Can lupus attack my adrenal glands

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2017
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 7/16/2017 7:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi again. It looks like I might have Addisons disease. My question is, can my immune system attack my adrenal glands. I have had blood tests that point to Addisons disease. My cardiologist thinks because my last three hospital visits my potassium had bottomed out even though I take blood pressure medications that protect against this. That along with the fact that I have had high blood pressure sinc e I was 25 and have been hospitalized twice because of suddenly having problems with passing out, sudden vomiting and diarrhea that all came on on like 10 minutes . An adrenal crisis.. so anyway.. can my immune system really attack my adrenal glands?

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7723
   Posted 7/16/2017 8:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Lupus can attack ANYTHING in the body.

That said, it doesn't usually attack the adrenal glands, but they are very often affected by prednisone (steroid), which is often used to combat the inflammation that Lupus causes.

I wonder if it really matters what caused the problem, as long as it's properly diagnosed and treated? I say that because so often we really never know for sure, and I personally hate wasting my energy going in circles when the answer will never be clear.

Best wishes,
Lynnwood, Lupus & Sjogren's Moderator, Dx: 2000
"Life is far too important to be taken seriously." - Oscar Wilde

Post Edited (Lynnwood) : 7/16/2017 1:30:31 PM (GMT-6)

Melissa D.
Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 451
   Posted 7/16/2017 12:46 PM (GMT -6)   
I now have adrenal insufficiency as a result of being on steroids for lupus. I believe the biggest culprit in my case was that I received 100 mg solumedrol each month when I was on Benlysta, that on top of my daily oral dose of prednisone caused my adrenal issues. So, it was not lupus itself, but medication to treat my disease.
Lupus SLE 1996, Sjogrens, Raynauds. My worst nightmare was imagined when my son was diagnosed with RA and Lupus NPSLE at 19.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 60
   Posted 7/16/2017 6:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Lupus attacks any part of the body, as our own bodies are a foreigner to Lupus, instead of recognising things and helping our immune system it attacks we.

With the adrenal glands it cause exhaustion.

Devastating Adrenal Insufficiency:

This disorder is adrenal insufficiency, adrenal failure, or adrenal exhaustion, and it appears that most auto-immune disorders can be traced to adrenal insufficiency and appear at adrenal failure (3rd stage exhaustion). In other words, when the adrenals fail, the body appears to attack itself in the form of an auto-immune disorder.
Auto-immune disorders brought on by adrenal failure afflict millions of people and they don't have to.

Also, women are clearly far more affected than men, but no man is exempt.

Western medicine is up in arms about it too. Ironically, traditional western medicine will usually say something like this: "No one knows the exact cause or causes of autoimmune diseases. However, research scientists believe that genetics and the environment both play a role in a person developing the condition.
Diagnosed with MCTD (Mixed connective tissue disease)

Lupus SLE/SCLE/Secondary Sjogren’s syndrome/Raynaud's phenomenon/Scleroderma
Antiphospholipid Syndrome/Peripheral neuropathy/Muscle Atrophy/COPD/Hypothyroidism
Chronic IBS/Epilepsy/Osteoarthritis (Bipolar-Manic depression-OCD)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2017
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 7/22/2017 10:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank You All for the great info. Sorry it took awhile to get back to you. I will now go on my rant. Ended up in the ER for another one of those sudden attacks where my blood pressure dropped and I couldn't stop passing out and diarrhea. It's so frustrating! When I went into the ER and told them about my symptoms (I was home with my 10 year old grand daughter) the doctor asked about my symptoms and if anyone had seen me passing out and how did I actually know I was passing out? Of course you can't take the word of a 10 year old. He acted like I was just making it all up! Why would I go to the ER and make all of this up! I didn't call my husband at work to come take me to the ER to waste his time or the doctors time or mine. I certainly don't want to sit in a paper gown, in a freezing room and wait on a doctor who doesn't believe me without a witness. I wasn't asking for pain medication or anything else except to feel better. Or as better as my body can feel with SLE, stage 3b kidney disease, high blood pressure, RA, spinal stenosis, back and leg problems, migraines and joints that can tell me a day ahead of time that rain is coming. And all of these things have a real diagnosis along with a speciality doctor to go along with them. I don't make willey nilley trips to the ER. The worst of my health just started within the last year with discovering the stage 3b kidney disease that came out of what I thought was an iron deficiency and constant infections that turned out to be SLE. I feel very lucky to have a good rheumatologist and I only ended up having to waiting a year for SLE to be diagnosed. Anyway it's very frustrating. I will stop my rant here. Thanks for listening.!
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