Treatment

Treatment involves treating potential cancer by chemotherapy, radiation or surgery and, suppressing the immune system response that’s causing symptoms.

Your doctor may prescribe the following drugs:

  • Steroids: such as prednisone. Side effects  include weak bones, high blood pressure, anxiety/depression.
  • Immunosuppressants: such as cyclophosphamide. They slow the production of disease-fighting white blood cells. Side effects include a lowered immune system making you more prone to getting sick.

Other treatments that may improve symptoms include:

  • Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg):  contains healthy antibodies from blood donors. Immunoglobulin speed up the destruction of the antibodies that cause the damage.
  • Plasmapheresis: separates plasma, from your blood cells. Technicians return your red, white blood cells, and platelets, to your body, while discarding the plasma, which contains the damaging antibodies, and replacing it with other fluids.

Other therapies will be helpful if you have any disability:

  • Physical therapy: Will help you regain some function/strength that has been damaged.
  • Speech therapy: Will help you if you are having trouble speaking or swallowing.
  • Occupational therapy: Will help you regain or enhance your daily life, assess and modify your home to improve safety and independence, prescribes and educates you about adaptive equipment to assist function.
  • Psychology: Will help your mental health.

If you don’t want therapy or you can’t afford it. Support groups on the internet (Facebook, Rare Connect) can be helpful.

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