List of autoimmune diseases


I was researching autoimmune disease and  found this list of many of them. It is eye opening to say the least. I was amazed how many there are. I actually have several on the list. So, in my attempt to educate others on autoimmune diseases, here is the list I found from the webpage “American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association”:

List of Autoimmune and Autoimmune-Related Diseases


  • Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM)
  • Acute necrotizing hemorrhagic leukoencephalitis
  • Addison’s disease
  • Agammaglobulinemia
  • Allergic asthma
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Alopecia areata
  • Amyloidosis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Anti-GBM/Anti-TBM nephritis
  • Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS)
  • Autoimmune aplastic anemia
  • Autoimmune dysautonomia
  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • Autoimmune hyperlipidemia
  • Autoimmune immunodeficiency
  • Autoimmune inner ear disease (AIED)
  • Autoimmune myocarditis
  • Autoimmune pancreatitis
  • Autoimmune retinopathy
  • Autoimmune thrombocytopenic purpura (ATP)
  • Autoimmune thyroid disease
  • Axonal & neuronal neuropathies
  • Balo disease
  • Behcet’s disease
  • Bullous pemphigoid
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Castleman disease
  • Celiac sprue
  • Chagas disease
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP)
  • Chronic recurrent multifocal ostomyelitis (CRMO) 
  • Churg-Strauss syndrome
  • Cicatricial pemphigoid/benign mucosal pemphigoid
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Cogans syndrome
  • Cold agglutinin disease
  • Congenital heart block
  • Coxsackie myocarditis
  • CREST disease
  • Essential mixed cryoglobulinemia
  • Demyelinating neuropathies
  • Dermatitis herpetiformis 
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Devic’s disease (neuromyelitis optica)
  • Discoid lupus
  • Dressler’s syndrome
  • Endometriosis
  • Eosinophilic fasciitis
  • Erythema nodosum
  • Experimental allergic encephalomyelitis
  • Evans syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia**
  • Fibrosing alveolitis
  • Giant cell arteritis (temporal arteritis)
  • Glomerulonephritis
  • Goodpasture’s syndrome
  • Graves’ disease
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • Hashimoto’s encephalitis
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Henoch-Schonlein purpura
  • Herpes gestationis
  • Hypogammaglobulinemia
  • Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)
  • IgA nephropathy
  • IgG4-related sclerosing disease
  • Immunoregulatory lipoproteins
  • Inclusion body myositis
  • Insulin-dependent diabetes (type1)
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Juvenile arthritis
  • Juvenile diabetes
  • Kawasaki syndrome
  • Lambert-Eaton syndrome
  • Leukocytoclastic vasculitis
  • Lichen planus
  • Lichen sclerosus
  • Ligneous conjunctivitis
  • Linear IgA disease (LAD)
  • Lupus (SLE)
  • Lyme disease, chronic 
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Microscopic polyangiitis
  • Mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD)
  • Mooren’s ulcer
  • Mucha-Habermann disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Myositis
  • Narcolepsy
  • Neuromyelitis optica (Devic’s)
  • Neutropenia
  • Ocular cicatricial pemphigoid
  • Optic neuritis
  • Palindromic rheumatism
  • PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcus)
  • Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration
  • Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH)
  • Parry Romberg syndrome
  • Parsonnage-Turner syndrome
  • Pars planitis (peripheral uveitis)
  • Pemphigus
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Perivenous encephalomyelitis
  • Pernicious anemia
  • POEMS syndrome
  • Polyarteritis nodosa
  • Type I, II, & III autoimmune polyglandular syndromes
  • Polymyalgia rheumatica
  • Polymyositis
  • Postmyocardial infarction syndrome
  • Postpericardiotomy syndrome
  • Progesterone dermatitis
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis 
  • Psoriasis
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
  • Pyoderma gangrenosum
  • Pure red cell aplasia
  • Raynauds phenomenon
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • Reiter’s syndrome
  • Relapsing polychondritis
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Retroperitoneal Fibrosis
  • Rheumatic fever
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Schmidt syndrome
  • Scleritis
  • Scleroderma
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Sperm & testicular autoimmunity
  • Stiff person syndrome
  • Subacute bacterial endocarditis (SBE)
  • Susac’s syndrome
  • Sympathetic ophthalmia
  • Takayasu’s arteritis
  • Temporal arteritis/Giant cell arteritis
  • Thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP)
  • Tolosa-Hunt syndrome
  • Transverse myelitis
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Undifferentiated connective tissue disease (UCTD)
  • Uveitis
  • Vasculitis
  • Vesiculobullous dermatosis
  • Vitiligo
  • Wegener’s granulomatosis

**NOTE Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue are listed, not because they are autoimmune, but because many persons who suffer from them have associated autoimmune disease(s)

What is Lupus?


This is from the Lupus Foundation of America’s web page. You can read more at

What is Lupus

Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs inside the body). Chronic means that the signs and symptoms tend to last longer than six weeks and often for many years. In lupus, something goes wrong with your immune system, which is the part of the body that fights off viruses, bacteria, and germs (“foreign invaders,” like the flu). Normally our immune system produces proteins called antibodies that protect the body from these invaders. Autoimmune means your immune system cannot tell the difference between these foreign invaders and your body’s healthy tissues (“auto” means “self”) and creates autoantibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue. These autoantibodies cause inflammation, pain, and damage in various parts of the body.

  • Lupus is also a disease of flares (the symptoms worsen and you feel ill) and remissions (the symptoms improve and you feel better). Lupus can range from mild to life-threatening and should always be treated by a doctor. With good medical care, most people with lupus can lead a full life.
  • Lupus is not contagious, not even through sexual contact. You cannot “catch” lupus from someone or “give” lupus to someone.
  • Lupus is not like or related to cancer. Cancer is a condition of malignant, abnormal tissues that grow rapidly and spread into surrounding tissues. Lupus is an autoimmune disease, as described above.
  • Lupus is not like or related to HIV (Human Immune Deficiency Virus) or AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). In HIV or AIDS the immune system is underactive; in lupus, the immune system is overactive.
  • Our research estimates that at least 1.5 million Americans have lupus. The actual number may be higher; however, there have been no large-scale studies to show the actual number of people in the U.S. living with lupus.
  • It is believed that 5 million people throughout the world have a form of lupus.
  • Lupus strikes mostly women of childbearing age (15-44). However, men, children, and teenagers develop lupus, too.
  • Women of color are 2-3 times more likely to develop lupus.
  • People of all races and ethnic groups can develop lupus.
  • More than 16,000 new cases of lupus are reported annually across the country.

Cats and chronic disease


I am repeating this post because, believe it or not, while I was at the doctor’s office today, the Arthritis Today magazine had an article about pets and arthritis. Ironic, but I figured it made for a re-posting of this older post. Enjoy!


I have a cat. Her name is Shelby. She was a foundling who adopted me. She is also so much more than just a feline friend.

Shelby has an intuitive nature that allows her to see when I am ill and respond to me. When I am in bed, like now, she is laying next to me. When I am asleep, she lays either next to me or above my head. Some days, she is not around and that is usually when I am feeling good. She goes about her business as she normally would do.

When my lupus is acting up, though, she is right by my side, purring and rubbing on me and trying to help me feel better. It is uncanny, (or should I say, uncatty) how she knows without me saying a word, that I feel awful. She is not overly in my face, but she is on the periphery should she be needed.

While my cat is unique, she is not the only one who is intuitive. I read a story a few years back about a nursing home that had “adopted” a stray cat. The cat was allowed to roam the halls and “visit” with the residents. This cat had an intuitve nature too. It was discovered that the cat would go to a particular resident who was imminently ready to pass away. When a resident was at this point, the cat could not be coerced to leave the room of the resident. It would stay until the person passed away. It became noticible to the staff and they would know by the cats behavior, whether there was an impending death or not. They felt that the cat didn’t want the person to be alone, so it would stay on the bed with the person until after they passed.

I also saw a story about cats and patients with AIDS. The story said that those patients who had cats, tended to live longer than those who did not have a pet cat. Cats were the pet of choice because they did not require as much work as dogs and chronically ill people may not be able to give a dog the exercise they need.  Who knew?

So, my Shelby has this same empathy, but for me. She has been a true and loyal friend in my down times and always helps me with her presence. She is not a “talker” type of cat, but she is always here, by my side, when I need her most. She does not judge me, or make me feel I am worthless when I cannot do things. She is just here, faithfully, making me fell loved.

Funny that a cat can do that and so many humans can’t. We should take a lesson from the animals on this one!

Hiring a Doctor


Say What? Hiring a doctor? Yup, that’s what I said. Did you know that many doctors seem to forget that we in effect “hire” them for their services? They fit the definition of an employee, or sub contractor even because we pay them for their time and services rendered.  So, why bring this up? Let me explain…

When you have a chronic disease, like lupus, you become well versed in medical terminology, procedures, testing, and of course medications. It is par for the course due, in part, to the fact that depending on your disease course you will be under the care of different doctors for different things that can arise.

For example, I see my family practitioner for everyday things like colds and flu. I see my rheumatologist for my joint pain and other “lupus” related things. I see my neurologist for the brain associated effects, like periphreal neuropathy and migraines. I have also seen orthopedic surgeons, general surgeons and a host of ER doctors. I also see a therapist, because I am depressed. Go figure.

In the course of this disease, it is important for all the doctors that you see to share their information with each other so they can all stay on the same page as it were. Otherwise, you may find that medications and or treatments may be harmful because one does not know what the other has prescribed.

Here is where the hiring comes in. You need to see a family doctor. If the one you currently see feels the need to belittle you or act as if your disease is not real, then fire them and find one who listens and is proactive. Same goes for all the other doctors you may see. I personally have fired a few doctors in my time. Right now I am awaiting an appointment with a new neurologist for example, because my last one did a slew of tests and whenever I tried to get in to see him to discuss the results, there was always some excuse for having to reschedule my appointments. So, I got a new one and I hope he is a good one. Time will tell.

If you learn as much as possible about your condition, then you are a well informed consumer and are able to discern whether or not your particular doctor is right for you. If your doctor does not like the fact that you are well informed, then find another one who does. This is YOUR body, YOUR disease, and YOUR treatment. Not the doctor’s. Knowledge is power. A good clinician will not only encourage you to become informed but will welcome any questions you may have about a certain treatment or procedure or medication without making you feel stupid. Yes, some doctors seem to like the POWER, but YOU are the one paying them so if you are not comfortable, find another one.

When dealing with a chronic disease it is important to remember that YOU are the most important player in this game. Your team consists of your doctors, nurses, support groups, therapists, friends and family. Making sure they all share their information is one of the most important things you need to do in your managed care of your disease. It is vital to stay on top of it, even if it means the occassional phone call or appointment to discuss the finer points of  your treatment.

Ultimately you are in control of  your care. Being a well informed patient has never been more important than now, when you are dealing with a chronic, non-curable disease. Stand up and be assertive for your own health and well being. No one knows how you feel more that YOU. So if that doctor acts like it is all in your head (and yes, I had a few who mentioned it must be because I was a woman looking for attention) then RUN out of that office and find one who listens and respects your symptoms and who wants to find out why! I did and now I have a pretty good team assembled. It is up to you to take care of this.

Why I Walk



To be honest, last year I did not walk but still attended the event. This year is not looking too good for me walking either, but I will still tell you why I attend the walk. When I say I walk, I mean attending the event, since walking is not an option due to the disease activity right now. Please read…

I walk for my family, my children and grandchildren. They are at risk of developing Lupus because of me. I walk so they will not have to suffer and feel the pain of joints hurting and rashes appearing and organs inflamed. I walk for their future being pain free and healthy. I do not want this disease to impact them as it has me.

I walk for those who are unable to walk the walk anymore. They are fighting the best they can to survive each day with a smile on their face and joy in their heart. They do not take each day for granted but enjoy each day to the fullest because they have learned to appreciate each day they are given to survive. They are the warriors in this disease.

I walk for those who have passed on. This year alone, I have known of at least ten people who this disease has overtaken. There are many more that I do not know, but the sad fact is that this disease will consume many more loving people before their time. Those who have passed on are the inspiration to me to keep going, and not let the disease win if I can help it.

I walk for those not yet diagnosed. So many times it takes YEARS before a diagnosis can be made. With more awareness and assistance, we hope to cut this time down so patients can get the life saving treatment they need sooner rather than later. In some, this difference can mean life or death. It is vital to shorten this time!

I walk for those in such pain that they find daily living a challenge. Why must we feel bad when asking medical professionals for help in pain management? I truly believe that if more men had this disease, pain management would not be an issue. More women have this disease and as such, pain management can de a daunting challenge. We deserve to live as pain free as we can. We are not asking for something to get high. We are asking for medications that can help us to function on a daily basis as normally as possible. Why do we feel like drug addicts when we ask for help? Medical professionals need to understand that this is a chronic, incurable disease that can come and go and when we are in need of help, please give us the help we need. It is a small thing to ask for yet it is often a challenge because of the laws and the feelings of each doctor.

Finally, I walk so that others can be educated on this disease. Awareness is a key to funding, earlier diagnosis, treatment, and research. The more people realize that lupus is out here and more prolific that many diseases that have a higher profile, the more help we will get. Please take a few moments of your time and read about lupus. Talk about lupus. Join the LFA. Become proactive. For those of us with lupus, we need your help to get the word out. The normal people out there are the ones who can take the ball and run with it. They have the energy and time to be able to help those of us who can’t. Please go to and learn more about it.

If we can help just one person, will that not make everyone feel better? Join our cause and see what one person can do. The walk is just the tip of the iceberg.

On a personal note, I am proud of my granddaughter, Audrey, who has walked the walk since she was 3 years old. She WALKS and has raised money each year to help her meemaw. That, my friends, is love.

The Ride is Getting Bumpy


I was online earlier tonight talking about how much I have been getting done since I am back on prednisone. I was so happy. I have been accomplishing many of the things on my to do list. I really need to do these things because we are in process of moving into our house and selling our travel trailer and golf cart. A lot of things on my plate. Yeah, I have pleurisy and/or costochondritis. Yes, it hurts. It is getting better each day though. Yay!

Now for the rest of the story… not long after I bragged about feeling good, the pendulum swing changed direction and I was forced to rest in my recliner. I am having pain in my hips and my back. Calcium sucking prednisone is depleting it as I write this.

I guess the biggest thing that has happened is that I saw what I used to be like. These past few days I felt like I should be feeling for my age! I was able to do things that normally take me forever, and do them fast and efficiently. It is sad to realize just how much this disease has taken from my life. I know once I am off the precnisone, things may return to the way they were previously. It is depressing to think about after this glimpse of normalcy. I hate you so much wolfie!

How cruel it is to feel good and enjoy it only to have it taken away again. Yeah, I really am not wanting to go back to that pain and feeling like I am not a whole person. I like being able to get out of the chair and walk into the kitchen and washing the dishes (by hand). I have cooked and cleaned. I have packed and unpacked. I have enjoyed being outdoors watching hubs working on his car. I mean, I was normal. It was great!

I do know the old things are coming back to taunt me after these great days. How do I know you may ask? Because I am in pain now, while still on prednisone. The boomerang effect is occurring. This false sense of well being that prednisone gives me always has a backlash in the end.

I do not think I am the only one this happens to. I have talked with others with this disease and they have had similar experiences as well. When you taper from a high dose to the smaller doses, your body does this boomerang. You start feeling like crap again. You want the higher dosage so you feel good again. It is a cruel thing indeed.

Everytime I am on prednisone, I gain weight in my stomach and face. I get the moon face. I break out in a malar rash (not sure why), and I am one moody person. Despite these not so nice side effects, I like this feeling of well being. It is a sad thng indeed to want to look like a freak and feel good. It is an exchange I guess.

As I go from this high dose back to reality, I hope I can be gracious and kind again and deal with all that comes my way. I will continue this journey and I hope I can do that with dignity and grace. Keeping my head up and fighting the wolf! I may have lupus but lupus will not have me!

UV, Sunshine and Lupus


It is that time of the year again, when the weather is warmer, the days are longer, and family time takes precedence over work and school. I must admit that I love summer. It is my favorite time of the year. I am also one of the few lupus patients with whom the UV rays from sunshine do not bring about a lupus flare, with the exception of if I am in the sunshine and recieve a sunburn. A sunburn does cause me to flare up. That being said, I found this information at and it is useful information for all lupus sufferers or anyone with a sun or UV issue. I was surprised about the lights in stores! Hope you enjoy the reading!

Lupus, the Sun and UV Rays

Pain is triggered by many things when you have lupus. The main triggers are the weather .. and the sun. Photosensitivity is one of the most aggravating triggers of the disease. It doesn’t take much exposure to ensure a reaction of pain.

Lupus patients are very sensitive to UV rays, especially those who suffer from Discoid Lupus. It is a known trigger for a flare! That is why it is so important to wear sunscreen when outside in the sun. But what most people don’t realize is, they should be wearing UV protection inside stores as well.

UV rays from the sun can trigger reactions in the skin in the form of a rash, or purple spots under the skin called pupura, but will also cause muscle and joint pain.

People with Lupus must also be aware of “hidden” UV rays as in Fluorescent lighting. If you work in an area with fluorescent lighting, then you should be wearing a sun screen even while working inside the building.

Also .. for those of you who shop at Walmart or Kmart, most grocery stores .. or ANY store that uses the fluorescent light fixtures (long rectangle boxes with long tube-shaped light bulbs) .. please be aware that fluorescent lighting gives off UV rays unless the fixture is fitted with a special lens.

Most fluorescent lighting can be covered with a protective Plexiglas panel that allows light through but not the radiation that triggers the pain. There is a UV protective panel available for fluorescent lighting fixtures but because of cost, it is usually not installed in offices and stores.

A two hour shopping spree in Walmart is equivalent to a full hour in the sun. You don’t get sunburned but you do get the full hour of UV rays. Enough to trigger a flare of itching, rashy skin, aching muscles, low grade fever, and/or extreme fatigue.

And you thought the shopping itself was making you ill .. guess again!! It is the lights in the store!

So go prepared .. wear your sunscreen .. use a hat or a scarf .. and even though you may be tired from all the walking, you wont begin a flare that will last for several days.

Computer screens also give off small amounts of UV radiation. Most people are not affected by it, but people with lupus or other photo sensitivities should take precautions. Especially if you are in front of the screen for long periods of time (more than an hour at a time, for days in a row).

The best thing you can purchase to help eliminate the problem is a monitor anti-glare screen that fits over the monitor itself. It knocks down the glare as well as blocks the UV rays. 3M company makes several different kinds.

Limiting yourself to short periods of time in the sun will help eliminate some of the pain, but wearing sunscreen is a must! Sunscreen should be at least 30 SPF, with 45 SPF being a better choice.

For UV filters that turn fluorescent light into a UV-safe natural light.

For a UV filter for your computer monitor:

Medical Exemptions can be purchased from the Department of Motor Vehicles for Lupus patients.


This exemption allows you to put a darker window tinting on your vehicle that is normally allowed by law. The exemption stays with the vehicle and upon sale of the vehicle, the darker tinting must be removed.
To find out your state laws on auto window tinting, go here:
Then double check your own state laws to make sure the laws have not been changed since the site was updated.



The materials and information on this site are intended for educational and informational purposes only. The materials and information are not intended to replace the services of a trained health professional or to be a substitute for medical advice of physicians and/or other health care professionals. You should consult your physician on specific medical questions, particularly in matters requiring diagnosis or medical attention.