Speaking about health before pregnancy, we mean way of life, nutrition, physical activity, habits, and also possible chronic diseases, such as heightened blood pressure or diabetes. If you have such diseases, then you just have to visit a doctor beforehand. You know, this may complicate pregnancy, bring harm to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor which medicinal preparations and in which doses you take. Doctor will recommend you tests and observations you should pass, for example, X-ray photography. Try to discuss all questions you have for the moment.

It is much simpler to think over a strategy of treatment before pregnancy and then worrying about complications.

Diabetes – it is a disease, appearing as a result of lack of insulin in organism, this hormone is produced by pancreas. If you have diabetes, it will be more difficult for you to become pregnant. Moreover, diabetes can influence passing of pregnancy seriously. First of all, it can become a reason of miscarriage or giving birth to a dead baby. Secondly, women suffering from diabetes can give birth to babies with inborn defects.
You can reduce risk of such complications due to constant control of sugar content in blood during pregnancy. If you don’t care of your state, then diabetes while pregnancy may turn out to be dangerous both for you and your future baby. Majority of complications, connected with diabetes, are displayed during first trimester, i.e. during first 13 weeks of pregnancy.

Pregnancy may cause complications of state while diabetes, what will require increase of insulin doses. This can be easily determined with help of test on sugar content in blood. Majority of doctors recommend taking a special care of this disease development during at least 2-3 months before conception. This will help to reduce probability of risk of miscarriage or other problems. Probably, you will have to pass tests on sugar content in blood several times per day, to control disease completely and avoid possible complications. Past experience shows that women, suffering from diabetes, had serious problems with conception and passing of pregnancy. But die to complete and constant control even women-diabetics can count on successful result of pregnancy and delivery.

If in your family there were cases of diabetes or you have slightest suspicions as for your own health, pass tests before pregnancy surely.

About 1% of pregnant women suffer from asthma. It is impossible to predict influence of pregnancy on asthma. Half of women, suffering from this disease, notice no changes during pregnancy, about 25% feel even slight improvement, and the rest (25%) observe worsening of state.

Majority of anti-asthma remedies are safe for pregnant, but it is still better to consult a doctor as for preparation to take. Almost all who suffer from asthma know what may become a reason of fit, so avoid contact with allergens before getting pregnant and during whole pregnancy. Try to control your state yet before pregnancy.

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can cause complication both of mother’s and unborn baby’s health. For women it is connected with risk of refusal of kidneys work, probability of hypertensic crisis or headache. Increase of a future mother’s blood pressure may become a reason for decrease of blood inflow to placenta, what will lead to delays of fetus development, i.e. a baby will weigh less, than normal while birth.

If you had high blood pressure before pregnancy, then you just have to take care of it during all 9 months. Probably, gynaecologist will send you to therapeutist’s or family doctor’s observation with this purpose.
Before making a decision to become pregnant, women, suffering from hypertension, should consult a doctor. Some remedies against high blood pressure are safe for pregnant, some are not. On no account quit taking pills and reduce dose without a doctor’s prescription! This can be dangerous. If you plan giving birth to a baby, ask you doctor about remedies you are taking against high blood pressure, and about safety of taking these medicines during pregnancy.

Heart diseases
During pregnancy load on heart increases about 50%. If you have sick heart, it is necessary for your doctor to know about it before you become pregnant.

Some heart diseases, such as mitral valve prolapse, can seriously complicate passing of pregnancy. Probably, you will even have to take antibiotics before delivery. Other heart diseases, such as inborn heart disease, may seriously influence state of health. In this case pregnancy and delivery are sometimes contra-indicated.

Consult your doctor as for heart diseases before you become pregnant.

Kidneys and urinary bladder diseases
Infections of urinary system, in particular urinary bladder, often appear during pregnancy. If you don’t cure disease in time, infection may pass to kidneys, causing pyelonephritis.

Infections of urinary bladder and pyelonephritis may lead to premature birth. If you ever suffered from pyelonephritis or repeating infections of urinary system, this should be determined before pregnancy.

Stones in kidneys also may complicate passing pf pregnancy. This disease is accompanied by severe pains in lower part of belly, so it is quite difficult to diagnose it during pregnancy. Moreover, stones in kidneys may become a reason of appearance of infections of urinary system and pyelonephritis.

If you ever had some only infection of urinary bladder, you should not worry a lot. But you still should inform your doctor about it. He will decide whether you need to pass more careful observation before pregnancy.

Thyroid gland diseases
Thyroid gland diseases may appear both because of excess or lack of thyroid hormone. Excess of hormone is called thyrotoxicosis. In this case metabolism in human organism is speeded up. This may be caused by Graves’ disease. Thyrotoxicosis is usually cured with help of operation of medicinal remedies, reducing content of thyroid hormone in organism. If you don’t cure this disease, there’s rather high level of risk premature birth and giving birth to a baby with low weight.

You can carry our treatment during pregnancy too: there’re quite safe preparations, which pregnant women may take.

Lack of thyroid hormone – hypothyroidism – is usually caused by disease of autoimmune origin. In this case thyroid gland is damaged by anti-bodies, which are produced by your organism. While hypothyroidism taking of thyroid hormones is prescribed. Not cured hypothyroidism threatens with sterility or habitual noncarrying of pregnancy.

If you have thyrotoxicosis or hypothyroidism, you need to pass through observation before pregnancy, to determine doses of medicinal remedies, necessary for treatment. In the process of pregnancy your necessity in preparations may change, and then you will have to pass another observation.

Anemia means that there’s lack of haemoglobin in your organism. There’re several reasons and in connection with this several kinds of anemia. Symptoms of anemia are weakness, giddiness, lack of air and pale skin.
During pregnancy necessity of organism in iron and iron-containing substances increases. If in the beginning of pregnancy you suffer from lack of iron in blood, anemia increases this lack. So you need to take vitamins and preparations, containing full choice of microelements, necessary for organism.

One of specific types of anemia – sicle-cell disease, which is passed genetically: it is mainly spread among black population. If you suffer from sicle-cell disease, your organism is deprived of oxygen. Passing of this kind of anemia can be very painful, and it also may serve as a reason for other diseases and complications during pregnancy. Sicle-cell disease cannot be cured and may be passed to your baby. Women, suffering from sicle-cell disease, have very high percent of miscarriages and infections of urinary system. They also may suffer from high blood pressure and painful hypertension strokes.

Another kind of anemia – thalassanemia is also passed genetically. If some of your relatives suffers from thalassanemia or you suppose you can have it, check it before pregnancy.

Lupus is a vascular disease of autoimmune origin. This means your organism produces anti-bodies that may destroy your organs or influence functions of these organs negatively. Lupus can affect different organs, including joints, kidneys, lungs and heart.

This disease is hard to diagnose. One woman of 700 in the age from 15 to 64 years suffers from lupus. Among black women it is met more often, in one case of 254. As a rule, lupus more often strikes women, than men, especially women of genital age, i.e. from 20 to 40 years.

Lupus treatment is highly individual and usually means taking if steroids. It is better not to become pregnant during fit of this disease, as miscarriages are extremely often among women suffering from lupus. Risk of giving birth to a dead baby also increases.

Babies, born from mothers, suffering from lupus, can have rash. They also can have different heart diseases. Premature birth and delay of pre-natal development of fetus are also quite possible.
If you suffer from lupus, consult your doctor before pregnancy definitely.

Epilepsy and epileptic seizures
Epilepsy – is a chronic disease, characterized by different kinds of seizures (fits). Most often epilepsy is displayed by big and small epileptic seizures. Chance of giving birth to a baby with epileptic disease can be 1 of 30 for women, suffering from epilepsy. Such babies have risk of in-born diseases, probably, connected with medicines, which a future mother took during pregnancy.

If you take medicines against epilepsy, it is very important to consult your doctor before pregnancy. Discuss doses and type of medicines, which you take, as many preparations, relieving seizures of epilepsy, cause in-born diseases in babies. However, there are safe remedies for fetus, for example, Phenobarbital.

Seizures can be dangerous both for mother and fetus. So it is especially important to take remedies precisely according to a doctor’s prescription during pregnancy. On no account reduce dose or quit taking medicine yourself, without a doctor!

About 15-20% of all pregnant women suffer from migraine. Many women notice improvement of health during pregnancy. If you are going to take pills against headache during pregnancy, check with your doctor how much they are safe for you and future baby.

Cancerous growths
A question of probability of cancer’s influence on pregnancy depends on the fact which organ it stroke and how wide is growth. Breast cancer is most often form of cancer, met among women. If you had breast cancer, this will not influence pregnancy anyway, and pregnancy, in its turn, will not cause breast cancer.
Many doctors advice to wait 2-3 years with childbirth after breast cancer treatment. It is very important to discuss case history and method of treatment with your doctor yet before pregnancy. Situation may become quite complicated, if you are pregnant and pass treatment at the same time. Many medicines and remedies against cancer are not safe for future mother and baby.

Other diseases
We examined only some chronic diseases. However, any disease can be dangerous for future baby. So if you suffer from some chronic disease or have to take medicines constantly, discuss it with your doctor.
General rule is following: it is better not to take medicines or pass any medical treatment at the moment of conception and on early stages of pregnancy. Laying of all organs and tissues of a baby takes place during 1st trimester of pregnancy, and during this period you need to protect a future baby from harmful influences of medicines or observations. You will feel better and calmer, if you solve all these problems before pregnancy.

35 thoughts on “Lupus Disease And Pregnancy

  1. Ash W

    How do autoimmune disease affect fertility and pregnancy?
    I would like to start trying for a baby next year. I have chronic erticaria and raynauds, and I have been tested for lupus twice and recieved a low positive result. I am really worried.

    1. .

      Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus) may appear for the first time, worsen, or become less severe during pregnancy. How a pregnancy affects the course of lupus cannot be predicted, but the most common time for flare-ups is immediately after delivery.

      Women who develop lupus often have a history of repeated miscarriages, fetuses that do not grow as much as expected, and preterm delivery. If women have complications due to lupus (such as kidney damage or high blood pressure), the risk of death for the fetus or newborn is increased.

      In pregnant women, lupus antibodies may cross the placenta to the fetus. As a result, the fetus may have a very slow heart rate, anemia, a low platelet count, or a low white blood cell count. However, these antibodies gradually disappear over several weeks after the baby is born, and the problems they cause resolve except for the slow heart rate.

      Autoimmune Disorders: The abnormal antibodies produced in autoimmune disorders can cross the placenta and cause problems in the fetus. Miscariage often happen in 1st and 2nd trimester of pregnancy. Pregnancy affects different autoimmune disorders in different ways.

      Raynaud’s comes in two forms. One is Raynaud’s disease, which occurs in isolation. The other is Raynaud’s phenomenon, which occurs in conjunction with other diseases, including scleroderma, a hardening and shrinking of the skin; lupus, a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the skin, joints, kidneys, nervous system and mucous membranes; and rheumatoid arthritis. Raynaud’s phenomenon also commonly occurs in people who use vibrating or hammering tools or instruments
      It’s not known why more women than men have Raynaud’s, but women get autoimmune diseases such as scleroderma and lupus more than men do, and Raynaud’s often develops with these.

      Pregnancy often aggravating urticaria.

      Your condition is very complicated.But there are many worst condition. Baby are worthed, every women ready to sacrifice almost everything to have baby. You might need ask your family to support you, get as many information as you can, and very important to cooperate with your physicians. Select them carefully. We want you and your future babies to be safe.

      Best wishes.

  2. Sarah

    Lupus and Pregnancy?
    I was just wondering if you can be pregnant and have lupus? i already have a daughter and Ihad a bad pregnancy with her they thought it was my gallbladder well two weeks after I had her I got it taken out and now i am pregnant again and I am having the same kind of pregnancy. Well anyways like I said i am pregnant again and well with my first pregnancy they told me I was anemiac and now with this one it has gotten really bad some days i feel great but others i could just sleep all day (even when I am not pregnant) and i get really bad headaches that last for days at a time even when i am sleeping i can feel them and dont sleep good. Anyways I just was wondering if i should get tested for this disease or if I am just over reacting because I do worry alot so please help!

    1. EllE

      Is there a reason you think you have Lupus? You can have Lupus and be pregnant at the same time. Lupus can also go in waves of how active it is in your body. There is a test for you, but as I remember it wasn’t very accurate to narrow it down. Talk to you OB/GYN for some guidance and you can always get more than one opinion.

  3. punkrockmommy98

    My husbands lupus and my pregnancy, any risks?
    My husband and I just found out that he has Lupus. I am due in 2 months, are there any risks we should be worried about? We found out Friday and I can’t ask my doc until monday. He and I are both worried about this since we don’t know much about the disease itself yet. Any insight would be appreciated

  4. Terisa

    Can anyone diagnose me?
    My name is Terisa and I am in desperate need of help! I am 19 years old and have been very ill for almost a year now. I have seen several doctors (including specialists), had hundreds of tests, and even more medications and treatments to no avail. I am getting pretty desperate because the nature of my illness is one that restricts me to home, limits me to few activities, and most importantly, keeps me in constant pain. I am hoping that somewhere out there is my House. I am looking for a doctor looking for a challenge or someone that has struggled with illness that may have answers! I am willing to take any suggestions so if anyone has any idea of what I could have, please feel free to put in your two cents! And please don’t hold back because of how serious a diagnoses you have. I’ve been told I have all sorts of terrible diseases so I’m not shy about that. The following are my symptoms.

    *Wide spread, chronic, severe pain that is worst in the knees, hips, and back. The pain is made worse by movement, sitting, standing, exercise, walking, bending over, crouching down, and on bad days, laying down. The pain is helped by narcotic pain killers and heat but never goes away completely. A normal day my pain is between a 5 and 7 on the pain scale. With drugs, a 3 to 6 (The pain started March 2nd, 2009. At the time I was diagnosed with a bulging disc but I have since been undiagnosed. However the pain mimics that of a bulging disc if that helps.)

    *Chronic, debilitating fatigue. This is more recent than the pain.

    *Insomnia (I have always slept well before this.)

    *Hair loss

    *Cold Intolerance

    *Clotting disorder (This one is bizarre. I have never had a problem until recently when I started bleeding into a bruise (blood started to pool under the skin at bruise site) and had a nose bleed for 2 hours. Tests show that I have a problem with my clotting time and my Factor 7 is high.)

    *Severe abdominal pain (Severe abdominal spasms that bring me to my knees. I have been diagnosed with IBS but I include this as a symptom just in case.)

    *Joint stiffness and weakness.

    *Numbness, tingling, and weakness in left leg and lower back (this is why they thought I had a bulging disc.)

    *Occasional twitching and shaking

    *Extreme changes in appetite (sometimes I can’t eat and sometimes I can’t stop.)



    *Stomach Ulcer (this might be stress related or some bizarre manifestation or what I have, I don;t know yet.)

    *Changes in menstrual cycle even though I am on birth control and have been for 2 years.

    *Irritability, anxiety, and depression.

    Now here is the really bizarre part. I have been tested for and do not have: Hypothyroidism, Leukemia, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, A factor 7 disease, pregnancy, or anemia. This is where I stump everyone. I test negative for everything! So this is where I need help. If anyone has an idea of 1) What else I could possible have or 2) how it is possible that I could have the above mentioned things and test negative.

    Well thanks for your time and help. I really appreciate anything anyone can offer me!

    Thanks again.

    1. Rockford

      I’ll just throw some ideas out there

      -Severe abdominal pain, diahrea and hair loss can be from adrenal insufficiency.

      -Irritability, extreme increases in hunger and insomia and body wide pain can be from increase in cortisol levels like in cushings syndrome which doesn’t really match but I thought I would mention it.

      -depression and insomia is understandable if you are in pain and can’t get a deep night sleep. I’m in chronic pain a sleep study showed I woke up 9 times every hour without knowing it. Hypothyroid also causes insominia but you were checked for that.

      -Discomfort in the stomach when bending over can be from a hiatal hernia.

      Pain in the joints and body, numbness and tingling can be from Oedema (swelling) which may not be obvious. Some girls get Idiopathic Cyclic Edema.

      Low vitamin C can cause fatigue, extreme joint pain and bleeding. Low vitamin D can cause body pain and fatigue.

      Cold intolerance can be from not eating enough calories, cold agglutnin disease, infection, etc. I would also look up Hughes Syndrome which is closely related to Lupus (although it doesn’t fit with your nose bleeds). You can also have low iron body stores without being anemic.

      I would look up Reiters Snydrome if you have joint pain and were sexually active. I would get off the birth control to see if the joint pain is a drug reaction.

      I gave you one link for a rare blood cancer that causes bleeding

      I hope I don’t send you on a wild goose chase since I have no medical background. It’s best to remember back when the first symptoms started and what was it. Don’t get side tracked with new symptoms that are a result of medication. I hope you find a answer without having to dig too much.

  5. Anonymous

    There’s a bunch of people out there who variously believe that HIV does not cause AIDS, or that AIDS does not exist, or that HIV is not sexually transmitted. They have been well and truly refuted on all counts.

    They make pests of themselves by spamming various websites and bulletin boards with long copy and paste posts, mostly taken from two or three AIDS denialist websites. They attacked Yahoo answers for a few months last year. It looks like they’re still spamming boards with the same stuff. The numbers in this post originally referred to footnotes, but the text has been copied and pasted so many times that the footnotes have disappeared from most versions.


    It is true that false positive ELISA tests for HIV occur – about 3 in 1000 tests give a false positive. The list is of apparent causes for these false positives.

    Positive ELISA tests are always followed up by a confirmatory test – usually a Western Blot or similar. A diagnosis of HIV infection is only made if both tests are positive. The rate of false diagnoses using both tests together is extremely low.

    Negative ELISA tests by themselves, however, are quite reliable, so long as they are done after the window period (13 weeks).

  6. destiny18_au

    Any one else having a horrible pregnancy ?
    I know I am really lucky to even be pregnant but this pregnancy has been horrible. I am 31 weeks pregnant tomorrow and have a high risk pregnancy due to a disease I have called Lupus. I have a really high blood clotting factor meaning I had to be on blood thinning medication and injections since I was five weeks pregnant. I had really bad all day and all night sickness for 5 months, and my anxiety came back full force (I was on zoloft but came off because my doctors told me I should. It wasn’t really doing anything for me anyway.) I am having alot of difficulty now sitting up and standing due to bones and ligaments stretching and one of the registrars I see said to take pain killers but I am trying to avoid having pain killers every day for the pain. I am due to have a C-section either at 37 or 39 weeks depending on what registrar I see. I just wanted to know if any other women out there have/had a horrible pregnancy and to know I’m not alone.
    I just want to say thankyou to all who answered. It really helps to know that I’m not alone in this and I wish everyone the best of luck in their pregnancies.

    1. Rosemary

      To you and all that answered this question, my blessings. I am so sorry that being pregnant is such an ordeal for you, it shouldn’t be. It made me realize how lucky I really am. Sure, I almost miscarried at 6 weeks and have lots of contractions everyday, more than the average, since week 16, but that’s nothing comparing to your experiences. You’re super mums!! Hope you carry your pregnancy at least not worse than it has been and a safe delivery!

  7. Jeanene

    4 to 6 weeks pregnant, and have terminal illness, advice?
    I only know ONE person who has had a sucessful pregnancy with the disease I have, Lupus, and even then she was stuck on bedrest her last 3 months of her pregnancy…

    I have had to undergo chemo therapy due to my illness, and if the illness flares up again, the medicines I’ll need to take in order to keep me alive will kill the baby.

    All in all, has anyone here been through something similar or know first hand of a situation like this?
    It is an autoimmune disorder, Since Lupus is an overly active immune system they used chemo therapy (cytoxan and cellcept) in order to supress my immune system from pretty much killing me.

    My technical diagnosis is Lupus Nephritis.

    1. bumblebee

      It would be best to talk to you dr about your feelings, worries and concerns. Your dr can tell you more then anyone can because your dr is the one treating your condition, how bad it is and what the risk will be to you and to the baby. No 2 people are alike when it comes to illness and for this reason the outcome will not be fully known but your dr may advise you what to do in your situation and if it will be safe to continue the pregnancy. Please talk to you dr and make sure that he/she is aware of all your concerns and answers all of your questions.

  8. alizabrynne

    could I be pregnant? please help!?
    Background info–This past month I not been taking my birth control consistently. And i have been feeling really sick-just tired and not wanting to do anything, my jaw locked up a few times… I felt like hell! So I got the idea that it might be Lyme’s disease so I went to the doctor and found out that I was correct and I am also boarder line Lupus- I am now on antibiotics. which should clear it all up…

    Problem- Last saturday I started spotting which I know can be from being inconsistent with birth control so I stopped taking it because the antibiotics contradict it anyway. The spotting continued for over a week until yesterday. (I was supposed to start my period this saturday) I took home pregnancy tests on monday and tuesday which both came back negative. this past saturday I ate Activia yogurt and it made me get really sick for about a half hour and then I felt perfectly fine. I have had the metallic taste in my mouth which I know can be another pregnancy sign and I have been moody…

    I am having all of these symptoms but they could be related to the lyme and other things?? am I just being paranoid? I am planning on taking another test tomorrow morning if it comes back negative should I just leave it alone and figure it is just coincidence or should I go to the doctor? please help?

  9. alizabrynne

    spotting with negative tests… please help me!?
    Background info–This past month I not been taking my birth control consistently. And i have been feeling really sick-just tired and not wanting to do anything, my jaw locked up a few times… I felt like hell! So I got the idea that it might be Lyme’s disease so I went to the doctor and found out that I was correct and I am also boarder line Lupus- I am now on antibiotics. which should clear it all up…

    Problem- Last saturday I started spotting which I know can be from being inconsistent with birth control so I stopped taking it because the antibiotics contradict it anyway. The spotting continued for over a week until yesterday. (I was supposed to start my period this saturday) I took home pregnancy tests on monday and tuesday which both came back negative. this past saturday I ate Activia yogurt and it made me get really sick for about a half hour and then I felt perfectly fine. I have had the metallic taste in my mouth which I know can be another pregnancy sign and I have been moody…

    I am having all of these symptoms but they could be related to the lyme and other things?? am I just being paranoid? I am planning on taking another test tomorrow morning if it comes back negative should I just leave it alone and figure it is just coincidence or should I go to the doctor? please help? please help me… I need opinions thoughts… I just need to know what you think

  10. ceebs

    ANA Positive… Should I try to get pregnant?

    I’m new to this board but come here seeking advice and support because I’m scared. I found out yesterday I am ANA positive (1:80 titer) with no symptoms. My mom has advanced lupus, and family history of autoimmune.

    We were trying for our second child (after two early miscarriages) when I found out I am ANA positive with speckled pattern.

    Do you think there’s a risk of triggering full-blown lupus with a second child? Does the stress on your body during pregnancy make a predisposition trigger disease? I’d really love insight… I’m at a crossroads, and want to make sure I don’t jeopardize my health or my family in the future.

    Thank you for any insight!


    1. mgunnycappo

      I would check to see if you have Antiphospholipid Syndrome or APS that often accompanies lupus. APS is the main reason for miscarriage in Lupus. Since you’ve already have a miscarriage and you have a positive ANA (although 1:80 is a very low positive), and you have a family history I would definitely get checked for APS. They should also run a complete Lupus panel on you including Anti-SM, Anti-Ro, Anti-DS-DNA. If you test positive for any of these it is extremely likely that you have Lupus. If you do not test positive you could still have Lupus.

      Pregnancy can bring on Lupus symptoms due to the hormonal changes, stress on the body and the baby itself. In some women there are reports that pregnancy sometimes quiets a Lupus flare but the former is much more prevailant.

      I would discuss all of this first with a rheumatologist then with a high risk OB/GYN.

      Good luck to you.

  11. xandersmom<3

    Postpartum rheumatoid factor w/ weak positive ANA? Need a Dr House!?
    I’m trying to condense this as much as possible, hoping for professional thoughts / opinions while I await a rheumatologist referral (5 weeks away, ugh).

    31 years old, delivered my first baby in January. Severe diarrhea last 4 mos of pregnancy, which my OB didn’t take seriously & never treated. The day I went into labor, the hospital staff was astonished by how dehydrated I was, and my potassium level was at 2, requiring several IV infusions before my cesarean and afterward. OB still insisted “no big deal” despite the nurses thinking it was.

    Worried about this for 2 months before seeing my FNP for a physical to make sure I wasn’t going to up & die unexpectedly (the hospital experience turned me into a hypochondriac, lol). To my horror, my bloodwork came back with a weakly positive ANA (titer 1:80) and a rheumatoid factor of 12, and my FNP flatly told me I may have an autoimmune disease & got me a referral to a rheumatologist (August is the soonest they can see me).

    I’ve been stressing over this for 3 months now, went to a GP yesterday for a 2nd opinion, he is going to repeat the labs to see if any change, but didn’t make me feel any better. He said he is unsure whether pregnancy / breastfeeding could have any effect on ANA levels / rheumatoid factor, and told me I don’t *look* like I have lupus or scleroderma.. : /

    I have no symptoms at this time of anything, except for feeling tired (but wouldn’t that come with having a 6 month old lively baby?) And my hands seem to fall asleep a lot (but said baby sleeps in my arms a lot, which is usually when that happens).

    Can anyone see a possible connection in any of this (unexplained diarrhea, hypokalemia, ANA, etc)? I can provide further detail on bloodwork if needed. I am sorry this is so long, but I am finding myself obsessing with this matter because I want to be healthy for my sweet little boy!

    1. Clint

      Thank you again for the question and the additional history.

      As per my previous response, the weakly positive ANA and the negative rheumatoid factor mean nothing in and of themselves. From the clinical information that you’ve provided, I seriously doubt that you have an autoimmune disease. I’m disappointed in your GP. Repeating these lab tests is a clinical exercise in futility. These test results will likely remain unchanged, and again, will add NOTHING to the discussion. Your original FNP erred royally in ordering these tests. Yes, I agree with you that rearing an infant and enduring countless sleepless nights (I’m not a parent) can easily account for your fatigue. Yes, it may be that simple.

      Regarding your severe bout of diarrhea in the days before you gave birth, unfortunately that was the cause of your dehydration and hypokalemia. It’s possible that you had a bout viral gastroenteritis before labor. It’s also possible that you were infected with a hospital acquired bacterium that caused the diarrhea (such as C. diff). Nevertheless, whatever caused the diarrhea, I believe that it was in no way related to your lab test findings. In my medical opinion, you may have had these test results if they had been checked a year before your pregnancy. Again, no clinical correlation. I can emphatically assure you that breast feeding is in no way related to your test results. I doubt that pregnancy can cause a an elevated ANA; and even if it did, that does NOT mean that you have, or are about to develop, an autoimmune disorder.

      Bottom line: I believe that you are fine. Since your GP also appears clueless, for the sake of providing you professional reassurance, you may just have to wait to see the rheumatologist next month to hear what your GP should have been in a position to tell you – “You’re fine, m’aam.”

  12. Ash W

    How do autoimmune disease affect fertility and pregnancy?
    I would like to start trying for a baby next year. I have chronic erticaria and raynauds, and I have been tested for lupus twice and recieved a low positive result. I am really worried.

    I haven’t spoken to my GP about it yet but will soon. I just want some more opinions. Especialy from people in similar positions

    1. andijxo

      I have MS – for a psychotic moment a couple years ago I thought I wanted to have a baby (I got over it pretty fast – but still) I spoke with my neurologist and my GP – both of them said having a baby shouldn’t be a problem.

      Definitely talk to your doctor – sometimes the issue isn’t “can I get pregnant – it’s should I get pregnant.”

      Your doctor can best help you answer that question.

  13. Judi

    Disease or imagination?
    For more than ten years, and especially the last several months after I quit smoking, I have been tired and sore all of the time. I have trouble sleeping and also finding a way to exercise without pain bad enough to make me stop. The only times I have seen a doctor was during my pregnancies, and it’s normal to be tired and sore when you’re pregnant. I was tested for lupus during my pregnancies because I developed a butterfly rash on my cheeks, but both times the doctors said I didn’t have it. My sister has an autoimmune disease that they haven’t been able to diagnose (she has had pupura for five years without the cause being found), and my father has multiple sclerosis.

    I don’t have health insurance, so it’s not very easy for me to go to a doctor. My husband says that I’m always imagining that something is wrong with me and that it’s an excuse for not getting more done around the house. I’m starting to wonder, though, if it might be something treatable. Any ideas?

    1. lindalainey

      OH the old “guilt trip”. Are they not darling to lay that on us when we feel so awful. Ok, since your dad has MS you would prob recognize these symptoms if you were going there and also a doc would get right on it. I am going to venture a guess of Fibromyagia, aka Fibro. It makes every muscle in your body ache, relentlessly. It has only been recognized as a very real condition in past 5 or 10 years. Here is the test the Arthritis specialist gave me…He had me hold out my arm..level.. and pinched the skin and muscle tissue and it hurt like *)*&!!. Some one who does not have Fibro, that won’t hurt or at least not very much. Test yourself this way and go from there, I hope you dont have fibro.. Good luck and hugs, Lainey

  14. Pixie_Mummy

    Blood test for Lupus?
    Hi everyone

    I am 12 weeks 5 days pregnant. My mother has Lupus (SLE) and at my last appointment at the ANC , my consultant asked me to go to phlebotomy for a blood test to see if I am also carrying the disease.

    I have read a lot about Lupus to be more aware of my mum’s condition, but until today had never read anything about Lupus and pregnancy. Now I am really worried as Lupus can cause Hughes Syndrome, which causes clots to form and the baby to be starved of blood resulting in miscarriage, and because Lupus causes too many antibodies and it attacks healthy living tissue maybe there’s a chance this can also harm my baby. I am already taking junior aspirin to minimise the risk of clots occurring.

    How long do blood tests normally take to come back? I need to put my mind at ease over whether I have it or not, and is there also any Lupus patients on here that have had healthy pregnancies?

    The aspirin I am taking were prescribed by my consultant. Thanks to the people that have answered for all the information you have given me. I just didn’t feel that the hospital gave me any reasons why Lupus is considered a threat in pregnancy, and have done my own research and got a bit worried by it all I suppose.

    1. Linda R

      Lupus is not directly inherited, so you can’t be “carrying” the disease.

      There are no definitive lab tests that prove that you have lupus.

      Your blood can, and probably should, be tested for APS (Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome) or Hughes. Chances are good that if you have had no active lupus and no problem with blood clots in the past, you will be just fine.

      Do not take aspirin or anything else without speaking to your obstetrician first.

      Many women with lupus have successful pregnancies. I am one of them. I lead a lupus support group. Most of the women there have healthy children and even grandchildren.

      If you want to know how long it takes for the bloodwork to come back, call your doctor’s office. The length of time will depend on what tests were done and where the specimens had to be sent.

      I am 57, have systemic lupus with organ involvement, have two healthy adult sons and two healthy grandchildren. Chances are very good that you and the baby will be just fine!

  15. Objet_Trouve

    Quitting smoking with a patch, just hit week 3…should I be having asthma and vomiting problems?
    I started at 19, I’m 24. It’s been three weeks with nicoderm cq patch, step 1. I used to smoke 1-2 packs a day, depending on stress level. I was diagnosed as having severe asthma growing up (doctor said I had the lung capacity of someone with emphysema), and it actually went away around the same time as when I started smoking. Now it’s back.

    I’m also vomiting every time I change the patch, but it goes away within a few hours. During that time I get badly susceptible to motion sickness.

    I also have had (since quitting) severe insomnia, severe mood instability (I’m on lithium for bipolar disorder, and on risperdal and cogentin to help me with PTSD, I was doing very well until now), dizziness, nasal drip/sinus congestion and (my favorite) poor blood circulation, only in my arms (the only place I didn’t gain weight when I managed to put on 60 pounds in four months without changing my diet and exercise routine two years ago).

    Also, I’m out of shape and just finished physical therapy (doctors are unable currently to diagnose a problem with severe leg and back pains and rapid weight gain, I’m on vicodin for the pain, it appears to be hormones, and the doctor says I have all the symptoms of an auto immune disease, like lupus, which runs in my family but all my tests have been coming back normal).

    Hooray for me. Have fun kids. Also, I can’t see a doctor again until late July. Public health care just isn’t that effective when it’s on a small scale.

    And no, I haven’t cheated. Not even a drag. I have the will of a tiger when given enough of a reason to give a damn (my fiance and I are marrying in December and he wants kids in the next couple years) and enough hope that it will help me achieve my goals (I’m pretty sure not smoking helps with pregnancy).

    1. the gurl in socks

      Good for you for quitting smoking! Yes- you should decrease the nicoderm dosage. The nausea and vomiting are likely a result of too much nicotine. If you’re already at the lowest level of the patch, substitute with a low-level gum or something. I’ve quit while using the patch before- it’s really not necessary to stay on it as long as the directions indicate.

      As for the other health issues- I wish you luck. They’re tricky ones: even tougher without regular medical supervision.

      Fortunately, you’ve got a strong will. You can kick this. Even if you decide to go cold turkey and take the withdrawl full-speed… it’ll be over after three days. After that- it’ll just be a matter of resisting the temptation to start again.

      Another possibility- once you see a doctor again- see whether Chantix, Welbutrin or Lexapro can help. Dunno how they might interact with the BPD, but worth checking into.

  16. Sabrina B

    How do I know if I have a uterine infection after giving birth and if Keflex is the right atbc to treat it?
    Hi! I just gave birth to my first child 10 days ago and had really bad complications after the delivery. I was in labor for 27 hours, pushed for an hour, and got the usual Pitocin and epidural. My OB had manually pulled out my placenta immediately after the delivery of my baby and I had not asked him to! I was hemorrhaging for the 1st 2 days. I even passed out 2 hours after I gave birth, as soon as I transferred to the maternity ward! The same night, I was about to pass out a 2nd time and my blood pressure dipped at its lowest. They had to call an emergency code and all of the doctors and nurses rushed into my room. The reason for my postpartum hemorrhage was because I had retained fragments of the placenta in my uterus and a dr. had to manually push the clot out! On top of that, I had a distended bladder and couldn’t urinate on my own, so they had to Foley cath me for 3 days. I didn’t have an episiotomy or any tears, but had a few abrasions inside my vagina. I also had a hematoma on the left labia. I lost so much blood, 55%, I became anemic and was supplemented with a stronger iron than what I was taking during pregnancy. I was on IV fluids for 3 days and stayed in the hospital for 4 days. Ever since I got home, my lochia had been getting less and less but the hematoma on my left labia became so painfully excruciating it had even turned hard even with the sitz baths I’ve been taking. It was so painful every time I went to the bathroom, to urinate or pass a bowel. Even on pain meds, the vaginal pain was so severe, I had to go to the emergency. I was examined and they told me in time, it will heal and go away on its own and the hematoma is too small to cut open and drain.

    Then today I noticed I started bleeding more and even passing big clots, whereas previous days, my bleeding was brown and very small, like dime sized amounts with no clots at all. In addition, I’ve been having extreme severe abdominal pains since this morning. I saw my OB today and he examined my uterus by pressing down on my belly and I grimaced so much because the pain was so bad. He told me it’s not supposed to be that painful at this point, 10 days after giving birth. He concluded that I had a uterine infection and put me on Keflex 4 times a day for 10 days. I’m not sure if he diagnosed me correctly since he only pressed down on my tummy and didn’t run any tests to confirm that it’s an infection. Also, how would he know what kind of antibiotic to prescribe to me if he doesn’t even know what kind of uterine infection is invading me? I know there are different kinds of uterine infections based on the different types of bacteria! I’m a new grad LVN (practical nurse) and even though I haven’t worked since I got pregnant during school, I know that I should be skeptical of something about his diagnosis! I don’t have a fever or any other signs and symptoms of an infection other than the extreme abdominal pain and painful urination/ bowel movements. The emergency department took a urine sample from me and a bladder infection or UTI came out negative so I know I don’t have that! Someone out there please help me! I just want to make sure my OB and medical team during my labor and delivery have the best interest in taking good care of me instead of killing me! I just want to be alive and healthy to raise my daughter and for my uterus to not be affected so I can have more children after this! Thank you so much in advance!

    FYI: I also have Lupus, but a mild form of it since none of my organs are affected….only Raynaud’s Disease and eczema which is about it!

    1. mgunnycappo

      Keflex is a broad spectrum antibiotic and will cover you regardless of what specific bacteria you have. He’s probably giving you the antibiotics as a prophylaxis, just in case. I would venture to say that you’ll improve over the next couple of days.

  17. Steff Scarano

    When may a problem occur during pregnancy?
    A) mother is Rh-, father is Rh+
    B) mother is Rh+, father is Rh-
    C) mother is Rh-, father is Rh-
    D) mother is Rh+, father is Rh+
    All of the following are granular leukocytes except one. Identify the exception.
    A) Basophils
    B) Monocytes
    C) Neutrophils
    D) Eosinophils
    Which one of the following is a bacterial disease?
    A) measles
    B) strep throat
    C) rabies
    D) avian flu
    Chemical barriers to prevent entry of pathogens into the body include all of the following except one. Identify the exception.
    A) secretions of oil (sebaceous) glands
    B) saliva and tears
    C) perspiration
    D) basic pH of the stomach
    Which one of the following is considered to be an autoimmune disease?
    A) lupus
    B) botulism
    C) shingles
    D) syphilis
    E) SARS
    Lymphatic vessels have
    A) thick, muscular walls
    B) red blood cells
    C) valves
    D) separate propulsive structures (“hearts”)
    The primary function of the stomach is
    A) to break down fats
    B) to absorb major nutrients
    C) to package feces
    D) to store food, churn, and begin digestion
    The thick, soupy liquid that leaves the stomach is called
    A) chyme
    B) mucus
    C) mesenchyme
    D) bolus

  18. JoJo

    I am nauseous every night?
    Tonight is the worst. Sat in front of the toilet for 15minutes waiting and trying to throw up.

    For the past three weeks I have been nauseous only in the evenings. I am on birth control; been on my birth control for almost a year and never had this problem. I took a pregnancy test two weeks ago and it came out negative. It happens either before I eat (which causes me to not eat much) and then most of the time around 8- 10pm.

    The only major diseases in my family is Diabetes and Lupus, those are rare

  19. A

    I think my friend has munchhausen’s syndrome?
    A friend of mine is always posting on her FB about how sick she is. once, she posted “i feel so sick, yet some people don’t care 🙁 ” from what she has told me, assuming she is telling the truth… She has the birth control rods in her arm. yet, she has a blood clotting disorder (factor V) . her risk of pregnancy is low, since by her and her bf’s own admittance, they BARELY have sex (once every 6-10 months) So, since she has had the rods in, she has had one lung clot and A lot of problems with her “inr levels”. idk what what means..but yet she “asked the docs to remove them” and they said no because the risk of her becoming pregnant is more of a risk than her clots…. which is BS. . and her old BC pill caused a blood clot in her leg. and blood clots are a risk for bc’s even for people thatdon’tt have a clotting disorder… she also seems to have a bunch of rare-ish diseases that seem too many for one person..

    Ok, she has:
    Asthma (so do i, and it seems whenever i get sick and i mention it to her, she miraculously has an attack and has to do a neb treatment.)TM-JD (so do i. i actually didn’t know she had it until i found out i have to get surgery to correct mine this year.. yet i have known her for 2 years.)
    Depression and anxiety (so do i)
    Factor V (she miraculously got the call from her “doctor” when i was there and after she hung up, she started crying, posted of FB immediately and called, literally, 20 people.)
    Obesity (over 300)
    Lactose intolerance

    Whenever i try to talk to her about whats going on with me, she seems uninterested in what i am saying. alot of “uh huh, yeah, ok’s” but when i ask her about herself, she lights up my message screen.

    Ever since she has been going to school, she has been getting sick, but not enough that she has to leave school, or her assignments arent done.. for asthma alone, she is in and out of the ER like crazy. when i was still working, i hadda take 2 weeks off when i was sick, hospitalized and afterwards just from the common cold, then had to quit cuz i wasnt getting better… soo, i dont see how she claims her asthma is worse, yet hasnt been hospitalized in all the time i have known her.

    Ok, now, her cousin in one of my closest friends and she and alot of the family also have been suspicious that she has munchhausen’s…
    What do i do? Do i ask her directly or her doctor or what? It worries me, cuz now she wants to get into the medical field and i dont want it to turn “by proxy” type if she has it…

    here’s just a few of her latest fb stats most recent first

    nebulizer broke last night… GREAT… Sleeping the rest of my life away
    Doctors are stupid
    Rgh (one of our hospital’s initials)
    going up to RGH emergency… will update when i get there. on call is thinking about admitting me
    I’m gonna attempt to do some homework after this neb
    doing a neb and enjoying my heated blanket
    coughing my lungs out and watching iCarly
    just got home… outta breath… ugh
    coughing up a lung…. ugh… doing a neb….
    going back to sleep in a min after this neb
    just checking fb then laying down with da window open and the heated blanket…. love it…. might do a neb before i lay down
    home…. another asthma attack

    all of those were posted since thursday morning. its now sunday night.

  20. angel

    hereditary or coincidence?
    I work in the med field, and have asked this question, best I can get from doctors is “gee, I dunno, maybe.” So I’m asking opinions, and if anyone else has a similar story I’m interested in what you think…
    My mother is epileptic. Her seizures are triggered by stress, lack of sleep, or physical illness.
    All three of her children have auto immune issues. 1 sister has severe physical reactions to pregnancy. The theory we got from doctors is that her immune system goes on attack and treats the baby like a disease. Possibly its the hormone that triggers it.
    The other sister has lupus, also auto immune, moderate and manageable.
    And I have vitiligo. My immune system attacks pigment like a disease.
    My nephew has chronic severe migraines. We can’t find a cause. He also used to scream in his sleep and shake when he was a baby, so we suspected HE had epilepsy, too, but he’s never had a seizure and it stopped when he was about seven or eight. He also sleepwalks.
    And finally, my niece has severe juvenile arthritis. A month ago, she had an anaphylactic reaction to the smell of shrimp, and doctor says she now can not be around fish or shellfish at ALL. (She grew up on red lobster. No idea why, but I know allergies are unpredictable.)
    And finally, my youngest niece constantly catches colds, flu, pneumonia, ear infections. I mean if you sneeze twenty yards away on a windless day in july, she’ll get it. She also gets pretty severe eczema. She has a weak immune system.
    So here’s my question(s)-
    1. Are auto immune illnesses hereditary, or is my family an anomaly?
    2. Is it possible that all three of us were affected by moms epilepsy or by the meds she was using back then? (phenobarb, and something else that was commonly used in the 60s and 70s to treat epilepsy but was banned, can’t think of the name, so help with that too would be great.)
    3. If I were to have a child, is it pretty much guaranteed that something would be wrong with it?
    5150- no, we don’t live together, but we do all live in the same city. We don’t live in an area where we are exposed to any higher-than-average toxins. As far as I’ve been able to tell, there are not unusually high numbers in any of these illnesses in this area, either.

    1. Amanda

      There are studies that show that there CAN be a genetic link, but the sciences are inconclusive on it.

      2. It’s possible that the medication had an effect. My grandmother took medication for morning sickness and my mother and I BOTH have had endometriosis and autoimmune disorders after that. Before then, no one had endo.

      3. It’s not guaranteed, but I would be cautious just because it seems to be hereditary in yours even if science can’t prove it is.

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