View Full Version : Lupus-Periods-Anxiety/Panic Attacks/Depression

11-23-2010, 10:25 AM
Hello all. First off I wanted to know if anyone else has problems with their periods because of their lupus? Mine used to be regular years ago before I had my kids every 28 days lasting 6 days etc. Then after my miscarriage they switched to every 30 days but were still the same amount of length etc. After I had my son I had 1 normal cycle and tried the low-dose pill form of birth control..first birth control method I had ever tried(out of pills, patches, etc.) This is also when my lupus really started to appear. I was diagnosed in 2008 and started on plaquenil. Over time my periods changed and are now every 35 days and the first 2 days are "normal" and then the rest is very spotted and I cant tell when its going to stop because it can stop for over 24 hrs and then return again with the same spotting. I even had one period that came after 27 days. Since I have had my daughter I had postpartum bleeding for a whole month followed by a few days of nothing to a whole week of spotting and then had what I thought was a period Oct. 19th that lasted 5 days with that same strange pattern as I had before I conceived my daughter. I had also discontinued breastfeeding so my milk supply was drying up. Since that cycle I have not had another period(took a pregnancy test anyway 2 days ago just to be sure even though I know Im not pregnant and of course it was negative).
I have had some strange symptoms leading up to the time I shouldve expected my period and they included worsening of lupus/GI symptoms,somewhat severe mood swings alternating from being irriated/short-tempered to sad/crying and also being distant/ almost non-expressive with feelings. So that is where I would say maybe its some sort of depression etc? Ive also had insomnia/racing thoughts some nights before falling asleep. The past few days I have also had anxiety. Last night was the worst because I had nothing to be anxious over but I felt overwhelmed with a sense of fear almost. And all these bad thoughts would enter my head like my lupus coming back and what would happen and how it would effect my relationship as far as my kids, my boyfriend(who isnt familiar with lupus and how it affects me personally yet),and in general my life. It was really bothersome. I woke up today with the similar anxiety type feeling but it wasn't as severe and I was able to distract my mind from it. The only other thing close to a period Ive had lately is an increase in discharge and today it was a light brownish with a couple tiny blood clots but no cramping, etc. I used to know approximately when I would start a cycle due to tender breasts but they have been that way since I stopped breastfeeding so I really dont know how to tell.

I am just wondering if this is something that any of you ladies go through and if so what is it?, why? & how do you treat it? I dont want it affecting the great relationship I have right now with my family. I have also noticed a lot of you are on things for anxiety/depression &/or something to help you sleep so I am wondering if this is a frequent "side affect" of lupus itself? Thanks so much. -Lupie Britt

11-23-2010, 11:54 AM
nearly every woman, with Lupus, will experience at least one or more menstrual disorders with this disease, the most common being amenorrhoea. Women with Lupus often suffer from menstrual disorders such as oligomenorrhoea, transient amenorrhoea and premature menopause are fairly common also. Other menstrual disorders seen in SLE patients included polymenorrhoea and menorrhagia. Long-term menstrual disorders,
are also fairly common in SLE patients. They range from increased cycle flow, oligomenorrhoea (Oligomenorrhoea refers to menses occuring at intervals longer than 35 days), temporary amenorrhoea and sustained amenorrhoea (lack of menstruation). The main factors which have been associated with the onset of ovarian failure in Lupus patients are disease activity (flare ups).Anti-ovarian antibodies, and cytotoxic dugs (like cyclophosphamide). SLE is also associated with premature ovarian failure (no ovulation). So, your issues with your menstruation are not unique, given the fact that you have Lupus.

The nervous system includes the brain and spinal cord and the muscles and peripheral nerves (the nerves in other parts of the body, such as the hands and feet). Your anxiety and stress can be, what is medically called, Lupus Psychosis. Lupus can attack the nervous system (The nervous system includes the brain and spinal cord and the muscles and peripheral nerves (the nerves in other parts of the body, such as the hands and feet). Autoantibodies may attack nerve cells.This is associated the development of encephalopathy - which simply means "brain not working well." That can cause psychosis. The symptoms are confusion, disorientation, and agitation. But remember that these are the same symptoms that can be caused by infection, some Lupus medications, and the medical or psychiatric problems that occur in lupus. These symptoms also can be caused by seizures that sometimes occur in lupus.

Lupus can also cause inflammation of the blood vessels, called vasculitis. Usually, small blood vessels are affected. Some doctors think that inflammation of small blood vessels in the brain causes confusion, agitation and encephalopathy. Further, vasculitis of the small vessels can cause tiny strokes, which are common in lupus. This is in contrast to the big strokes that are caused by APS (anti-phospholipid antibody syndrome).

In short, you are not going crazy, nor are you losing your mind. You have Lupus and it is quite possible that all of the symptoms that you describe are directly related to your disease. It might be a good idea for you to mention all of them to your doctor so that he can run tests for any nervous system involvement! I wish you the very best.

Peace and Blessings

11-23-2010, 02:52 PM
Saysusie I just want to first off thank you for the abundance of information you provided. I plan to look into all of this. I have had 3 grand mal seizures in the past(one being this past january)which I was due to get an MRI/MRA w/contrast for but found out I was pregnant a week before it happened so I couldn't get it done. I need to set up the appt to have the test completed. I also have a lot of sinus/allergy type issues and was told on the MRI I got over a yr ago I had slight mastoiditis in my brain. This was simply overlooked as it was minor. I also get headaches and have neuropathy type burning pain,tingling,brain fog,the mood swing issues/depression/anxiety,etc. as well as dizziness upon standing with leg weakness & sometimes come close to blacking out, & other minor things such as muscle spasm/cramps in my hand/forearm that cause my fingers to pull in towards my palm. I have had the burning pain everyday now for a week or so as well so I will consider CNS as a possibility and make a sooner appt with my rheumy. Thanks again! -Lupie Britt