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.

@rosemarya

@ddwilliams, PSC is a rare disease, and you are fortunate that your son was able to get a diagnosis early. Unfortunately there is no cure for PSC, and some patients progress to liver failure while others do not. My PSC was discovered when I was an adult. I do not have any experience with pediatric PSC, and I want you to be able to talk to others who are living with Pediatric PSC. Do you know about PSC Partners Seeking a Cure? – PSC Partners Seeking a Cure provides education and support to PSC patients, families and caregivers and raises funds to research causes, treatments and cures for primary sclerosing cholangitis.

Here is the Home Page. http://pscpartners.org/
and
Here is the link to PEDIATRIC PSC – http://pscpartners.org/pediatric-psc/

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Yes, they have been a fabulous resource!

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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. I have an autoimmune disease and because of the medications that I take I have to be very careful with colds, viruses and infections. I stay away from others as much as I can not only now with the Coronavirus but with flu season as well. Just keep your distance and practice good hand washing. In flu season I'm always disinfecting the surfaces around me.

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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

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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