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Kaza studying Nursing
08-24-2006, 06:03 AM
HI Guys

I am a newbie. I have posted on a couple of other sites tonight and have nto received any replies as yet, but any would be most appreciated.

It's been a long journey, but will try and keep it short and hopefully you will understand it. 3 Years ago I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis (Autoimmune Disease) TSH was 250 (limits between .4-4) My Thyroid antibodies were over the 3,500's can't remember exactly but they should be way under 60. Anyway put on medication and eventually after about a Year started to have a life again.

Went to college, studied Aged Care - became employed as Personal Carer and then this year went on to Study - Endorsed Enrolled Nurse (EEN) full time. First semester passed like no tomorrow, passed everything and even received a credit in a subject. BUT this Semester is a different story I have been sick for a couple of months now. Have been diagnosed with Polymyalgaia, Polyarthralgia, Cognitive Deficit??? and extreme lethargy. I have also tested positive to Rho52 which apparently affects new born babies and gives them lupus. This has the doctors stumped. Can't get in to see a Immunologist until December (if I am alive by then), six weeks to be able to see a different Endocrinoogist as I had a call by my last specialist who seems to be the only one concerned saying that my Thyroid antibodies were up in their thousands again.

I just feel like giving up. The medical profession wants nothing but your money, and I don't believe the things that we are learning at nursing is what is being practiced today. The only good thing is the penalty rates for weekends and nights at present.

Please if anybody can reply I would most appreciate it. I need some sort of help and soon.

Soz, but thanks for listening

Kaza

MARYCAIN
08-24-2006, 07:06 AM
WELCOME. I know how frustrating it is when are trying to get a diagnosis. One thing that may be causing some confusion when you post on the forums is a slight difference is slight difference in apelling and medical terms like the names of medicines. Most doctors in the States use "Ro" instead of the "Rho" spelling that is used in the
u.K. and Australia, so I didn't recognizw what you were asking about when i saw your first post.

I think what you are referring to is what docs here term SSA/Ro52. I'm definitely not an expert but I also tested high for this antigen, and was told in adults it can be associated with sjogrens syndrome, which you may have studied about in nursing school, It is also an autoimmune disorder which can be primary (you have it by itself) or secondary (you have it in conjunction with another autoimmune disease). Since I already had lupus, I was diagnosed with secondary sjogrens syndrome.

My niece has also had Hashimoto's for several years - she developed it after the birth of her 1st child. She was also diagnosed with lupus about 2 years ago, so it's certainly possible to have two auto immune diseases at once.

Saysusie
08-24-2006, 09:36 AM
Hi Kaza; You did not pose a specific question, so I am assuming that you wanted to know what the diagnoses meant. Here are some brief explanations of each;
POLYMYALGIA: Polymyalgia rheumatica (pronounced pah-lee-my-al-jah room-at-i-ca) is a type of arthritis that affects the muscles. It does not affect the bones, or the joints, which are the spots where two bones come together.
It causes muscles to become stiff, tender and very sore. This is called inflammation. Even though the muscles are sore, they do not become weak.
Polymyalgia rheumatica affects the muscles of the neck, shoulders, lower back, hips and thighs. It is believed that the pain is caused by the swelling of blood vessels in the muscles. Women develop polymyalgia rheumatica more often than men. It most often appears in women over the age of 50.
Giant cell arteritis is a condition related to polymyalgia rheumatica. It causes the blood vessel on the front of the head to swell. It can cause a person to go blind.

POLYARTHRALGIA: This generally refers to pain in multiple joints. The main symptom is pain, with no clinical features of inflammation in the joints or morning stiffness, with a history of intercurrent illness or viral infection. It is most often confused with sero-negative rheumatoid arthritis. FBC, ESR, rheumatoid factor and ANF. Conditions that mimic polymyalgia include thyroid deficiency, myositis, and occult neoplasm.

COGNITIVE DEFICIT: This refers to the presence of disturbed brain function. A wide range of functions can be affected by Lupus, including attention, memory, language, concept formation, visuospatial abilities, executive skills and motor skills. Impairment in cognitive function can be a serious complication in SLE patients. The most common problems that have been identified include attention and concentration, various aspects of verbal and nonverbal memory including working memory, verbal fluency/productivity, visuospatial skills, psychomotor speed, and cognitive flexibility. Studies have found a high prevalence of cognitive impairment in 20-55% of SLE patients.

RH052: Also known as ANTI-SSA: Anti-SSA or the Ro antibody, is associated with Sjogren's syndrome, sun sensitivity, neonatal lupus, & congenital heartblock. This is one of the tests of individual antigen antibody reactions which have been developed and which are very helpful in the diagnosis of SLE. These tests also include the anti-DNA antibody test, the anti-Sm antibody test, and thethe anti-RNP antibody test,. These tests measure serum complement levels (This is a blood test that measures complement activity or the concentration of complement components in serum. Complement activity [CH50, CH100, terminal complement component, or individual complement proteins] is measured to determine if complement is involved in the development of a number of diseases. Complement activity is also measured to monitor how severe a disease is or to determine if treatment is working).

ELEVATED THYROID ANTIBODIES: Thyroid antibody testing is primarily ordered to help diagnose an autoimmune thyroid disease and to separate it from other forms of thyroiditis. It may be ordered to help investigate the cause of an enlarged thyroid gland (goiter) and/or performed as a follow-up when other thyroid test results (such as T3, T4, and/or TSH) show signs of thyroid dysfunction.
One or more thyroid antibody tests may also be ordered if a person with a known non-thyroid-related autoimmune condition, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, or pernicious anemia, develops symptoms that suggest thyroid involvement. This involvement may occur at any time during the course of the other condition(s). Mild to moderately elevated levels of thyroid antibodies may be found in a variety of thyroid and autoimmune disorders, such as thyroid cancer, Type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, pernicious anemia, and autoimmune collagen vascular diseases. Significantly increased concentrations most frequently indicate thyroid autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves’ disease. In general, their presence suggests that there is autoimmune thyroid involvement and the higher the level, the more likely that is. Rising levels may be more significant than stable levels as they indicate an increase in autoimmune activity.

I hope that I have answered your questions. Let me know if you need anything furhter. I wish you the best

Peace and Blessings
Saysusie

Kaza studying Nursing
08-24-2006, 12:01 PM
I Just wish to thank you guys so much, I suppose until a definate diagnosis I will stay here if that is o.k.

The last three nights have hit crisis point and wonder what in the hell I am still here for.

I have had one visit to the hospital during the week ending up in the emergency department, bloods being drawn, obs being taken, only to be told that my bloods are normal and that I can go home. One of my friends was with me at the time and said if her bloods were normal why does she have this Ro52 antibody that causes lupus in babies and she did not have it 3 years ago when first diagnosed with my first Autoimmune Disease.


You start to wonder at times if it is all in the head, but deep down I know that it is not and that was also the treatment I got with other hospital's and Doctors when I first had hashi's. The final specialist said that I was not far away from Coma as a lot of my body organs were starting to shut down.

Anyway I just wanted to thank you guys so much. Am so glad that I have found this site.

I also believe that stress does trigger a lot of these conditions. When I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's my father had cancer of the Pancrease which unfortunatelly he died from. It took him months to be diagnosed as well. This time I have other stress, don't really want to go into it now, but family stress (hubby) living just as flat mates, though I believe they probably get on better. Have had my own room for years now, which since getting my computer absolutely love.

Anyway guys, sorry to dripple on but THANKS again eva so much.

Kind Regards
Karen :wink:

MARYCAIN
08-24-2006, 12:25 PM
Sorry you are having such a stressful time. As a nursing student you may already know that many of the antibody panels are specialized tests that aren't generally done in an ER setting. So if the ER told you labs were normal, they may been referring just to standard ER labs like CBC. I know your health system in Australia is somewhat different from here - is it a national health system like u.K. and Canada? I have several English friends and they mention the diddiculty of getting specialist appointments there.

I hope you find some answers soon.

Kaza studying Nursing
08-25-2006, 05:30 AM
I'm so sorry, but I have been so low now for so many days, I believe my health is the main forrunner.


I have heaps of problems at home as well. Husband alcoholic who used to be addicted to serepax and now have found three quarters empty scotch bottle in his work bag, whilst looking for something with codeine in it as advised by specialist for migranes. I haven't had them for years, now it seems to be a daily basis. upon looking also found a bottle of pills in a container that was not labelled, but being a nursing student noticed that they were Valium (5mg), just confirmed by looking up my mim's book which confirmed my suspicions. sorry for the spelling tonight kids, but have had a couple of drinks and my meds to ease the pain and spelling may not be quite right. Hopefully you will get the drift.

I just don't understand when a person has all of their health, that they go out and do this to their body. I am on valium, but the smallest the better, it has only just started because of tremors, sometimes can't even type. So anyway I emptied over half of his bottle which he has not mentioned. I just get the sh.... big time.

Health is the most important thing in the world. I have realised this years ago, probably when diagnosed with Hashi's, but also because of the industry that I am in. I am a Personal Carer studying Nursing, but unfortunately can not work at the moment.

Thanks for listening guys.

I am so glad I can vent my anger out here and most people understand.

Wish to thank all that have replied in the past the best. (I believe that all of these symptoms will be diagnosed as Lupus eventually). Anyway hope they diagnose me, before my organs shut down or end up in a coma, close to what I was heading for before.

Take care guys and thinks for listening.

:mad:

MARYCAIN
08-25-2006, 06:11 AM
I wish there was some magic formula for getting through them, but I don't know one. Sometimes the best you can do is say a prayer and hold on.

Is there anyone close to you who can help - a friend or family member or maybe a counselor. This is not a good time for you to be alone. And Karen, please please don't mix alcohol and meds, especially tranquilizers. This is a very dangerous combination and you could end up hurting yourself without meaning to. Not trying to preach here, just want you to know there are people who care about what happens to you.

Kaza studying Nursing
08-25-2006, 06:20 AM
I know that I should not be. but at the moment it has easied my migranes.

I am just sick and tired of all the crap. I can deal with all the emotional things in my life. But health I know is the number one priority.

I do not understand people who have their health and then start to abuse it, they just don't know how lucky they are. I have stopped drinking for the night.

I am so far behind in assignments at College, but the Specialist tends to think that If I defer I might be in a worse state. My husband keeps telling me to defer, and I am not the kind of person that will be told what to do, by people like that. So that makes me even more determined.

I am just so glad that I have met you and a couple of others, it does give me hope. I just want to live a normal as possible life again. I need to get out with friends and just destress.

Anyway thankyou for your advice. I know that I should of mixed the two together. But will hit the sack for now.

Thanks for your support. Karen

beautifulbeluga
08-25-2006, 06:56 AM
Dear Kaza:

I have responded before in another forum where you left a message but I wanted to share with you a bit about my struggle in university when I was too overwhelmed with health and personal matters. Everyone else at that time had their own advice about what I should and soundn't do but what I learned about myself is what I could and couldn't manage without completly falling apart physically and emotionally. We can only handle so much and only you know your limits.

I realized about myself was that I was truly overwhelmed and needed to elimitate some of my stress immediately. Stress, remember is cumulative. I sat down and truly examined all the stressors in my life at that time and re-arranged some things, kept others and eliminated where I could. For me I did choose to defer some of my classes (even though it was against my instructors advice). I would rather succeed at a few classes that bomb them all. Lessening my school work load allowed me to catch up and get control of my academic life. I used spring and summer semester's to pick up the classes I had dropped. Not ideal, to go to university 12 months out of the year instead of 8 but it worked for me. I was struggling with my own health at the time, had two children to look after and support, was working a full time job, was going through a separation from a long term relationship and was trying to be supportive to a daughter who was going through some pretty personal issues and a court case (because she had been sexually abused).

I would say my life was pretty much maxed out on stress at the time. But you know what I made it. I graduated with honors and later when on to graduate school. My daughter is all grown up now and the most together and wonderful person you would ever want to meet. I went on to a career that was very satisfying for myself and helpful to others for years and all my own personal struggles where what allowed me to help others and be who I am today. Still a very imperfect human being.

Good luck Kaza with you own journey and making decisions for yourself.

Your friend from Canada......beautifulbeluga