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Classic stiff-person syndrome is often found in the presence of other autoimmune diseases. This requires working with a team of doctors: your family physician, your neurologist (or neuromuscular specialist, rheumatologist, movement disorder specialist), and an endocrinologist. It may involve working with a pain management specialist or a psychologist.
There are four types of diabetes: Type 1 juvenile onset, Type 1.5 adult onset, Type 2 adult onset, and gestational diabetes.
Glucose is needed for energy and is provided by carbohydrates. In order for the cells to utilize and store glucose, they require insulin to act as the key to open the door to the cell.
In Juvenile Type 1 and adult Type 1.5 (LADA), autoantibodies (GAD-65) attack the insulin-producing beta cells in the Isles of Langerhans in the pancreas, therefore there are no more keys to unlock the cell doors. Without insulin, glucose builds in the bloodstream to toxic levels. This type requires replacement insulin via injection.
In type 2 diabetes, cells throughout the body develop rusty locks. The keys no longer open the cell doors sufficiently and glucose builds to dangerous levels in the bloodstream. Excessive intake of carbohydrates becomes excessive production of glucose which in turn requires ever increasing amounts of insulin. Eventually, the cells in the pancreas and/or receptors wear out from overexertion and cease producing enough insulin. This type of diabetes can be treated initially with changes in diet and exercise. Medication can help mediate the problem. If it progresses unchecked, the patient may require insulin injections.
For more information visit http://www.diabetes.org/.
The thyroid gland secretes hormones essential to all growth and metabolism. Thyroid disorders are found in 0.8-5% of the population and are 4 to 7 times more common in women.
Hashimoto's thyroiditis (chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis) is an autoimmune disease in which the thyroid gland is attacked by autoantibodies against thyroid peroxidase, thyroglobulin and TSH receptors, although a small percentage of patients may have none of these antibodies present. Hashimoto's thyroiditis is often misdiagnosed as depression, cyclothymia, PMS, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and, less frequently, as ED or an anxiety disorder.
Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disease in which thyroid stimulating immunoglobulins recognize and bind to the thyrotropin receptor (TSH receptor). It mimics the TSH to that receptor and activates the secretion of thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), and the actual TSH level will decrease in the blood plasma. The TSH levels fall because the hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid negative feedback loop is working. The result is very high levels of circulating thyroid hormones and the negative feedback regulation will not work for the thyroid gland.
Endocrine myopathies cause an abnormal state of striated muscle which results in muscle weakness, pain, cramps, muscle tenderness, and spasms in various degrees.
Adrenal glands are small hormone-releasing organs located on top of each kidney. They are made up of an outer portion, called the cortex, and an inner portion, called the medulla. The cortex produces three hormones:
Glucocorticoid hormones (such as cortisol) maintain sugar (glucose) control, decrease (suppress) immune response, and help the body respond to stress. Mineralocorticoid hormones (such as aldosterone) regulate sodium and potassium balance. Sex hormones, androgens (male) and estrogens (female), affect sexual development and sex drive.
In Cushing's syndrome, there's too much cortisol, while with Addison's disease, there is too little. Some people are born unable to make enough cortisol. Addison’s disease results from damage to the adrenal cortex. The damage causes the cortex to produce hormone levels that are too low.
Polyglandular autoimmune disease (type 1, 2, and 3) is comprised of three autoimmune conditions: diabetes, thyroid disease, and adrenal disease.
Epilepsies are a spectrum of brain disorders ranging from severe, life-threatening and disabling, to ones that are much more benign. The normal pattern of neuronal activity becomes disturbed, causing strange sensations, emotions, and behavior or sometimes convulsions, muscle spasms, and loss of consciousness. They have many possible causes and there are several types of seizures. Epilepsy may develop because of an abnormality in brain wiring, an imbalance of nerve signaling chemicals called neurotransmitters, changes in important features of brain cells called channels, or some combination of these and other factors.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that often starts between the ages of 15 and 44. Anti-nuclear antibodies play a role. Symptoms include painful or swollen joints (arthritis), unexplained fever, and extreme fatigue. A characteristic red skin rash may appear across the nose and cheeks. Rashes may also occur on the face and ears, upper arms, shoulders, chest, and hands and other areas exposed to the sun.
Myasthenia gravis is a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease characterized by varying degrees of weakness of the skeletal (voluntary) muscles of the body that increases during periods of activity and improves after periods of rest. Certain muscles such as those that control eye and eyelid movement, facial expression, chewing, talking, and swallowing are often, but not always, involved in the disorder. The muscles that control breathing and neck and limb movements may also be affected. Myasthenia gravis occurs when normal communication between the nerve and muscle is interrupted at the neuromuscular junction—the place where nerve cells connect with the muscles they control. Normally when impulses travel down the nerve, the nerve endings release a neurotransmitter substance called acetylcholine. Acetylcholine travels from the neuromuscular junction and binds to acetylcholine receptors which are activated and generate a muscle contraction. In myasthenia gravis, antibodies block, alter, or destroy the receptors for acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction, which prevents the muscle contraction from occurring.
Pernicious anemia is a decrease in red blood cells that occurs when the intestines cannot properly absorb vitamin B12. The body needs vitamin B12 to make red blood cells. You get this vitamin from eating foods such as meat, poultry, shellfish, eggs, and dairy products. A special protein, called intrinsic factor (IF), helps your intestines absorb vitamin B12. This protein is released by cells in the stomach. When the stomach does not make enough intrinsic factor, the intestine cannot properly absorb vitamin B12. Common causes of pernicious anemia include: weakened stomach lining (atrophic gastritis), and an autoimmune condition in which the body's immune system attacks the actual intrinsic factor protein or the cells in the lining of your stomach that make it.
Vitiligo is a pigmentation disorder in which melanocytes (the cells that make pigment) in the skin are destroyed. As a result, white patches appear on the skin in different parts of the body. Similar patches also appear on both the mucous membranes (tissues that line the inside of the mouth and nose) and the retina (inner layer of the eyeball). The hair that grows on areas affected by vitiligo sometimes turns white. The depigmentation is caused by autoantibodies. People's bodies produce proteins called cytokines that, in vitiligo, alter their pigment-producing cells and cause these cells to die. Another theory is that melanocytes destroy themselves.
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SPS is occasionally associated with epilepsy and endocrine disorders, including insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.
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A 47-year-old female with muscular rigidity, new onset diabetes, and hypothyroidism.
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A patient who developed generalized autoimmune myasthenia gravis six years after the spontaneous remission of a stiff-man syndrome is described. He also suffered from chronic active hepatitis and had radiological evidence of a thymoma. He did not have diabetes mellitus.
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