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Rheumatologist

in by TracyGR
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I saw a rheumatologist at a teaching hospital. I’m having a very significant flare up after several years of periods of no symptoms/manageable symptoms. The rheumatologist told me that as a now postmenopausal female my autoimmune conditions won’t get measurably worse and I won’t have any new ones emerge. This diagnosis is SO very different from my lived experience. Is he right? I’m in a lot of pain right now and my husband is furious at me for not ‘doing something’. I don’t have a clue what to do next…


About TracyGR

Conditions: Hashimoto's thyroid disease, Psoriasis, Not sure right now

Doctors seen: MD – primary care, MD – specialist

Treatment: Prescription medication/shots

Children: 2

Age: 45-54

TracyGR
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1 Answer

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Autoimmune diseases are widely known to fluctuate with the changing of female hormones. Some autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis are often more common in postmenopausal women or get worse when estrogen and progesterone decreases after menopause. Changes in the estrogen and progesterone ratio, changes in testosterone, and changes in cortisol levels can interfere with the immune system response and cause flares in an autoimmune disease. It is important to have good anti-inflammatory protocols in place during these times as well as ensuring that hormones are balanced.

Autoimmune diseases are comprehensive diseases though and may not be just from hormonal triggers. Other inflammatory triggers contributing to the condition need to be ruled out as well including unidentified food/environmental allergens, bacterial/viral infections and heavy metal toxicity. A skilled rheumatologist will look into all of these factors to see if there are any precipitating inflammatory triggers, and finding a physician that will work on this with you is an important step toward moving toward symptoms reduction.

Jenny Bennett, ND LAc
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Answered on November 6, 2016

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