particular thread at this website!
  7. libra55

    libra55 New Member

    Hi Marcus, your post was very interesting. There is such a difference of opinion on this particular subject within the medical community.

    My rheumatologist, like yours, also believes that fibro is an autoimmune disorder. So does my dentist, who is very forward thinking. We are doing mercury removal now, all my amalgam fillings, replaced with porcelain crowns, one tooth at a time. It is taking forever since my mouth is a toxic waste dump. But we will get there, for sure.

    My GP, however, does not feel that fibro belongs in the autoimmune category at all. I had watched a TV talk show about fibro not long ago, and it was classified on that show as "a complex autoimmune condition". When I mentioned it to my GP he scoffed and said, "Well, we don't know exactly what it is but it isn't autoimmune." I was rendered speechless by this remark.

    If it isn't autoimmune, then I'd love to know what it IS. This disease has totally incapacitated me at times. I wish he could live in my skin for one day and feel what this pain is like.

    I certainly am on the autoimmune side of the fence on this subject. Plus so many of us have co-existing conditions in addition to the fibromyalgia, that this cannot be a coincidence. There are people on these boards suffering with lupus, RA, MS and more; myself with chronic uveitis which is an inflammatory autoimmune condition of the inner eye.

    Well, I know this has been a rambling post since I am a little bit foggy this morning, but I just wanted to give you my two cents' worth.

    Best wishes to you,
  8. idiotsinc

    idiotsinc New Member

    Which comes first, the autoimmune illness or neurological problems, such as anxiety. The way my shrink describes it the autoimmune problems are a symptom, they are caused by the stress created by the neurological problems. Take care of the latter and over time the former will improve. Unfortunately the key word is time and hopefully with the treatments I'm taking "it" will tell.
    One big thing to keep in mind in finding something that helps is the power of the "placebo effect". We often are helped at first by "cures" because if we really believe they will help they can reduce the anxiety we have because of our conditions, causing short term relief. It takes a long time to know if something is really working.

    [This Message was Edited on 08/20/2003]
  9. isee

    isee New Member

    The relapse/remission pattern I've experienced with CFS, would tend to support your doctor's theory about the dd as autoimmune, and it's recovery potential.

    I have gone into remission twice by changing my diet, essentially a yeast-free diet: no bread,no cheese, no fermented food,etc. No caffeine or alcohol or sugar. I did
    eat unyeasted whole-wheat tortillas and almond butter, though. In addition, I drank a lot of carrot,beet, and celery juice. I ate very little animal protein. My remissions lasted approx. 5 yrs. During these, I slowly began eating culprit foods like bread,sodas, coffee, blue

    In this relapse, which has lasted more than a year, I was slow to remove these foods. Now that I have I think I'm getting better. In addition, I'm doing IV therapy using megadoses of Vitamin C and B6, of which -
    according to tests - I was grossly deficient.

    I'm curious about the dietary regime your doctor put you on.
    Would you be willing to share what that diet is?


  10. pixipip

    pixipip New Member

    I'm truely encouraged by your news. I'm 35 I've had fms my whole life but was only correctly diognosed 2 years ago, but way back when I was about 14 my GP was convinsed this was some kind of autoimmune disorder/arthritis. Maybe he was right afterall!
  11. pixipip

    pixipip New Member

    I'm truely encouraged by your news. I'm 35 I've had fms my whole life but was only correctly diognosed 2 years ago, but way back when I was about 14 my GP was convinsed this was some kind of autoimmune disorder/arthritis. Maybe he was right afterall!