View Full Version : Anyone ever see an Imunologist??
05-27-2009, 03:29 PM
I think I spelled that correctly. Generally my Lupus is managed by my Rheumatologist. Today, in my never ending tour of doctors, I had allergy testing (due to my constant and on-going cold...runny nose, sneezing). Well, I'm allergic to nothing...nadda. She suggested I see an Imunologist. I'm doctored out, but I don't want to ignor the obvious. Does anyone have any experience with these guys? Sure gets expensive out there....
05-27-2009, 03:55 PM
I have, Larz...but mine was for my neck to toe body rash not nasal, pollen dust allergies. From my research they mainly specialize in respiratory allergies and not like the autoimmune disease stuff...so he wasn't a good find for me.
But he ran the immunology blood test at my request, okay demand...and it revealed I was having a high histamine reaction to something, but no one could tell me what specifically.
So, it maybe a great thing to go...and it could just be from dust, ragweed, mold and a shot in the arm will do ya...
Cost..it will fall under your co-insurance I believe, for tests.....mine is 10%.
05-28-2009, 08:32 AM
I lack IgA and the Allergist (who tested me and found no allergies) suggested that with the low IgA and the high IgM, that I consider going to Immunology. I was all set to start taking the Immuran after this Allergy appointment, but now...I don't know. After talking to them on the phone, they seem to deal with Autoimmune stuff...even specifically specifying Lupus. I don't know why my Rheumatologist wouldn't send me there if there is possiblity for hope. I'm tired of feeling like crap. I'm tired of the doctor tour. I can't get in until mid-July...which feels like a prison sentence.
So, I guess my question is if anyone here has seen an immunologist for their Lupus? Did it make a difference? Anyone else lack IgA or have high IgM?
05-28-2009, 08:42 AM
Yes, I've been seeing an Immunologist for all 27 years of my Lupus. I was referred to him by my family doctor in the very beginning, and he has been a godsend. Although his specialty is Allergy/Immunology, and he has mostly allergy patients, he's also treats quite a few patients with Autoimmune disorders, especially Lupus. I was referred to him early on because I had a very serious case, and he was becoming known around town for having success treating the lost-cause Lupus cases (the ones that no one could seem to help). His succes was combining Prednisone with Imuran....and that's what I was on for years, with great success.
I credit this doctor with not only getting my Lupus under control, but saving my life, literally, on at least 3 occasions. I believe being educated with a specialty in Immunology provides an excellent background with all autoimmune illnesses.
I don't have experience with the tests you ask about, cuz I've never really had an allergies, but I'd be happy to answer your questions if I'm able....I just wanted to pop in and respond quickly to your thread, but I've got an Ortho appointment this morning I'm heading off to soon, so I'll check back in later this afternoon (probably evening for you).
05-28-2009, 09:52 AM
Thanks Rastagirl. Actually I just want to clarify, the IgA and IgM are antibodies that our bodies produce...has nothing to do with allergies. I went in for allergy testing, don't have any and she thought I might want to try Immunology. My lacking IgA is not uncommon, and in fact, probably ended up making me prone to having Lupus.
05-28-2009, 11:12 AM
Have you read this Larz...from various sites...
IgA deficiency is caused by faulty white blood cells called B cells or B lymphocytes. While patients have normal numbers of B cells, these cells do not mature into normal IgA-producing cells. Scientists do not know the exact cause or causes for these immature B cells. Sometimes clusters of cases occur in families. People with IgA-deficiency are more likely than the general population to be related to someone with combined variable immunodeficiency, another form of immune deficiency. Researchers are trying to find the genes that cause IgA deficiency on the involved chromosomes.
or follow the link...
Immunoglobulin M, IgM appear early in the course of an infection.
Hyper IgM syndrome is a family of genetic disorders in which the level of Immunoglobulin M (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immunoglobulin_M) (IgM) antibodies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antibody) is relatively high. The disorder causes immunodeficiencies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immunodeficiency), including a higher than normal susceptibility to various types of infections. Individuals with hyper-IgM syndrome typically also have a low number of infection-fighting neutrophil (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutrophil) cells.
IgM is the form of antibody that all B cells (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B_cells) produce initially, before they undergo class switching (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immunoglobulin_class_switching) due to exposure to a recognized antigen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antigen). Healthy B cells efficiently switch to other types of antibodies as needed to attack invading bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pathogens). Generally, in people with hyper IgM syndromes, the B cells keep making IgM antibodies because they can't switch to a different kind of antibody. This results in an overproduction of IgM antibodies and an underproduction of all other types. Some hyper-IgM syndromes are actually deficiencies of the other immunoglobulin classes: IgA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IgA), IgG (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IgG), and IgE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IgE).
05-28-2009, 11:16 AM
IgA deficiency, often called selective immunoglobulin A deficiency, is a type of immune disease. Generally, this genetic condition is fairly mild and affects about one in every 400 to 2,000 people. IgA deficiency occurs most often in those of European descent, and it occurs far less often in those of African and Asian decent. Of all the diseases classified as primary immunodeficiencies, this immune disorder is the most common. A person diagnosed with the disease has a complete lack of IgA (an antibody (http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-iga-deficiency.htm#)) or a markedly low level of it.
IgA deficiency is often a genetic disorder, though there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, there are some people who seem to develop the deficiency in response to certain types of medication. The condition has been found in people with Wilson's disease who are treated with penicillamine. It has also been found in those taking Dilantin (phenytoin/hydantoin) to treat seizures. Fortunately, drug-induced IgA is not permanent. Its symptoms end once these drugs are discontinued.
Many people with IgA deficiency are symptom-free. For others, however, the disease rears its ugly head in the form of a wide range of recurrent illnesses, ranging from ear infections and pneumonia (http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-pneumonia.htm) to eye infections and gastrointestinal disorders. Infections of the throat are also common, and thrush is one frequent culprit. Unfortunately, these infections tend to take longer to clear in those with IgA deficiency, even when they are treated with highly effective antibiotics (http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-antibiotics.htm).
Allergies (http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-iga-deficiency.htm#) are also issues for those with IgA deficiency. Often, they are severe and difficult to treat. A person with this disease may struggle with both respiratory and food allergies (http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-iga-deficiency.htm#), and severe asthma (http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-asthma.htm) is a common problem. When a person with IgA deficiency has asthma (http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-iga-deficiency.htm#), typical medical therapies may not work as well. Those with food allergies often have recurring diarrhea and stomach cramping as symptoms.
IgA deficiency is typically present at birth, though some cases aren't discovered until much later in life. Usually, the disease is diagnosed when doctors (http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-iga-deficiency.htm#) run tests to discover the cause of recurring infections and chronic illnesses. To determine whether a person has IgA deficiency, doctors use blood tests (http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-blood-test.htm) to detect Ig and IgG2. If a person has this condition, he will have low amounts of IgA antibodies (http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-iga-deficiency.htm#) but normal amounts of other antibodies, including IgM and IgG. Sometimes, doctors will also give a patient an immunization and then test how well the body makes antibodies against the particular bacteria.
Currently, there is no treatment or cure for IgA deficiency. Instead, doctors work to treat the repetitive illnesses typical of this condition. Antibiotics are often employed, and patients can help themselves by eating well and getting plenty of rest. It's also a good idea to avoid contact with people with contagious illnesses, including colds, whenever poss