Exciting stuff! Diseases! Comorbidity! Genetics!
I know, I know. If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Every time someone has digestive trouble, it sounds like celiac disease to me. And, it’s not necessarily.
But, semi-recently, I was doing some Googling for a guy (your Dad, Luke! ) who has a couple autoimmune diseases, plus some symptoms that sounded an awfully lot like celiac disease, which, if you didn’t know, is an autoimmune disease, and if you didn’t know, many autoimmune diseases are comorbid. Meaning that autoimmune diseases often tend to compound on each other… if you have one, it’s likely you have two, or three, or four autoimmune disorders. (I didn’t tell him he had celiac disease, but I encouraged him to look into it!)
Except for me, I thought. I “only” have celiac disease. I was diagnosed, previously, with a laundry list of weird things, but none of them were autoimmune. HOWEVER, when I was researching for a comment to the above linked-to post, I saw that interstitial cystitis, which was one of the the things I was diagnosed with, is now considered by many doctors to be an autoimmune disorder! No direct causal link has been found — doctors still don’t know how the body attacks the bladder — but evidence strongly suggests that IC is autoimmune.
Ever since I went on a gluten-free diet for celiac disease, my symptoms for IC disappeared, so I don’t know if it could be said that I “have” IC any more.
But, still, I thought that was interesting.
In semi-related news, my Mother has an autoimmune disorder similar to MS called chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), my aunt has MS, my uncle has an autoimmune kidney disease… That is, three out of four sibs in my mom’s family have serious autoimmune issues. But, neither of her parents do/did. Also three of her first cousins have MS. She told me that her family was approached by Mayo Clinic, because someone there wanted to do a study on their family, because of the high incidence rate of multiple sclerosis. But, then the funding ran out (or something) and the study was never done. (My Mom also has Marfan Syndrome, and we were told eleven years ago that she had “six months to two years” to live… so we’re a family that defies the odds, in both good ways and bad!!)