Auto-immune hereditary?

I was just curious if any of u have family with auto immune conditions. My mothers sister was diagnosed with dermatamiacytis after surviving breast cancer and my mother was diagnosed with poly myalgia after her own breast cancer. My problems really kicked in after the trauma of my hip replacement at age 37. My great aunt on moms side passed last year at age 92. She was wheel chair bound because her back had become so hunched over she couldn't even stand. As far back as I can remember he hands, knuckles, fingers were so knurled up. But like my dr said, when she was young they did not know how to diagnose and treat RA. She was always such a lovely lady. Happy, laughing , loving, and boy did she have a fabulous sense of humor. And to think, she was suffering all along. I just wonder how much of this is hereditary and how much is environmental, i.e. the poisons in our food and water and even the chemicals that are in products we use on our bodies. 3 years ago I switched my daughter and I over to all natural everything. Shampoo, soaps, lotions,etc. if I can do something to prevent my 10 year old daughter from having to go thru this later in life, I will do whatever it takes. Thanks again for listening. Sorry for the rant.

14 Replies

  • Hi KellyHW

    I don't know whether there auto immune diseases are hereditary, but I have RA, my brother has ankylosing spondylitis and my father had myasthenia gravies. All are types of auto immune disease. Maybe not inherited but I think that there could be a familial link?

  • I firmly believe that there is an hereditary element to auto immune disorders and am sure that I have read that this is the case. I have spondyloarthropy, hypothyroidism, and lymphocytic colitis, along with asthma and migraines, all auto immune issues. My youngest son has asthma, coeliacs and chronic migraines, my middle son has very bad psoriasis and my mum has Antiphospholipid syndrome. Go figure! I guess my sons really didn't have much chance really when you consider this swamp of a gene pool! Clemmie

  • as far as I know I am the only one in m family to have rd I just hope no one else get the rotten condition

  • My grandparents on my dads side of the family had ra. I have ra and fibro now as well as cfs. I didn't know it was in the family until my cousin told me.xxxx

  • I think my nan on my dad's side had it but I was 14 when she died at 84 & I've nobody else I can ask. I remember gnarled fingers & feet, smelly ointment, "bufren" & I still have her stick as my dad kept it so it all points to RD. I'm less inclined to think it's due to environmental issues as what I've read is pretty speculative & I'm a bit more science minded anyhow. My m-i-l used to say you have to eat a pinch of dirt before you die so maybe she was right.

  • I think there must be something in this hereditary theory. Shortly after I developed RA I found out that my Aunt on my Mother's side has had it for years. Also a cousin on My Mother's side has Lupus. My Mother has extensive osteoarthritis but not RA.

  • Wow. Thank u all for your replies. I do believe that it's partly both. You don't read about people having all these auto immune problems 100-200 years ago. But was it because they didn't have the ability to diagnose them or did they just not have them because of growing and eating fresh foods, etc. anyway I guess it doesn't matter how and why I have these horrendous diseases. I have them and need to just stop saying WHY!?? Saw my orthopedic surgeon and he was amazed at how the inflammation from my hip bursitis has traveled from the very top of my leg, half way down my thigh. He gave me the usual cortisone shot but told me until we find a surgeon that does the bursectomy and takes my particular insurance, he wants me back in two weeks to get 3-4 cortisone shots spaced down the side of my leg. It's not common to do that but in extreme cases it's safe. His theory is that if I get enough of the steroid evenly spaced thru the entire area of inflammation, I may see more relief and for longer than 3 weeks. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. It's 3 am here and I'm awake with pain from the injection. When the numbing agent wears off I always have a couple of days of pain from the cortisone before the anti inflammatory benefits kick in. Once again, thanks for listening. Hoping you are all well today. We celebrate Thanksgiving today and the cooking that will commence in a couple of hours should keep me pretty busy, as well as our little family tradition of decorating the Christmas tree as a family while the bird is roasting. It's is always a festive and interesting day with 4 curious kitties going bonkers with the smells of food and the Christmas tree with all its enticing toys hanging. :) thank you again. You have all helped me to feel less alone and these little rants have been really good for me.

  • I should have added that both my Consultant abroad at my initial appointment & here in the UK specifically asked about my family history so it must be thought there's some connection in the med world if my from my experiences are anything to go by.

    I hope you receive some relief soon & have fewer nighttime waking hours.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, & all our US members!

  • Awh thanks giving sounds lovely, most of us here are in the UK so we have to wait for Christmas.

    There are lots of auto immune conditions in my family too. Me and my sister both have RA. She had a knee replacement last year and in the New Year is having a hip replaced. I have been lucky and avoided all surgery (except a tiny op on my thumb) but I have lost my Nursing career.

    Have you looked at The Paleo Mom? Check it out online, its very interesting.

    Take care

    Kikideelili x x

  • I have RD and my mum had it too. Can still see her wrapping ice lolly sticks round her fingers on a night before she went to bed. I think there is a link to it being hereditary. They asked me at the hospital if there was any in the family, so makes you think.

  • Autoimmunity is apparently genetic, but not necessarily the same version of autoimmune disease. For example, my mom has psoriasis, my dad coeliac, one maternal aunt has fibro and another maternal aunt has MS. But apparently the trigger is often environmental. I've noticed anecdotally that there are a lot of "type A" people with RA - people who put others before themselves and aim for perfection in all matters, as well as people who seem to constantly be under a lot of stress, and a lot of vegetarians or vegans with autoimmunity. I've never read a connection between vegetarianism and autoimmunity as an environmental factor, but from what I've read about managing autoimmunity with diet, our bodies need fat and meat (in addition to fruit and veg) to be well-nourished. talks a lot about autoimmunity and environmental triggers in her book The Paleo Approach.

  • Interesting that you mentioned about vegetarians Karen because I've been reading that a veggie diet can help RA.

    Anyway, I was asked in the hospital about family history and I don't think anyone in my family has RA. My dad and a male cousin have gout and I've an aunt with OA but that's totally different right?

    Interesting what you said too about type A people. I'm a perfectionist and high achiever with a very busy job and extra curricular activities. One of those always busy, got straight As at school people. I have wondered if meditation focused on calming would help actually cool all this nflamation in my body.

  • Hi KellyHW

    My mother has suffered from zero positive RA for 28 years now! I had read some years ago that RA was hereditary and also that it skipped a generation so was very surprised to be diagnosed with RA myself recently.

    I too have been switching over to using as natural as possible products and buying organic foods wherever possible.

    I suspect there are many factors that cause RA. And not any one specific thing.

  • Not sure if they are hereditary but I have RA as well as my aunt on my father's side. On my mothers side I have a cousin who has MS. I believe it may be in our genes, with some enviromental factor that triggers it. I believe stress was my enviromental factor.

    Take care


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