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4hugs
01-03-2007, 08:43 AM
Hi everyone. I have tried to stay away (as I have not yet been diagnosed with anything so I feel perhaps I don't belong here) but this forum is really my only outlet for advice and support right now. In short, I have many lupus symptoms that appear following each of my four pregnancies, slightly positive ANA, but all other bloodwork is normal - including thyroid. My sister and grandmother both have grave's disease. My thyroid is "generous" on exam but all blood work comes back normal. I just was diagnosed with superior limbic keratoconjunctivitis (sp?)- some dry eye condition that is linked to autoimmune/thyroid issues because my eyes are so dry in the mornings that apparently just opening the lids is scratching my cornea.

Anyways...my two newest issues is that I am always freezing- like shivering freezing and this is totally unlike me. Also, I have had cold after cold since the weather started getting cold. Can anyone shed any light on these symptoms for me? My feet are literally so cold that the hurt. Today is a bad day....my knees ache tremendously, my chest hurts, my right foot is numb, I am congested and freezing, my legs are throbbing, I am exhausted....and I still have no explanation for any of this.

Thanks for your help-
4hugs

IloveHistory
01-03-2007, 10:53 AM
Hi!

I'm sorry that you are going through such a tough time, 4hugs; please know that my prayers and thoughts are with you. Please know that you can write in anytime you want; no-one can say who belongs here and who doesn't! Not everyone on this site has a clear diagnosis yet.

Many people with Lupus suffer from a condition known as Raynaud's Phenomenon. With Raynaud's Phenomenon, one suffers from poor circulation and most of your extremities (i.e. fingers, toes, nose, ears) go through a very specific colour change - white, then blue and then, finally, red, before returning to normal. This occurs when one is exposed to cold and can be very painful.

I suffer from Raynaud's Phenomenon and everything from air conditioners to those freezers in food stores causes it to flare up. Before I developed this condition, I was always hot. Now, the temperature can be 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit), but I will be cold enough to be wearing a jersey! :( I am always cold now and my Rheumatologist actually has to switch off the air conditioner in his rooms when I have an appointment with him because otherwise I go blue!

The reason why you are probably contracting so many colds is because your immune system is compromised. Basically, with Lupus, one's immune system is so busy attacking one's own body, that it often ignores any foreign invaders, like viruses or bacteria!

Have you had a Flu shot at all?

I try to stay away from people who have contagious illnesses, but I know that it's very hard, especially because one does not want to draw attention to oneself or one's condition and one also does not want to sound rude! This is often my dilemma because I am still at school (I am sixteen) and it is so hard to avoid other people with contagious infections, such as colds or flu.

The best of luck to you, 4hugs and I hope that you feel much better soon! :) I'm sorry that I couldn't give you more information; hopefully, someone else will have some more for you!

Keep well and Happy New Year! :)

MARYCAIN
01-03-2007, 11:35 AM
Hello 4 hugs. As ILoveHistory explained, many people with lupus also have Reynauds, which causes your arteries to go into spasms when exposed to cold. Reynauds causes very distinctive color changes, and it is usually painful. Reynauds is a very common condition in women, and it doesn't necessarily mean they have an underlyning disease like lupus. If you are constantly cold without the color changes to the hands and feet that go along with Reynauds, there may be other issues involved. Hypothyroidism (low thyroid function) can cause a person to feel constantly cold and tired - it can also cause extremely dry hair and skin. Anemia (caused by a low level of red blood cells) can also cause a person to feel cold, extremely tired, and sometimes dizzy or breathless to the point of fainting. So make sure your doctors have ruled out both these issues by doing blood tests. A low-level chronic infection, especially an infection in the kidneys or bladder, can cause chills and shivering.

Like you, I have kids in school, so it's hard to avoid being exposed to every germ going through the schools. Trying to keep yourself as healthy as possible is important - a balanced diet with plenty of B-vitamins. calcium and vitamin C helps a lot. You also have to teach your kids the importance of good handwashing, so they don't bring illnesses home to you. Teaching them to wash their hands often with soap and water is the best defense against most viruses. I keep those little trial sizes of Lysol spray handy, also the chlorox bleach wipes and Purell hand sanitizer. When I'm cleaning, I focus more on the things the kids are likely to be touching like doorknobs, appliance handles, and the telephone handset. If your kids are very young, and you are worried about using cleaning products around them, australian tea tree oil is a great sanitizer. If your colds are not accompanied with fever, than it's also possible they may be allergic rsther than viral. If there are indoor allergens in your home, then being indoors a lot because of the cold weather might trigger allergic congestion. I've also found that my kids seem to get more colds when we are using the gas heat, because it drys the air out so much, so I use a humidifier too when we have the heat on for a long time.