Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum and Inflammatory Bowel Disease/Autoimmune

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 726
   Posted 10/1/2008 10:13 PM (GMT -6)   
I post over at the Ulcerative colitis board, and have made many posts over the last two years regarding the connection between OCD spectrum and autoimmune conditions.  There are many links on the web and studies available, which I could send to anyone who was interested.
I myself had been curious as 1.  I had strep throat very frequently growing up, 2.  In my twenties suddenly I went through a period of what I would classify as OCD symptoms (and anxiety) which ran into 3.  developing Ulcerative Colitis.
From my understanding, with something called PANDAS, strep infection ends up attacking a part of the brain, basal ganglia and is hypothesized to cause OCD in at least some group.  Well, I had come across a treatment for OCD called Intravenous Immunoglobulin or IvIg, and had wondered if there was a similar treatment for Ulcerative Colitis.  Well, from doing some research, apparently there is some type of blood filtering treatment which removes antibodies and antigen-antibody complexes for autoimmune disease called Plasmapheresis.
I decided to post this just to make a point that sometimes there are real physical, organic reasons behind "mental illness" and mood disorders.  Anyone who wants to discuss this or knows more, feel free to look me up on the Healingwell Ulcerative Colitis Forum.
What I really want to know is why this is never discussed in the media, and good luck finding a medical doctor, counselor, or psychiatrist that 1.  Understands what we're talking about or 2.  Cares to hear it.
Meanwhile here are a few links having to do with OCD as autoimmune disease:
Another Healingwell thread in this forum on this topic:
 Braintalk communities:

Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis 6/2006 at age 26 after sudden E.R. visit
~Pancolitis (Mild to Moderate)
 ~I had Mono in 2000
On Colazal 3x3/day; Folic Acid 1mg; Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc combo
In remission about 2-3 months after E.R. but not back to normal!
~Interested in finding a cure/making sense out of U.C. and philosophical and psychological aspects of UC and "Stress" and Personal Development issues with Chronic Illnesses. 

Post Edited (doors12) : 10/1/2008 9:20:24 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 10/1/2008 10:45 PM (GMT -6)   
I would like to say I am just saying this as a member, not a mod.
I agree with you, because I think there is a strong connection between physical and mental illness. Of course I care, but as to understanding perhaps people in the field (like me, and perhaps it is just a personal bias <after all we are human beings too>) might get distracted by the tone of your posting.
So making broad generalizations like: "good luck finding a medical doctor, counselor, or psychiatrist that 1. Understands what we're talking about or 2. Cares to hear it." and "The whole field of modern psychology is a hoax and so much psycho-babble." make it a bit more difficult to listen carefully and to give appropriate weight to your thoughts.
I am not saying this to hurt you, and I am sorry if it does, but in the hope that better communication can occur.

Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease
We will find a way, or make one.-Hannibal (crossing the Alps in the 15th Century on war elephants) 
Make sure your suffering has meaning...
All suggestions/options/opinions are caveated with please consult with your local health care provider...

Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty
Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 85
   Posted 10/2/2008 8:48 AM (GMT -6)   

Hey MMM,

That's so interesting about the Plasmapheresis.  Since I've been donating
Platelets for the past, about, 8 years every other week, I haven't been sick
at all, no colds or anything.  When they filter out the platelets, which takes
about 1.5 hours, they also suck out the plasma.  So your post really explains
why I haven't been sick in so long!  Wow!  Thanks for posting this!  (Also, when
you donate platelets it's like getting a free blood test for a lot of things every
other week!)

Thanks again for posting this!  Very interesting!

Julie O'

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 213
   Posted 10/2/2008 8:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Wow, this is very interesting. I have the exact same history you list above. History of frequent strep as a child, extreme anxiety now and some OCD in there. I have developed Ulcerative Colitis within the past few years. Very interesting!
34 year old female, Diagnosed Ulcerative Colitis 5 years ago
Current Meds: Remicade every 6 weeks, Prevacid, Lialda, Lexapro (anxiety), Synthroid, Symbalta, Sustenex, Iron, vitamins, Fish Oil

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 2446
   Posted 10/2/2008 9:32 AM (GMT -6)   
this is very interesting..........thanks for sharing. I'm going to check this out
The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong in the broken places

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 1766
   Posted 10/2/2008 9:35 AM (GMT -6)   
Hmm, interesting? Do you think mental illness in general can lead to autoimmune diseases? I didn't really have OCD, but I did have stress and anxiety which led to depression (which I believe led to UC).
I wouldn't call "the whole field of modern psychology a hoax and so much psycho-babble." Health psychology is a relatively new field and will probably grow in the coming years.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 10/2/2008 10:20 AM (GMT -6)   


Interesting info.  My oldest son had strep throats over and over when he was in highschool.  He is now 44 and has never had any OCD or Ulcerative Colitis.

From the little I know PANDAS is a pediatric phenomnom.

Thank you for the links.




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