Autoimmune diseases can take a number of different forms, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, and 75 less familiar diseases. These diseases often stem from a genetic predisposition, but also need an environmental factor to take hold. Although these triggers are poorly understood, some women claim that contraceptives, such as IUD’s and birth control pills are the cause of their diseases. Out of the estimated 24 million Americans who suffer from these diseases, 80 percent are women.

Dr. Lisa Sammaritano, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Hospital for Special Surgery and Weill-Cornell Medical College in New York, says that the various parts of our immune systems are meant to fight off such diseases and infections, but sometimes, “our immune systems can turn against us,” causing inflammation within the body. The reason why this happens is not completely understood.

Dr. Kristen Demoruelle, an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado-Denver, says that exogenous estrogen from oral contraceptives has been associated with increased risk of lupus, but it’s hard to come to any definitive conclusions because further research is needed. 

The role of IUD’s and other contraceptives as possible triggers of autoimmune disease is also undetermined. But according to Kristy Griffin, a woman who primarily suffered from Hashimoto’s disease, the use of an IUD caused her to contract Sjogren’s disease. She fears her life will never be the same as she faces her future symptoms.

Guests:

  • Dr. Lisa Sammaritano, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, Hospital for Special Surgery and Weill-Cornell Medical College
  • Dr. Kristen Demoruelle, Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Colorado-Denver
  • Kristy Griffin, Hashimoto and Sjogren’s disease sufferer

Links for more information:

Stay in the loop! Follow us on Twitter and Instagram and like us on Facebook! Subscribe and review on Apple Podcasts!

Posted by:Producer

MTC is the producer of Viewpoints and Radio Health Journal - celebrating 25 years of award-winning public affairs radio reaching 6 million listeners each week.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.