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06-12-2012, 08:49 AM   #1
ThatsWhatSheSaid
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Allergy Injections & Crohn's

I've been getting allergy injections for just over two years and flaring the whole time.

I have wondered over the last year on multiple occassions whether there is a connection. I have asked both my GI doctor and my ENT if this could be causing me to be sick. Each has told me to ask the other.

Most recently, last Tuesday, I had a check with my ENT and asked again, desperately, if he thought there could be any correlation. I explained, for about the millionth time, that my concern arises from crohns being auto-immune and the allergy injections riling my immue system every week. He said he thinks it is fine and I should keep doing them.

Then last Friday, three days later, I had a follow up with my GI from the EGD and colonoscopy the week before, and again for the millionth time asked if it could be related. My GI said to ask my ENT.

I don't know what is going on here, but it feels like I have been negligently kept in a state of sickness for over two years by a lack of due diligence on both doctors' parts as I have recently gotten some feedback that there are doctors who WILL NOT give crohns patients immunology injections.

Is there anyone out there that has any information on this or that could point me in the right direction toward getting information as to whether these allergy injections could be making me sicker? I appreciate any thoughts you may have. Thanks.
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06-12-2012, 09:30 AM   #2
muppet
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I don't think it's negligence. They just don't really know. There's a lot that's still not understood about Crohn's, and auto-immune disorders generally.

It's likely that the only way you're going to get your answer is to discontinue the allergy shots and see if your Crohn's improves. That is, if you can safely discontinue the shots (if your allergies are a nuisance and not life threatening.)

I haven't heard of a correlation, but you should go with your (heh) gut and experiment on your own to the extent you can.

Safety a top priority!
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06-12-2012, 10:05 AM   #3
ThatsWhatSheSaid
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My allergies are a MAJOR nuiusance, but no where near life threatening. Thanks!
06-12-2012, 11:38 AM   #4
CrohnsCHES
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I did some searching and couldn't find any scientific studies linking allergy shots with crohn's symptoms or IBD. Anecdotally, there were lots of stories in both directions, it seems - some people seeing a remission in symptoms when they start treating allergies and others seeing them worsen. Have you tried a period of time off the allergy shots (if safe)? I agree with Muppet that it may be a good thing to try if you personally suspect they may aggravate your symptoms and keep you in constant flare-ups. Good luck!
06-16-2012, 03:46 AM   #5
Judith
 
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I've been getting allergy injections for just over two years and flaring the whole time.

I have wondered over the last year on multiple occassions whether there is a connection. I have asked both my GI doctor and my ENT if this could be causing me to be sick. Each has told me to ask the other.

Most recently, last Tuesday, I had a check with my ENT and asked again, desperately, if he thought there could be any correlation. I explained, for about the millionth time, that my concern arises from crohns being auto-immune and the allergy injections riling my immue system every week. He said he thinks it is fine and I should keep doing them.

Then last Friday, three days later, I had a follow up with my GI from the EGD and colonoscopy the week before, and again for the millionth time asked if it could be related. My GI said to ask my ENT.

I don't know what is going on here, but it feels like I have been negligently kept in a state of sickness for over two years by a lack of due diligence on both doctors' parts as I have recently gotten some feedback that there are doctors who WILL NOT give crohns patients immunology injections.

Is there anyone out there that has any information on this or that could point me in the right direction toward getting information as to whether these allergy injections could be making me sicker? I appreciate any thoughts you may have. Thanks.
Thatswhatshesaid,
I have been looking for information on this topic and like CrohnsCHES surprisingly found very little. I agree with muppet's statement that there is not enough known in general.

I was able to find a bit of literature on GI upset with SLIT (SubLingual ImmunoTherapy). SLIT is an allergy treatment that is taken under the tongue daily. It actually is supposed to have fewer systemic side effects than your treatment using the shots but since it is taken orally it can exacerbate the Gastrointestinal inflammation.

I have no article that clearly states Allergen Immunotherapy = Crohn's Flare. But, if you consider how closely interrelated Immunotherapy and Immune Dysregulation are in IBD (there are multiple shared proteins between the two pathways) it stands to reason that your Immunotherapy can be related to your flares. I would be quite convinced of this if you were able to correlate your flares to your Immunotherapy treatments. Especially if you can predict an exacerbation of your flare symptoms every X period of time following administration of the shot.

Unfortunately, if you are already predisposed to having allergic reactions you may have developed a new allergy. Do you notice your flares are worse during certain months of the year? I would strongly suspect an enviornmental allergy in this case. If you are flaring year-round I would suspect a new food allergy, a pet you live with in the home, or a water-leak that may have caused mold to grow (you dont necessarily have to see the mold to be exposed to it). Crohn's patients are generally very sensitive to fungi/mold allergens. Do you notice your flares generally subside when you are away from the home for extended days at a time?

I am sorry I have no easy answer to your problem. It is possible that whatever is causing your Crohn's disease is also blocking your desired outcome of the allergy desensitization treatment. Have you noticed that the Immunotherapy is working at all? This is kind of a difficult question to answer since this season is SO bad for allergies in general.
06-21-2012, 07:33 AM   #6
heameljon
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Ironically for me I took allergy shots growing up until I was about 17, shortly thereafter I started showing symptoms of Crohn's. I often wonder if I had stayed on the allergy shots if I would have kept the Crohn's in remission. Many years ago I had asked one of my GI doctors if he thought there was a connection and he said he didn't think the shot had kept my Crohn's in remission but that he suspected a connection between the allergies and the Crohn's because they are both auto-immune issues. I just saw a specialist in Crohn's last week at John's Hopkins and mentioned that I am anti-steriod use for Crohn's treatment and she agreed saying that steriods can actually cause Crohn's to flare worse, I had never heard this before. It is my understanding that allergy shots are a steriod and if you believe this doctor from John's Hopkins then in theory the shots could be causing issues with your Crohn's. No medical basis here just piecemealing together what I have been told.
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06-21-2012, 07:47 AM   #7
ThatsWhatSheSaid
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The thing is, I haven't even reached concentrate on everything yet, so my shots are on a weekly basis. As such, I have noticed little variation in the levels of misery. It's just all of the time unless I am on prednisone, which helps immensely but only in the short term. Why are you an this doctor against steroid treatment for crohns?

Judith, thanks for your response. I appreciate it. I agree that it may stand to reason that riling my immune system may be the thing enabling the crohns to run amuck. I don't know why there is not more information on this out there. It would seem to me to be an important aspect of understanding how to administer the allergy injections (if you even should) and in understanding what is going on with the immune system from the GIs standpoint. I've never had any food allergies or sensitivities but I am basically allergic to the environment- something for each season.

Heamel, it's interesting you wonder if staying on the injections would have prevented your flare. My issues have never been so bad until I started the injections, and they are more fully systemic than when I was diagnosed. Could you go further into what the doctor at John Hopkins discussed with you about the steroids?
06-21-2012, 08:15 AM   #8
heameljon
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Well my personal dislike for prednisone and steriods is just because I don't like the side effects and what they do to my body. Also, I guess I have it in my head that prednisone is like a band-aid. It helps make my joints feel better but end all be all I need to be on something that is specific for Crohn's treatment. We didn't talk about the steriods long but I mentioned that I was anti-steriod use for my Crohn's and the doctor at John's Hopkins said specifically that steriods will make Crohn's disease worse. I hate to throw that around because I have never, ever heard that before and haven't had a chance to research it. I would like to think a doctor at John's Hopkins knows the most recent research. It really throws my theory about the allergy shots out of the water.
06-21-2012, 07:25 PM   #9
Raleigh
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I don't know if there are medical studies to back it up, but I know for sure that allergy shots wreaked havoc on my GI tract. Every week after my shot I was an absolute mess. It was terrible, so I stopped after about 5 or 6 months. I think there is definitely a connection. It makes sense too, considering the shared immune component of both Crohn's and allergies.
08-16-2017, 09:41 AM   #10
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I have had Crohn's 54 years, many issues and allergies to just about everything, I have been getting allergy shots regularly for 21 years....I am on Humira since June 2005....I seem to keep getting worse with nasal drainage, clogged sinuses all night...yet ENT and allergist say my sinuses are fine...I have a CPAP for apnea but this summer have only been able to use it 4-5 hours a night...off for awhile, then when I can breate, it goes back on....I am awake most of the night. I am sleeping very elevated, almost straight up in bed or in a chair straight up..I used to get stuff to drain down but not the past month or so...I use a NeilMed and flush several times daily...I feel I am getting the brush off from allergist and ENT and pulmonologist wants me to stop the leakage from around the nose piece on my CPAP....I wake up with my mouth wide open...actually the nose piece presses on the left nostril where I had balloon sinuplasty and it blocks up...no help from any docs...I had to stop nasal sprays because glaucoma eye pressure went up to 38 in right eye and same in left blind eye.Zyrtec etc leave me quite dopey for days...I can't win.....I want to stop allergy shots for awhile...my thinking is that Humira is an immuno-suppressant and the allergy shots for environmental and mold/mildew are causing more inflammation.....anyone been thru something similar? Thanks much.
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