Thursday, December 10, 2015

What's the difference?

I have had several people talk to me about my health lately and have said "I can't believe Crohn's gave you aHUS"....or "I can't believe you had to get your thyroid removed due to aHUS." 

The above are not the case AT ALL. So I wanted to take a few minutes to tell you the differences in these and my health history with the 3 of them. 

Let me first start this by saying, ALL THREE DISEASES ARE DIFFERENT!

Crohn's Disease - diagnosed 2012.

Crohn's disease causes inflammation of the digestive system. It is one of a group of diseases called inflammatory bowel disease. Crohn's can affect any area from the mouth to the anus. It often affects the lower part of the small intestine called the ileum.

When I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease, I had been ignoring it for a very long time. It wasn't until I had bleeding for more than a week before I contacted a GI and ended up at the ER. 

Because of this, I had a lot of scar tissue in the small intestine, which caused narrowing in the intestine. I got MANY obstructions.

In 2013, I underwent a lower right colectomy. This basically means they removed about 18 inches of my small intestine, my ileocecal valve, my appendix, and a few inches of my large intestine. 

I do still have some issues with my Crohn's, but for the most part....I follow the diet I know works for me and I keep up with my symptoms and see my GI regularly.

This is something that has no cure. 

Grave's Disease (autoimmune hyper thyroidism) - diagnosed 2013.

Graves disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. It is due to an abnormal immune system response that causes the thyroid gland to produce too much thyroid hormone. Graves disease is most common in women over age 20. But the disorder can occur at any age and can affect men as well.

After having crazy moments (literally), high heart rates, hot flashes, hair loss, drastic weight loss, major swelling on my neck; I went and got checked out. After multiple blood tests, it was confirmed that I had Grave's Disease. 

For 2 years, I tried the medications. I failed the medications. My Grave's was not treatable with medication. So June 2015, I had a total thyroidectomy. Since, I am on medication because I now have no thyroid to produce the hormones needed.

atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (aHUS) - diagnosed October 2014.

Atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) is a rare syndrome of hemolysis, thrombocytopenia, and renal insufficiency. Genetic mutations in the alternate pathway of complement are well recognized as the cause in more than 60% of patients affected by this thrombotic microangiopathy.

September 2014, I was on a medication for Crohn's (a low dose chemo drug) and had liver failure from it. Because of this, it triggered the genetic mutation I didn't know I had, called aHUS. This put me in kidney failure. Caused my platelets to crash. Blood counts dropped, etc. 

I currently get treatment for aHUS every 10 days via IV. This is something that has no cure. 

So, please take note that while there are some similarities in my diseases, they are not causing each other. They are all very different and are treated very differently.