Does autoimmune disease = immunocompromised?

Posted by ddwilliams @ddwilliams, Mar 12, 2020

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.

@johnbishop

I listened to the following informative podcast that may help answer some questions and hopefully help ease some anxiety.

Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast: Dr. Gregory Poland, a Mayo Clinic infectious diseases expert, answers COVID-19 questions:
https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-qa-podcast-dr-gregory-poland-a-mayo-clinic-infectious-diseases-expert-answers-covid-19-questions/

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@johnbishop And all he would hoard is cheap yellow mustard and dark chocolate! Good podcast to listen to.
Ginger

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@johnbishop

I listened to the following informative podcast that may help answer some questions and hopefully help ease some anxiety.

Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast: Dr. Gregory Poland, a Mayo Clinic infectious diseases expert, answers COVID-19 questions:
https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-qa-podcast-dr-gregory-poland-a-mayo-clinic-infectious-diseases-expert-answers-covid-19-questions/

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I thought this was a very interesting podcast. Calm down people & do what the advisers are telling us to do. If we work together we can beat this.

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@elmay

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?

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Yes!

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I asked my hemotologist at Mayo and was told that those of us with autoimmune disease are NOT immunecompromised. Our immune system work well, too well!

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@rarelybees2889

I asked my hemotologist at Mayo and was told that those of us with autoimmune disease are NOT immunecompromised. Our immune system work well, too well!

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@rarelybees2889 I will respectfully disagree. Immunocompromised indicates an impaired immune system. Which to me, means not working normally. I guess we can agree to disagree!
Ginger

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That seems odd for Mayo to say.

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@rarelybees2889

I asked my hemotologist at Mayo and was told that those of us with autoimmune disease are NOT immunecompromised. Our immune system work well, too well!

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I hate to disagree with a Mayo Clinic Doctor but for 18 years and different specialty Dr's I have been told I am immunocompromised due to RA and the medications I take.

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These terms can become confusing, so I went to the MedTerms Medical Dictionary A-Z List – A . Here are the definitions and the link to the site. I https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/alphaidx.asp?p=a_dict

-Immunocompromised: Having an immune system that has been impaired by disease or medical treatment.

-Autoimmune: Pertaining to autoimmunity, a misdirected immune response that occurs when the immune system goes awry and attacks the body itself.
Autoimmunity is present to some extent in everyone and is usually harmless. However, autoimmunity can cause a broad range of human illnesses, known collectively as autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune diseases occur when there is progression from benign autoimmunity to pathogenic autoimmunity. This progression is determined by genetic influences as well as environmental triggers.
Autoimmunity is evidenced by the presence of autoantibodies (antibodies directed against the person who produced them) and T cells that are reactive with host antigens.

-Autoimmune disease: An illness that occurs when the body tissues are attacked by its own immune system. The immune system is a complex organization within the body that is designed normally to "seek and destroy" invaders of the body, including infectious agents. Patients with autoimmune diseases frequently have unusual antibodies circulating in their blood that target their own body tissues.

Stay well.

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@gingerw

@rarelybees2889 I will respectfully disagree. Immunocompromised indicates an impaired immune system. Which to me, means not working normally. I guess we can agree to disagree!
Ginger

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I think maybe it goes to show there isn't a clear answer? For my PSC son, it seems to dependent on meds and stage of the disease. I was hoping for clear-cut guidance, but it doesn't sound like there is, probably because it behaves differently in each person.

Thank you to everyone for your input. Stay safe!

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I have Morphea and can not find a doctor who knows anything about it. It took me seven years ,three outbreaks and way to many doctors to get treatment. I went UK dermatology and was given meds that worked on all the discoloration ,but now I am getting sharp burning pains in the many areas that are affected.

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Having autoimmune disease /diseases does make us more susceptible to contagious diseases.

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@momofthree1

Having autoimmune disease /diseases does make us more susceptible to contagious diseases.

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Hi,
It’s possible you could be more susceptible to diseases. Either way, like anybody else you should be careful not to knowingly be around anyone who is ill.
Hope you can get answers to your health concerns.

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@momofthree1

I have Morphea and can not find a doctor who knows anything about it. It took me seven years ,three outbreaks and way to many doctors to get treatment. I went UK dermatology and was given meds that worked on all the discoloration ,but now I am getting sharp burning pains in the many areas that are affected.

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@momofthree1 If you care to, will you tell us more about the morphea? I know that most of us with an autoimmune disease had a long time before getting diagnosed. What symptoms took you to the doctor? Are your symptoms controlled now?

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@morphea Hi Welcome to connect where we help if we can . I found a website for you if you want to look at it http://www.nih.gov/rarediseases

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@markymark911

I'm wondering if I am in the correct discussion area, and if so, my question has to do with, am I at Higher risk to COVID 19 having Lichens Planus?

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Hello @markymark911, Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I also have an autoimmune condition and feel I am a high risk patient due to that and my age. There is a discussion in the COVID-19 group that you may want to join where members are discussion questions similar to yours and also learning safe practices for the COVID-19 situation.

COVID-19 What do people with immune deficiency need to do? — https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/covid19-primary-and-common-immune-deficiency/

You may also be interested in reading through the following discussion on Lichen Planus and read the latest Mayo Clinic News Network information on COVID-19

Lichen planus — https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/lichen-planus-2da636/
Mayo Clinic News Network — https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/category/covid-19/

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