Debate: Autoimmune or immunodeficiency?

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mumbles
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Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 199
   Posted 4/3/2009 7:56 PM (GMT -6)   
What do you believe UC is caused by? Do you think it is an autoimmune disorder or immunodeficiency disorder?
Asacol-12 a day
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jujub
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   Posted 4/3/2009 8:10 PM (GMT -6)   
In my case I know it's autoimmune. As long as my TNF (a component of the immune system) is kept suppressed, I am symptom-free.
Judy
 
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from Entocort.
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri. In remission since April, 2006.
"My life is an ongoing medical adventure"
 
Co-Moderator UC Forum
Please remember to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.


yuckygut
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Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 214
   Posted 4/3/2009 8:46 PM (GMT -6)   
for me that was always the big question, is my immune system overactive and attacking itself, or underactive, or just plain wacky. I also believe there may be environmental factors involved as well, these may be the cause of my wacky immune system.
judy, is TNF tumor necrosis factor?

----------------------------------------------------------------------

yuckygut

diagnosed 1998

now off prednisone and colazal

drink 1 Haldi daily to remain in remission

mumbles
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 199
   Posted 4/3/2009 8:48 PM (GMT -6)   
TNF, or tumor necrosis factor, increases inflammation. But just because there is a greater amount of TNF in UC patients does it mean that the immune system is switched on wrong, or fighting a pathogen that we just haven't discovered?
Asacol-12 a day
1 Culturelle
1 Canasa
2 Fish oil supplements
1 Vitamin


fruitgirl
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Total Posts : 7150
   Posted 4/3/2009 9:21 PM (GMT -6)   
I lean more towards autoimmune...if it were immune deficiency, it seems we'd be more likely to get sick with colds and such, and that doesn't seem to be the case.
Symptoms began in November 2008, ~4 weeks after giving birth to my son.
Eased for ~3 weeks in December, possibly b/c of probiotic use?
Returned in January 2009 (with a vengeance), diagnosed with pancolitis on January 30.
Currently taking Asacol (400mg 4 pills 3x daily), Rowasa nightly, 40mg 30mg 20mg 15mg of Prednisone (quick taper), Culturelle probiotic, and Zoloft (25 mg).


quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30411
   Posted 4/3/2009 10:02 PM (GMT -6)   
It's not immune deficiency...
*Heather* Status..Asacol  (3 x2 daily); Salofalk enemas nightly for flares, tapered to maintenance  mild flare nightly enemas
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed; Ranitidine (reflux);  Effexor XR 75mg(depression);  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma) 
~vitamins/minerals/supplementsProbiotics....(Natural Factors Protec, Primadophilus Reuteri Pearls, Natural Factors Ultimate). @ bedtime
~various digestive enzymes as needed; started Omega 3 
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!
 


Sara14
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4034
   Posted 4/3/2009 10:25 PM (GMT -6)   
I lean more toward immunodeficiency, but who knows.

quincy - there was an interesting small study done on crohn's patients where the researchers gave the patients immune-boosting drugs, with positive results. The majority went into full remission. This was a very small study though. Someone posted it here a few days ago. Was it you, mumbles?
25 years old; diagnosed March 2007;
Currently: persistant rectal inflammation
Asacol, 4 tabs, 3xday; Rowasa nightly; Viactiv; Metamucil wafers; multivitamin; Primadophilus Reuteri; sublingual allergy drops; Ortho Tri-Cyclen


mumbles
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 199
   Posted 4/3/2009 10:46 PM (GMT -6)   
I didn't post that topic about the immune-boosting drugs, but I have read about that study. That study could support a theory that UC could be caused by immunodeficiency. I have a theory about how it could be immunodeficiency: The immune system cannot destroy a pathogen in the colon. This then causes an increase in inflammation but the inflammation is not enough to destroy the pathogen. So the body keeps sending inflammatory messages without destroying the underlying cause. Drugs that are supposed work against the autoimmune aspect like, 6-MP and the like, work to decrease the inflammatory response but not really treat the underlying cause. This underlying cause could be an allergic response or a displacement of natural microflora. This would also explain how antibiotics, autoimmune drugs, and immune-boosting drugs could work. This is just a theory of mine. I hope to be doing more research, actual lab research, on the underlying causes of colitis.
Asacol-12 a day
1 Culturelle
1 Canasa
2 Fish oil supplements
1 Vitamin


Malkavian
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Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1439
   Posted 4/3/2009 11:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Pretty much all the evidence seems to point to autoimmune.
21, female, diagnosed 3/6/2009
Mild ulcerative colitis from rectum to mid transverse colon
Currently in remission
Currently taking Asacol (3x/day) and Calcium/D supplements


Scorpion24
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 4/3/2009 11:01 PM (GMT -6)   
I believe it is caused by a bacteria, it will be cured within the next 10 years for sure!

you can call it wishfull thinking but I think it's great since this was the same exact case with stomach ulcers, which were discovered to be the cause of a certain bacterium only 3 1/2 years ago. My only concern is when those researchers are going to step on it, there is a noble prize on the line =D

Sara14
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4034
   Posted 4/4/2009 9:33 AM (GMT -6)   
mumbles: Your theory makes sense to me. Keep us posted on your research in the future.
25 years old; diagnosed March 2007;
Currently: persistant rectal inflammation
Asacol, 4 tabs, 3xday; Rowasa nightly; Viactiv; Metamucil wafers; multivitamin; Primadophilus Reuteri; sublingual allergy drops; Ortho Tri-Cyclen


PSA
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 498
   Posted 4/4/2009 9:37 AM (GMT -6)   
I think it is auto-immune disease. But I am not the right person to comment on this as it is not my subject. I am lawyer. Cheers. Whatever may be it is a disease which we have to defeat.
45 years Male Attorney
Diagnosed UC October 1989
Had two stage J Pouch Surgery Nov 2005 Take Down March 2006
Complications after surgery - Incisional Hernia and Ano Fistulas
"Faith is the bird that sings when the dawn is still dark."
"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracl: Albert Einstein
"What you are aware of you are in control of; what you are not aware of is in control of you."
 


Christine1946
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Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 5958
   Posted 4/4/2009 9:40 AM (GMT -6)   
     My GI doctor considers it auto-immune
62 yr old granny. South Jersey
Diagnosed with ulcerative proctitis in 1998 in hospital
Hospitalized (2nd time) in May 2008
Update 11/03/08...finally in remission!!  Hope I don't jinx myself.  Off the prednisone since 11/01/08...now see if I can stay off for longer than two weeks.  Other meds: 6MP (75 mgm), colazal (6 per day), Benicar and Toprol (high blood pressure meds), Probiotic (2 per day), fish oil capsule and multi-vitamin and calcium with vitamin D.


Scorpion24
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 4/6/2009 2:18 AM (GMT -6)   
In my opinion, there is a clear relation between an IBD and the classic IBS - overtime the body changes and becomes less/more allergic to certain foods in the GI tract (such as gluten), now the thing is some UC cases are clearly dependent on that factor ONLY. This indicates something, this disease is the result of a certain environmental trigger in individuals that are more susceptible... meaning people whose immune system is unable to destroy a certain pathogen in the colon, a fact that may explain why this disease starts at around the rectum and keeps spreading from there on. The inflammation is a natural defense for the immune system regardless of the cause; a certain prolonged response could be occuring as a result of an allergy or displaced microflora. When research finally finds the underlying cause for the disease then an antibiotic can be produced to fight it off once and for all. Let's compare this issue with something like arthiritis, the immune system has something to do with both cases but the fact of the matter remains that this is a GI tract issue! a problem in your digestive system is related to what you digest, there are billions of bacteria living in our intestines. Again, there must have been a reason why so many people went into life long-remissions by staying away from certain foods (lactose for example) the only issue that remains is finding the little bacteria that is causing this and sending it back to hell! it all goes to show how fragile the human body really is...

Rock on mumbles, I support your research with all my heart... the day will come - the night is darkest just before the dawn! Cheers mate
Born with Ricketts (Feb, 1990) --beat it--
Diagnosed with Proctosigmoiditis (March, 09) --beating the 'crap' out of it--

Current status: flare-up


VerM
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 101
   Posted 4/6/2009 11:03 AM (GMT -6)   
You know when I have say the flu or am sick in bed for a few days I find my bm's get better like way better in only say 2 days. I have always noticed that, may be from doing nothing, so no stress, but also might be the immune systems switches to fight the sickness so it pulls away from colon? Just a thought, anyone else experience this?
I will not be passive.  I will fight until I win.


fruitgirl
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Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7150
   Posted 4/6/2009 11:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Scorpion, I don't agree wtih your statement that there is a relationship between IBD and IBS. I didn't have IBS before developing UC, nor did many of the other people on this forum. And your assumption that an "antibiotic can be produced to fight if off once and for all" will only be true if in fact it is one single bacteria species that causes UC. If it is due to food, like you also seem to think, then an antibiotic won't do any good, either.
Symptoms began in November 2008, ~4 weeks after giving birth to my son.
Eased for ~3 weeks in December, possibly b/c of probiotic use?
Returned in January 2009 (with a vengeance), diagnosed with pancolitis on January 30.
Currently taking Asacol (400mg 4 pills 3x daily), Rowasa nightly, 40mg 30mg 20mg 15mg of Prednisone (quick taper), Culturelle probiotic, and Zoloft (25 mg).


saposs
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 339
   Posted 4/6/2009 12:13 PM (GMT -6)   
For me its autoimmune- my hashimotos and this came in together - hashimotos is autoimmune - my antibodies killing my thyroid gland :-( my doc says after few years they will completely finish off my thyroid glands and i will be totally on supplement :-( and there is nothing i can do!
But i somewhere feel, like Scorpion24 said- it is bacterial infection- a very tricky one!
Right now -FLARING (after my Rubella vaccination)
Diagnosed in Jan'2009: Canasa suppositories 1000 nightly...doubled during flare
Symptoms: Mucus, blood, constipated (not always), Lots Gas & No D!
Also gifted with Hypothyroid & have calicum deficiency family history!
Meeting with Doc next month - not yet on oral medication - Doc wants to try just Canasa first!
Also started Probiotic from 23 Mar & fresh Turmeric root from 25 March'09


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 4/6/2009 12:39 PM (GMT -6)   
fruitgirl said...
Scorpion, I don't agree wtih your statement that there is a relationship between IBD and IBS. I didn't have IBS before developing UC, nor did many of the other people on this forum. And your assumption that an "antibiotic can be produced to fight if off once and for all" will only be true if in fact it is one single bacteria species that causes UC. If it is due to food, like you also seem to think, then an antibiotic won't do any good, either.

Well you don't have to agree but that doesn't mean that it might not be fact....my GI is one of the top lead researchers in Canada for IBD and from what he's learned (not speculating) is that there is a pattern especially with those who have had IBD for a long period of time (yrs) and have frequent flares compared to remissions and those that have never been in remission seem to end up with IBS as well, in his word, "it makes sense, when a IBDer has been sick with their disease more often than not then their bowels will likely become irritated and gaining back full or proper function of their bowels from either CD or UC may never happen and result in the development of IBS."
 
Of course EVERYONE is entitled to their opinions, but there are some facts behind IBD and IBS that researchers have actually discovered.
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)


fruitgirl
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Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7150
   Posted 4/6/2009 12:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, pb4, but the great majority of people with UC don't have frequent flares.
Symptoms began in November 2008, ~4 weeks after giving birth to my son.
Eased for ~3 weeks in December, possibly b/c of probiotic use?
Returned in January 2009 (with a vengeance), diagnosed with pancolitis on January 30.
Currently taking Asacol (400mg 4 pills 3x daily), Rowasa nightly, 40mg 30mg 20mg 15mg 10mg of Prednisone (quick taper), Culturelle probiotic, and Zoloft (25 mg).


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 4/6/2009 12:56 PM (GMT -6)   
and maybe the majority of IBDers also don't have IBS as well, doesn't mean that there is not a link with IBS and IBD for sure.
 
http://www.ccfa.org/ccfaprof/educ-resources/articles/IBD_Serological_Panels_Dec_2007.pdf

http://www.webmd.com/ibs/guide/irritable-bowel-syndrome-ibs-what-increases-your-risk


My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)

Post Edited (pb4) : 4/6/2009 1:07:20 PM (GMT-6)


fruitgirl
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Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7150
   Posted 4/6/2009 1:10 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't have time to do anything but scan that article right now, but I'm not sure what you intend for me to get out of it.

My doctor said that most UC patients don't flare all that frequently.
Symptoms began in November 2008, ~4 weeks after giving birth to my son.
Eased for ~3 weeks in December, possibly b/c of probiotic use?
Returned in January 2009 (with a vengeance), diagnosed with pancolitis on January 30.
Currently taking Asacol (400mg 4 pills 3x daily), Rowasa nightly, 40mg 30mg 20mg 15mg 10mg of Prednisone (quick taper), Culturelle probiotic, and Zoloft (25 mg).


yuckygut
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 214
   Posted 4/7/2009 12:49 AM (GMT -6)   
pb, thanks for the links,

-------------------------------------

yuckygut

diagnosed 1998

now off prednisone and colazal

drink 1 Haldi daily to remain in remission

love4cats
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 458
   Posted 4/7/2009 6:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Until researchers find the cause of UC, then nobody can say for sure whether it is autoimmune or immune deficiency. I personally believe it is a pathogen and not just one that causes it which is making it very difficult for researchers to discover exactly what causes it.

Look at little Hailey, who had UC so bad that her parents were thinking about having her colon removed. She developed pneumonia, went on antibiotics and has been in remission ever since. That to me, means her UC was caused by a bacteria.
 
 
Dx:  UC Proctitis 2006 
Meds:  None so far. Garlic works to ease flares. My GI laughed when I told him and said it was just coincidence. 
Started Meds:  Apr 9 08 500mg 5ASA (salofalk) to ease flare, tapering, stopped. 
Diet:  Regular fresh garlic, Biobest yogurt daily, Omega 3 supplements, very limited junk food, carbs and processed food, low fat diet.  Lots of fresh fruit and veggies (limited potatoes). 
 Added: tumeric and probiotics.
 
 


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 4/7/2009 11:58 AM (GMT -6)   
In the past few yrs, advanced genetic techniques have allowed scientists to discover at least 9 different gene clusters that contribute to the development of IBD and define the severity and behavior of the disease over time. Some of these genes encode factors involved in recognition and defense against bacteria. Mutations in immune response genes may adversely affect how the immune system reacts to harmless bacteria and this probably contributes to the development of IBD. (This is all according to Dr. Kevin Rioux who is an IBD research fello at the university of alberta).

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)


fruitgirl
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Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7150
   Posted 4/7/2009 12:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Huh, that's interesting pb4. Isn't it interesting how our bodies normally know the difference between good and bad bacteria? Makes you marvel even more at our bodies.
Symptoms began in November 2008, ~4 weeks after giving birth to my son.
Eased for ~3 weeks in December, possibly b/c of probiotic use?
Returned in January 2009 (with a vengeance), diagnosed with pancolitis on January 30.
Currently taking Asacol (400mg 4 pills 3x daily), Rowasa nightly, 40mg 30mg 20mg 15mg 10mg of Prednisone (quick taper), Culturelle probiotic, and Zoloft (25 mg).

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