View Full Version : Question about the connections between lupus/RA symtoms and allergies

mama hobbit
04-28-2009, 06:27 PM
Hi again. I lost the website link for this place when my old computer crashed and just finally found you guys again. Here's the link to my original post, as I'm sure most of you would have forgotten my little "story" http://forum.wehavelupus.com/showthread.php?t=5745

I'm still in the valley of diagnosis-land. The rheumatologist I was supposed to see has been dealing with some major family stuff that has taken her out of town, my appointment has been put off until May 12th now. But a recent development has me and my doctors rather baffled, so I thought I'd bring it to you folks to see if anyone has some experience with this sort of thing.

In the search to figure out what the heck is wrong with me, I went to a really solid ENT/allergist here in town. I knew that some of my food allergy issues have gotten worse, so new testing might be in order. We discovered that I've gone from wheat, corn and watermelon, to adding rice, oats, tomatoes, peanuts, dairy and soy to the list. Then, last Wed, he did the inhalant panels - trees, pets, dust mites, grass, weeds - you know.

The reactions were totally over the top. Beyond severe. I went into near anaphalactic within 5 minutes of the test. I haven't had what I consider asthma since high school. Haven't carried an inhaler for over 25 years. But was hit hard with it at the test. He cut the test short by several minutes and worked through the results.I am more than severely allergic to all trees, dust mites, grasses, and weeds. He was VERY concerned. THe nurses were shocked. But they were looking at the typical symptomology for allergy reactions. I got nervous about the non-typical stuff.

My muscles got very weak and shakey. My brain went totally to mush - all within the first 30 minutes or so. Then joint pain kicked in. It started at my breastbone/collar bone and left shoulder. So obviously, I ended up spending the afternoon on the couch. That evening, when I pulled the blanket off my feet, there were large red nodules on the base joints of my big toes and little ones at the bast of my baby toes. Then, about a half hour later, a weird, reddish/brown bruise showed up at the back of my calf. It was really an intense color, and then it spread into kind of a splotchy, lighter colored patches around the first one. Not a skin rash... it looked like a bruise - just different colors.

I went to my reg doc the next day and he was flumoxed. He said this isn't an 'allergic" reaction to the shots. So said the allergist. But it's also completely connected to the situation. My doc put me on a 5 day course of prednisone that took good care of bringing down the joint swellings, gave me a flexibility in my hands and toes that I haven't had in several months, and made it waaaay easier to breath - which I wasn't really realizing I was really having trouble with until I could get some seriously lovely deep breaths. The "bruised area" faded pretty quickly, turning into a typical greenish/yellow thing.

So, I guess what I'm trying to figure out is if severe allergies could trigger this sort of thing? The doctors keep talking like they don't "connect" in terms of casual relationship.

Thanks for any experience you guys can share on this!

04-30-2009, 08:58 AM
Hi I'm glad that you found your way back to us. To answer your question I have absolutely no idea cause I (luckly) don't have any allergies but i'm sure that someone on here will have some insite. I really wish that I could help and I hope that your doctors can figure out what is going on with your body cause I know what its like to not know what's wrong. I am dealing with a lot myself right now my doctor told me back in aug 08 that I have the start of Lupus and I have been out from work since then. Now I am seeing a 3rd doc and she is telling me that there is some kind of connective tissue problem but nothing is pointing toward anything. So i'm very confused and its not fun. But enough about me I really hope that your days are becomming better for you.

mama hobbit
04-30-2009, 05:17 PM

I think I'm starting to pull together some pieces here. Been doing a ton of my own research, trying to understand the differences between various immune system reactions.

Last evening, I had a huge "aha" moment. It seems I overdid it yesterday - of course, one never realizes that until you've gone too far. Mid-afternoon, major aching in my sternum, crept up to my clavical and through my armpits. Hurt majorly at the top of my breasts, just by my armpits. Then the pain became very severe through the back of my neck and trapezius muscles - like a bruise and sunburn combined. A couple hours later, it was horrid through my mid section - like a vice around my diaphram area - spasms and hard to get a low breath. By 7p.m. or so, I was having these dumb muscle cramps in my groin, which kind of led to what end up feeling like menstrual cramping in my back and upper thighs. O yeah! :grumpy:

Thing is - this has been happening at various times and to differing degrees for about a year. I kept thinking it was back related - referal pain. Or period cramps without the period. Or bad posture. Or me not relaxing my muscles well enough.

Well, in my research I stumbled on a picture of the lymph node system - holy cow!! I could have drawn the lines on my body myself!

I'm still left with the "why", but at least I can explain what I'm feeling better to my doctor. I've always kind of talked more in diagnostic language than in pure symptom language. Maybe now it might be easier for them to look for what they need to.