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Teachergrl

Swollen Glands And Fever

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Has anyone experienced occassional low-grade fevers with DH/celiac? Also, have you experienced swollen glands related to the DH rash? I am almost 100% positive that I have DH. Seeing my rheumatologist on Fri. My symptoms thus far have been: occasional fever, itchy, blistering, symmetrical rash on my face (jawline), and a few spots on my knees and scalp. I have also had a tingling/burning type feeling on my scalp. The glands in my neck are also slightly swollen. I am assuming this would be related to the rash. I have also found that my rheumatoid arthritis has flared as well. Has anyone experienced the symptoms I've listed?

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There are several different types of rashes that can occur in people with immune complex disorders (like rheumatoid arthritis). I had a blistering, itchy rash on my hands, arms, and lower legs that I thought for sure was DH! I had it biopsied (one punch biopsy of a lesion and one biopsy of a clear spot next to the lesion), but it came back negative. Have you tried hydrocortisone cream? It might work, but if it doesn't then a biopsy is not a bad idea. DH only responds to the gluten-free diet and Dapsone.

BTW... the swollen glands and fever are also classic signs of an immune complex flare

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BTW... the swollen glands and fever are also classic signs of an immune complex flare

Immune CompleX Flare... Is that another topic or can more be told about that here?

For many years I suffered with puffy jaws and a mild grade fever.. Doctors all referred to the mild grade fever as my norm.... Suffered all my life with it... Puffy jaws are gone since going Gluten Free...

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Immune CompleX Flare... Is that another topic or can more be told about that here?

OK... here's my basic understanding of how immune complex disorders work.

The basic function of your immune system is to clear dead cells, virus, and bacteria (things that don't belong) out of your system. One way it does this is by generating antibodies. The antibodies link up with specific "antigens" (things that don't belong) to form "complexes." Then another set of proteins called "complement" surround the complexes so they stay soluble in your blood and can be quickly flushed out of your body by your liver and spleen. All kinds of problems can happen with this system...

1) Liver and/or spleen get overwhelmed

2) Not enough complement

3) Too many antigens (like an overwhelming bacterial infection)

4) Not enough antibodies (this happens to people with AIDS)

5) Too many complexes (can easily happen when you have an autoimmune disorder)

(There are more...)

Anyway... when your immune system gets overwhelmed, the complexes start dropping out of your bloodstream and getting lodged in various parts of your body, particularly the skin, joints, muscles, kidneys, eyes, brain, and cardio-vascular system. If the effects are mild (and temporary... like when you have a virus) you get things like achy joints or a headache. However... if the complexes start building up in large numbers you can get some really nasty effects like vasculitis, migraines, stroke, glaucoma, arthritis, kidney damage, etc... The immune complex disorders (lupus, RA, Sjogren's, MCTD, scleroderma, etc...) all work around this basic principle, but have different constellations of symptoms. In RA, for example, the complexes tend to cluster most heavily in the joints. In scleroderma the skin is under attack.

I hope that helps... minor swelling should be nothing to worry about. A long-lasting fever can be a sign of a chronic infection, one of the factors that can cause your immune system to become (temporarily or sometimes permanently) overwhelmed.

BTW... complexes are made during active celiac disease (the antigens include gluten and your own intestines), so that could explain why the swelling is gone when you're off gluten :)

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