Does autoimmune disease = immunocompromised?
Does having an autoimmune disease (PSC specifically) mean that you should avoid situations with other immunocompromised individuals? Yes, this is coming up because of coronavirus, but good to know for the future guidance anyway. The PSC’er has not had a transplant and is otherwise healthy. I’m just not clear if autoimmune = immunocompromised. Thank you in advance.
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Hello @ddwilliams, Welcome to Connect. I have no medical background or training but do think there is probably a relationship between an autoimmune disease and immunodeficiency or immunocompromised individuals. Here's some information I found:
The Association Between Immunodeficiency and the Development of Autoimmune Disease
There is also another discussion you may be interested in following here:
> Groups > Lung Health > COVID-19 Coronavirus — https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/covid-19-coronovirus/
@rosemarya may have some thoughts for future guidance.
I have the very same question. Does having autoimmune disease mean that I am more susceptible to illnesses? Do I need to be more careful than people without autoimmune issues?
@elmay I have an autoimmune condition and I’m in my mid 70s so I think I need to be more careful for what it’s worth.
@ddwilliams Great question! @johnbishop s articles are very interesting, but I would also say to check with the doctor, just to be safe. Many people with autoimmune diseases are treated with steroids and/or chemotherapy drugs. These make us very immunocompromised. Your doctor will know the medications that you’re on and what your lab values are so they will have the best answer for you. All the best to you!
@ddwilliams, Welcome to Connect. I was diagnosed with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) that progressed to to end stage liver disease, and the need for a liver transplant. There is some research that indicates that there may be some autoimmune connection and that a person with PSC might have other autoimmune conditions. Having an autoimmune disease means that a person's own immune system has turned to attacking a part of his/her own body. He/She is not a risk to anyone.
Immunocompromised – I am now immunocompromised because I take antirejection medicines to suppress my immune system. This is so that my body's natural defense system (immune response) does not attack my transpanted organ, that it thinks is a foreign object . Now, since my natural defense is suppressed, I have to be extra careful to avoid germs, even the common cold.
As long as your friend is healthy, I would feel comfortable being around him. I have my own post transplant rules that I follow all the time. These include: Wash hands, Avoid people who are sick, Avoid crowds during flu season, Don't shake hands. A person who is immunocomprised should be proactive in taking the necessary precautions.
@ddwilliams, Mayo Clinic Rochester MN is the global leader in research and search for a cure for Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC). I invite you tos hare this with your friend. Pages.Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC).Newsfeed
I guess my thought was – if it was an environmental trigger that caused the body to turn on itself and develop PSC, is he more susceptible to another environmental trigger? I don't know.
@ddwilliams Like was mentioned earlier, a great question! The definition of immunocompromised is "having an impaired immune system". To my line of thinking, that includes those who may be taking anti-rejection medications that suppress the immune system. It also, to my thinking, means someone who has a condition that involves their immune system not functioning in a healthy manner, who may or may not be taking medication. Similar to @johnbishop I have several autoimmune conditions, consider myself to be immunocompromised, and take appropriate steps these days.
I am diagnosed with alpha anti tripsyn dificency. As a result of I developed enphasizma and atrophy of my pancreas resulted in acute pancreatitis and gastroparesis.
Which may be my next question could my alpha 1 have a correlation with the atrophy of other organ s e.g. so far cerebellum and pancreas without use of alcohol healthy life style. Thank you.☺
@ddwilliams, I don't know either. This might be a good question for his liver doctor.
By the way – How long has he had PSC? How is he being monitored? Any symptoms?
@marty1996 Wow, the name of your disease is a mouthful. It must be very difficult dealing with all these changes at once. When we’re you diagnosed? What symptoms are you experiencing? And, mostly, what has the doctor said about a correlation to other organs? Id like to invite @waterboy to get involved in this discussion