- advertisement -

Autoimmune doesn't mean comprised immune system

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Nancy in VA, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. Nancy in VA

    Nancy in VA Approved members

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    7,308
    I have seen this posted in a couple of posts and I wanted to bring it to the forefront so that we could have a discussion.

    Our children has an autoimmune disease. It doesn't actually mean they have a compromised immune system, as far as I know through my learning and research. As best as I understand it, they have an "over hyper" immune system that not only attack the germs its supposed to but other things that its not supposed to attack (like the pancreas)

    So, our children, as best as I know, don't have a compromised immune system - like a person who has been through chemo or has cancer.

    The reason they are in the high risk category is not necessarily because they are any more likely to catch it than others, but that it may wreak more havoc on their system because blood sugars can go wacky, right.
     
  2. WestinsMom

    WestinsMom Approved members

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,137
    Yes. I like to say that we have too good of an immune system. Unfortunately, it is my understanding that the virus can then cause another autoimmune attack. Is that correct? I am reading Autoimmune Epidemic right now.
     
  3. chbarnes

    chbarnes Approved members

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Messages:
    1,215
    It's probably more complicated than that because some groups with autoimmune disorders are more susceptible to infection. At a minimum, hyperglycemia increases one's risk of infection. Most of these recommendations assume your BGs are elevated.

    Chuck
     
  4. emm142

    emm142 Approved members

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Messages:
    6,883
    Yes.. I get confused when people write about us having a compromised immune system. I'm sure the reason we get the vaccinations is just to stop any D related issues if we happen to catch the flu..
     
  5. mmgirls

    mmgirls Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2008
    Messages:
    6,030
    I agree,it peeves me too.
     
  6. simom

    simom Approved members

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Messages:
    226
    Nancy - that is my understanding as well. The risk associated with highs/ketones/risk of DKA that some D children experience when they are ill is the threat. It is my understanding that they are no more susceptible to the flu or any other common virus than the average person.

    We (yep, all of us, even our little one - a newborn at the time) had the seasonal flu a few years ago about 3 months after diagnosis - we were not yet pumping then - we battled highs, ketones, etc., and did end up taking him in for an IV and to be sure that DKA was not an issue.
     
  7. KelliTwins

    KelliTwins Approved members

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Messages:
    472
    My son is absolutely more susceptible to infection. His immune system does not function like other children's immune systems. When he contracts an infection, he will often end up hospitalized. Therefore, I feel absolutely justified and correct in saying that he has a compromised immune system.

    Per the CDC:
    How does diabetes affect how I respond to a cold or flu??
    Being sick by itself can raise your blood glucose. Moreover, illness can prevent you from eating properly, which further affects blood glucose.

    In addition, diabetes can make the immune system more vulnerable to severe cases of the flu. People with diabetes who come down with the flu may become very sick and may even have to go to a hospital. You can help keep yourself from getting the flu by getting a flu shot every year. Everyone with diabetes?even pregnant women?should get a yearly flu shot. The best time to get one is between October and mid-November, before the flu season begins.

    How about offering support without criticizing for a change? We just had a post that said it feels good to come here and vent, and now I have the post criticized. Don't some people have anything better to do?????? :mad::mad::mad:
     
  8. mmgirls

    mmgirls Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2008
    Messages:
    6,030
    The key word was "CAN", not "DOES"

    T1 does not automatically make a compromized immune system.


    YES, some T1's do have a compromised immune system but not ALL.

    I don't think that anyone was trying to be insensative or to critizie (SP).
     
  9. KelliTwins

    KelliTwins Approved members

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Messages:
    472
    I my post, I was referring to MY child. MY child has a compromised immune system. I'm not sure that no one meant to criticize, as the post magically appeared after mine did. We come here for support, not criticism.
     
  10. sarahspins

    sarahspins Approved members

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Messages:
    2,205
    I agree, it's not that we're actually any more likely to GET sick, but that the consequences of being sick are often more severe.. I generally like to avoid it, if at all possible :)
     
  11. Reese'sMom

    Reese'sMom Approved members

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    1,294
    My understanding is that no young persons have any immunity to this new/novel H1N1 strain, so everyone is at the same risk for catching it if they come in contact (which we all likely will eventually).

    I learned much about measuring the immune system through blood counts during Reese's chemo. Absolute Neutrophil Count, or ANC is the best measure and it is primarily based on the White blood cell count...you can google ANC ranges if you are curious. Most of our kids should have a normal ANC, unless there are other issues.

    I think our kids are judged as "high risk" because of both the difficulties in managing D with any flu, as well as the fact that having an autoimmune disease is an indicator of an immune system which is not normal.
     
  12. Flutterby

    Flutterby Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2006
    Messages:
    14,623
    Kaylee's endo says that her patients that have diabetes are TYPICALLY (not all of them) healthier than her non-d patients for the simple fact that they are ALWAYS washing their hands.

    Kaylee's no more likely to catch the flu/bug/gastro problem than anyone else, BUT when she does get sick, it will become a problem. Unpredicable lows, ketones, absorbtion problems, wacky highs..Because Kaylee developes ketones if you look at her funny she often ends up at the ER because of an illness.
     
  13. FeeferGross

    FeeferGross Approved members

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2006
    Messages:
    214
    i have a compromised immune system. and i have diabetes. no one here knows eachothers own individual cases.
     
  14. Flutterby

    Flutterby Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2006
    Messages:
    14,623
    I don't think so :confused:
     
  15. StillMamamia

    StillMamamia Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2007
    Messages:
    13,195
    Yes!! That is exactly what our endos told us.
    Thanks for bringing this to light.
     
  16. moco89

    moco89 Approved members

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,430
    Well, both type 1s and type 2s have chronic metabolic disturbances that can weaken the immune system if an infection is currently affecting the individual.

    Metabolic issues can and will weaken the immune system, even if one is in seemingly "good control." It comes with the territory when you have diabetes.
     
  17. joy orz

    joy orz Approved members

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    Messages:
    2,460
    Ava doesn't seem any more likely to catch bugs than most kids. BUT when she does, ketones are always a problem.
    Last week we both had a wacky cold, low grade fever, boogies and the works. Remarkably, her numbers were in range, but her ketones ranged from .8-1.6 :eek:

    So it was a battle to keep the ketones down and the bg up. This was just from a cold. When she had a stomach bug soon after dx, we were back in the hospital for four days for IV's.
     
  18. Beach bum

    Beach bum Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    11,315
    Great clarification!

    As our nurse explained, the reason they are considered high risk is because of the problems they could experience from ketones and high bg's, potentially resulting in a hospital visit, which as we all no, we want to avoid!
     
  19. hawkeyegirl

    hawkeyegirl Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Messages:
    13,157
    We also come here for correct information, and Nancy's post is correct. An autoimmune disorder is not the same thing as being immune-compromised. Your son may have a deficient immune system, but that is not true of all T1s. You're being a little oversensitive here.

    That being said, I have read that the body's immune system does not work as well when in a state of hyperglycemia.
     
  20. Nancy in VA

    Nancy in VA Approved members

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    7,308
    Well, Karla, then Emma is sufficiently protected right now because I can barely keep her in the 100s for all the lows we're having! :)
     

Share This Page

- advertisement -

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice