Betrayed from within
By one_of_many_voices on November 20, 2012
For years now my immune system has been acting like a double agents. Sure it has protected me from numerous viruses and bacterial infection, but it has turned on me.
The first time my doctors figured out it decided to go rogue was when it attacked my thyroid in the form of Graves Disease. There was nothing that would stop it from its course and the Thyroid had to be destroyed with radiation therapy to prevent heart problems. So now I take synthetic hormone every day.
Then I started breaking out in hives randomly... Autoimmune Urticaria... once again nothing could be done to make the immune system stop and I just had to wait for remission. Benadryl became a quick fix.
After that my GYN told me that while the cause is still unknown that many in the medical community now think that endometriosis could be an autoimmune disorder. Birth Control helps.
Eight months ago my hair started falling out. First it was my eyelashes, and then my eyebrows, and then patches of hair all over my scalp. I went to see the dermatologist and I have Alopecia Areata. My immune system is attacking my hair follicles! It continues to get worse despite the many treatments of steroid shots into my face and scalp (though I did get my eyebrows back!). I went out and bought a wig.
My doctor suggested I try cyclosporine to suppress my immune system. It’s not a cure, just a temporary reprieve until I hopefully go into remission. However to go on the medication required blood tests to see if my kidneys were in good shape since this medication can be damaging. I wasn’t sure I wanted to risk my kidneys for my vanity so I put it off until my doctor convinced me that as long as we monitor the kidneys I would be ok.
I got my blood results back and my kidneys are great, however, on the blood panel with my kidney function came back news that my liver is not acting right.
My doctor thinks with my medical history there is a good chance that my immune system has upped the ante and gone for the liver and I may have autoimmune hepatitis. WTF
So back to the doctor I go tomorrow for yet more tests in yet another battle I can fight, but can’t win unless the other side decides it is bored and magically goes away. Even if it does decide to randomly stop it doesn’t mean it won’t come back.
While researching all of the above it turns out that the immune system will pretty much go after anything it wants to and with my history none of my organs are safe. It is frustrating because the doctors don’t really know that much about why. It may be genetics and it happens to women more often than men.