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P and Other Autoimmune Problems?
from Nan

Hi Ed. I am really getting a lot out of reading the archived mail and your comments. I'm very interested in the personal perspectives of people with P and PA but I also am interested in the medical perspective, as in what has been observed clinically. I do a lot of research on my own and I might owe my medical interest and my career to having psoriasis. (I started reading medical info at age 7 when the P was first diagnosed. I cried when I read that it would never go away permanently.)

Anyway, with everything I've been reading, I have wondered how many people with P or PA have other autoimmune problems? I have seen references to ulcerative colitis and diabetes (both considered to be autoimmune). In addition to P and possibly mild PA, I have autoimmune thyroiditis. Any insight on this?

What is the connection with strep?

People who have taken Enbrel for RA have had increased respiratory infections, is the same true for PA patients?

Thanks for your humor and the great forum for information and venting! -Nan


Ed’s Response: Good questions, Nan. I can’t be of much help with regard to the "medical perspective ... what has been observed clinically." Every now and then something will be written or said that attempts to interpret the goings on in the clinical world for outsiders (me) and I pay as close attention as I can (this kind of interpreting is the forte of the National Psoriasis Foundation). But when you take the whole body of this interpretive stuff and weigh it against all the Latin and other big words the clinicians use I can’t help but feel I'm missing something. It would be enough to drive me to medical school, only I don’t want to be surgically conjoined to a beeper for the remainder of my working life.

I don’t know whether all these immune system disorders are related or if we are suffering from overworked semantics. If you haven’t already, you might want to read Healthcare X-Files="Immune System Dysfunction — a similar exchange from this past January’s mail bag.

Strep is a well-known trigger agent for guttate psoriasis. I don’t know why this particular infection is so predictably a trigger agent, and until we understand just how P triggers work that may remain a mystery.

As for Enbrel and respiratory infections, I’ll ask our readers with some experience to respond. Could be, since the drug is just being tested for P therapy, there is no data for PA patients. You may want to check out Ladyandy’s 7/30/00 post in "The Science of P and PA" form at PsorHeads (see link in masthead). Her post is titled "New clinical trial on Enbrel and P."

Looking back, I guess I wasn’t much help about anything. Hopefully other readers can be. :} -Ed

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