Wednesday, December 23, 2009
I'm still trying to understand my disease. I've been doing some research and thought I would share in case anyone is interested. Also thought I would post some pictures of some of the symptoms of the disease... later I'll post pictures of the side effects of the prednisone! Antisynthetase syndrome is a chronic autoimmune disease of unknown cause. It is a subgroup of the idiopathic (unknown cause) inflammatory muscle diseases and is characterized by myositis, mechanic's hands, interstitial lung disease, arthritis, and Raynaud's phenomenon. What causes antisynthetase syndrome? The cause of antisynthetase syndrome is unknown; however, the production of a group of autoantibodies (antibodies that attack normal cells instead of disease-causing agents) that recognize and attack certain enzymes in the body called 'aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases' appears to be linked to the cause of the syndrome. The amicoacyl-tRNA synthetases are a family of enzymes which play a vital role in protein synthesis in the body. The autoantibody more commonly associated with antisynthetase syndrome is anti-Jo-1. Their exact role in causation of antisynthetase syndrome is not yet known, but viruses have been implicated. The fact that the onset of symptoms of antisynthetase syndrome typically occur during winter provides indirect evidence that infectious agents may play a role. The severity and type of lung involvement typically determines the outcome of the disease. Picture of my fingers experience Raynaud's Phenomenon. This happens quite frequently throughout the day between my fingers and my toes. They turn white, to blue, back to red once they warm up. We figured out last winter that my dad experience's Raynaud's Phenomenon as well. A lot of people do, but they do not know exactly what it is. Some people do not turn all the way to blue, just their fingertips turn white. It's a quite interesting thing... especially when you live in Minnesota like me as it's usually cold! I'm learning to cope with it very well though and as long as I have mittens and heavy socks I'm usually pretty good! Picture of my swollen wrists and feet due to myositis fluid and prednisone fluid! I actually have really small wrists and feet. My finger size at the time of our wedding was 5.5. Now my wedding ring is sized to 7. The fluid retention is crazy.