More than one autoimmune disease


The list goes on

How many people have more than one autoimmune disease? It seems to me to be quite a few after seeing this topic many times on our forums.

I have been told that I have MS ( multiple sclerosis), it affects my left leg, sometimes quite severely. I get foot drop when I walk constantly for a time. I also get spasms and spasticity where I don’t have control over the leg. This is me after walking for a short while. They say it is mild at the moment which is encouraging, but you never know what is around the corner in life.

I have a foot brace thing which in all honesty doesn’t fit inside many shoes and is uncomfortable to wear, and I have a walking stick which I hate using as it makes me feel old. Because people don’t really know about this I think that if they see me with a stick they will wonder what I have done, and say that I am ok when they see me. So I kind of hide the fact. I have had my fair share of feeling that I am not believed that I just don’t tell anyone, I have enough on with the stoma stuff.

The thing is it is quite common for people to have more than one auto immune disease, because our auto immune system is already under attack it is easier for more to get in on the act. There have been papers on the subject, but also on the subject of MS and UC. Is has been noted that there is often a link between the two diseases which leads them to think it is more than a coincidence.

They have also thought that drugs such as infliximab which is an anti-tumour necrosis factor “a” therapy drug ( TFNa), could be involved. I have to then add in the mix that I was never given this or another type of that drug, so that isn’t true in my case. There is ongoing research into this finding so I hope they find out something in the near future. The package inserts do state that it may trigger a new onset of MS, so they are taking things very seriously.

There are many links to more than one disease, I have to admit that they give reasons like environmental and genetics, which covers them for almost any reason. They also say that some autoimmune diseases are more likely to link, based on a shared gene. Work keeps going with the help of people with more than one disease who donate their blood for research purposes. If there is progress with one of these diseases then that helps progress for other autoimmune diseases too.

I also have asthma so I have 3 known auto immune diseases which is then classed as a syndrome, MAS ( multi autoimmune syndrome). More than one is Polyautoimmunity. I would be very interested to hear if any of my ostomate friends have more auto immune diseases, and also others who have them but not IBD.