Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Complications of Having Multiple Chronic Illnesses

As some of you know, prior to my recent diagnosis of CFS/ME I was diagnosed in 2004 with IC (Interstitial Cystitis). I have had high blood pressure since my early
20's. Additionally, I've had severe allergies since I was a very young child.

Unfortunately, all of these things either increase symptoms or complicate medication choices.

Prior to my becoming sick last fall with what I now know is CFS/ME, my IC symptoms were pretty well managed. Between a strict low acidic, low alkiline diet and bladder washes (I put medication directly into my bladder), I only had the occasional flare up (normally related to horomone cycles, having sex, or "cheating" on the diet). It rarely put me "down and out" any longer.

Now, IC and CFS appear to somewhat "feed" off of each other. It appears to be a constant battle between which one is going to hit me hardest that particular day and which one is going to cause the most pain that day. It's a vicious cycle that I can't seem to get out of, literally if I push myself with CFS, then my IC symptoms increase, if my IC symptoms increase then my CFS symptoms increase.

My allergies increase my IC symptoms. (There is a theory regarding histimines and mast cells in the bladder.) Now my allergies also increase my CFS symptoms.

With the high blood pressure, I am unable to try many medications (look at your side-effects, how many say "may" increase blood pressure) or have had to discontinue many meds because they did in fact increase my blood pressure.

Many of the meds that you try with CFS (Lyrica for pain, Elavil for sleep etc.) I have already tried with the IC. Fortunately, I had a very understanding specialist who is familar with IC, otherwise, could you imagine me going to a "regular" doctor and saying well I can't take that, or that, or that....................yeah, might not have worked out so well.

More importantly though, is the discouragment that I occassionally feel now that I have two chronic issues which cause sleep disturbances and daily chronic pain. It truly feels somedays like my body is in a constant fight with itself.

I know that many of CFS patients have multiple diagnosis which I find interesting. I wonder if someday they will ever determine either why we are more suspectible to these syndromes/disorders or if there is a genetic link.

I do know that I have the following genetic issues: (1) My daughter has IC also (2) My maternal cousin has FIBRO (3) We suspect that my maternal grandmother had undiagnosed CFS (for numerous reasons); (4) My mother is currently having some neurological issues that they can't identify a cause.

I doubt that any of these things are not connected somehow.


  1. Yes, I think that for many of us there seems to be some genetic links and you are right we also seem to attract multiple illnesses. I had Celiacs disease for the CFS which means no gluten. I also have a sever reaction to lactose now and you would be surprised how many medication contain gluten and lactose, so I can empathise with you there .... It sucks when yu discover there is a medication that might help you but you can't have it because of your other medical issues!! Oh well, there is always chocolate!! Oh wait ... I just found out that I can no longer have that either!! LOL hahahaha

  2. Lee Lee -

    I can no longer have chocolate either :-) - thanks for your comment, I'm sorry that you also have to play the balancing act between your illnesses and medications.