RA SS, limes Symptoms seem to be alike

Autoimmune diseases to me are like a giant fish tank and us fishes have many conditions that are very similar.
When I was first diagnosed they talk about remission. I don’t know anyone who has had one.
Any type of steriod is bad for your body. Your skin is thin and bruising and healing take forever.
Depression is also a part often of the disease.
Biologics are old chemo drugs.
I could go on but I have to take a nap…

I totally get your frustration. Steroids, as with many meds, can have side effects and we always need to consider the risk profile of any med. There certainly can be a lot of overlap symptoms. Lyme disease, while not autoimmune at all, can certainly have some symptoms that overlap as well.

You’re also quite right about depression being a real issue. For some people, if they get the disease under better control their depression may improve. For others it may not, and they may need to continually treat the depression. I hope that you are seeking help for depression.

Kquixtar,I just want to correct something here so people don't get confused or misled ... biologics are NOT old chemo drugs. They are (in broad terms) modified human proteins, they are not 'drugs' in the chemical sense at all.

I think you may be getting confused with disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDS) of which, one, methotrexate is used in low doses as an anti-rheumatic and in very high doses as a chemotherapy drug. Another DMARD for example, sulfasalazine, is an antibiotic others are anti-malarials etc etc .......

But you're right, there are many overlaps with many autoimmune conditions and other illnesses, I guess because the one thing which is the same are our bodies .... there are only so many ways any one affected body part or system can go wrong no matter what the cause. Doctors have to deconstruct the puzzle to make the diagnosis and that can be and often is frustrating for us as patients and where having the best support and treatment for the emotional impact and accompanying depression is really valuable.

I am a CRNA who has studied this for 2 years…I read that in the very beginning of chemo therapy for cancer they discoved certain drugs made other conditions better such as RA and IBS… That was the beginning of biologics.

Kquixtar, I have been taking these drugs - both DMARDS and biologics for several years now.

Cytokines are proteins produced by immune cells that mediate inflammation. TNF-alpha and interleukins are examples of cytokines. Biologics are modified versions of these proteins which act to inhibit or block their action. They are not and have never been chemotherapy drugs.

The DMARDS are, as I mentioned previously, a range of various drugs which were developed for other conditions including malaria, baterial infections, cancer amongst others which have been found to also work (usually on significantly different dosing regimes) as treatments for the inflammatory processes in conditions including, arthropathies, Crohn's, colitis and other inflammatory and auto-immune conditions.

It is important that this information is correctly represented on our forums.

Another helpful way to differentiate these treatments is that the traditional DMARDS are described as being 'synthetic' because they are manufactured chemical drugs whereas the anti-TNF's/interleukin inhibitors acquired the term 'biologic' because they are biological agents ie. of the body.

Biologics are absolutely not old chemo drugs. DMARDS are old chemo drugs (i.e. Methotrexate). Biologics for treatment of autoimmune diseases are a relatively new advancement. http://www.nature.com/icb/journal/v81/n5/full/icb200353a.html

Autoimmune diseases are odd though. It does seem that many patients do end up with "extras" that they weren't aware of, like a primary PsA patient developing Sjogren's, Raynaud's, and Fibro. It makes living with AI even more overwhelming, frustrating and difficult to treat. We have to do our research, find a good care team, and dive in. Easier said than done on some days. I hope that things get better for you soon, and that you had a good nap!