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I am new to this message board (and to any message board for that matter). A little about myself, I am a 31-year-old female who has been diagnosed with lupus since age 17 and with Hashimoto's thyroiditis since age 8. I am also suffering from recurrent psoriasis flares, which my rheumie is unsure whether it is a Plaquenil side effect or simply yet another autoimmune disease. I have extremely severe environmental allergies (to the point of having had anaphylactic reactions to a horse and a rabbit, about 10 years apart). I now have an Epi-Pen, but haven't needed to use it. I am also very prone to severe infections, and was hospitalized and almost died 3 years ago from an ear infection that quickly became "malignant otitis externa", basically meaning the infection spread into the soft tissues of my face and the bones of my skull. IV antibiotics saved my life on that one. When I got that infection, I was not on steroids or anything else that would have increased my susceptibility to infection.

Here's my concern, and area of interest. It seems to make some sort of common sense that my various autoimmune disorders, my immune system's hypersensitivity to pet dander and other allergens, and my near death from a freaking ear infection must all be related somehow. My rheumie hasn't given me much guidance on this, and I have yet to find information about any possible connection. Anyone have similar issues or know anything about this? I see my rheumie tomorrow. I am going to beg to stop the steroids, as I am very concerned about the long-term side effects (and I am really chunking out) :blob_fire

Any info would be appreciated. I am currently taking Synthroid, Plaquenil, Zyrtec, Advair, Nasonex, and Medrol. My ANA titer varies, speckled patters. My complement levels (especially C3) are generally low. A recent urinalysis showed a 1+ protein level. Otherwise, I am actually doing pretty well. I was lucky enough to have been diagnosed relatively early (about 1 year) after my symptoms started, after an initial misdiagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.

Thanks!





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