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Auto immune disease

Discussion in 'Personal' started by louisecam53, Jul 18, 2019.

  1. louisecam53

    louisecam53 New commenter

    Have been referred to a rheumatologist for high rheumatoid factor, sluggish thyroid, inflammatory markers and anaemia. I do not know what is wrong, but googled it. Still to find out. Apparently teachers are at high risk of auto immune disease because we are exposed to countless viruses and exist in a state of stress. I think that this, plus life’s general stresses and strains ( including bereavement) create a crucible for ill health. I went back to work, briefly, for a maternity cover ( retired) and suddenly was aching, exhausted. All the assessments, screenings, reports, observations just about did for me ... including the odd difficult pupil. Incidentally, behavioural issues often to do with ageist comments ... but that is another thread. Eating went awry, stopped going to the gym ... too much sugar ... Having to ‘perform’ on a daily basis in front of an expectant class, teaching prescribed lessons with such a rigid structure that there is no room for breathing space ... how/ why do we do it? Is it making us sick, but in a really insidious way ... so that retirement ushers in chronic ill health. Coming to think of it, I took early retirement because I was beginning to feel symptoms of chronic exhaustion. I am stunned by how hard teachers work. I really think that it has become a corrosive profession. When I returned to the classroom several months ago, it is as though even more is expected of teachers ... I saw how hard everyone worked! Also, this is the case in English, no text books. The teacher is meant to ‘craft’ every lesson!
  2. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    I sympathise and you are finding yourself in an ever growing group of disillusioned teachers.

    However, NEVER go to google for a diagnosis as they will often give the worst case, end game situation.

    Best of luck and I hope you feel better soon.
  3. stanley4shoes

    stanley4shoes Occasional commenter

    Agree, never go to Google for a diagnosis. I'd be long dead if I believed most of what's on t'internet.

    There is an observed association between stress related illness and autoimmune disease, for example this observational study from Sweden https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6583688/ , but there are many many things that we've yet to understand about autoimmune disease, and some would argue that workplace exposure to the viral soup of the classroom could also be protective for autoimmune disease
  4. louisecam53

    louisecam53 New commenter

    Thanks Dragonlady30! Yeah Dr Google is terrifying. I am convinced my choice of profession has made me ill. I feel angry with myself for choosing teaching, despite high points, including some wonderful students. The low
    points - excessive, unrelenting work load and students with behavioural issues. IMO teachers have a habit of mitigating poor behaviour, choosing to see it as their fault, rather than a systemic problem in UK schools. I think behaviour+ work load+ life’s inevitable stresses = ill health. I suspect that the average teacher’s cortisol levels are through the roof!
  5. louisecam53

    louisecam53 New commenter

    Thank you for the link!
  6. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Autoimmune disease, or the tendency for it, tends to run in families even if not the same disease.
    My daughter has MS. My Mum and Grandmother had ulcerative collitis and Crohn's. Her grandfather had rheumatoid arthritis, my cousin and her son are both type 1 diabetic................all different autoimmune diseases.
    I really don't think being a teacher is a risk factor, and being exposed to multiple viruses would be protective.
    Get off the internet and get to your GP.
  7. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    A lot of teachers seem to be 'less well' than the average person these days. Years ago, I remember someone saying that staff from the indies looked healthier than staff from the comps when we all met in training days-I found this unfair as I was lucky enough to work in comps which had caring, respctful heads.. And a friend of mine, who always worked in an indy, says that now it's been taken over by a head from a comp, he's bringing in all the observations/data faffing, and everyone looks ill and tried all the time. Does this stress cause illness? I'm no doctor, but if you're upset and working all the time, you probably aren't looking after yourself.
    One thing that hasn't changed is that you're still exposed to a lot of bugs!
    needabreak likes this.
  8. Doglover

    Doglover Occasional commenter

    I know you posted this several weeks ago, but it caught my eye.
    You are right about the connection between viruses and autoimmune conditions. Viruses are in fact considered to the primary causative factor in the development of autoimmune conditions. Something goes wrong in the normal response of Tcells to viruses, causing them to attack otherwise healthy body systems. I could see why that may put people who work closely with other people such as teachers or medical professionals at greater risk.
    There is also believed to be a genetic predisposition - my own family is riddled with many autoimmune disorders - however studies even in identical twins are inconsistent suggesting that there has to be other causative factors, with viruses being the strongest contender. Virology is a fascinating area of study.
    I know rheumatology waiting lists are often very long, so I hope you get some answers soon. Life in general, when you are dealing with chronic fatigue, is going to be so much harder. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
  9. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    What Doglover said.

    Take care of yourself Louisecam53.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  10. Sally006

    Sally006 Occasional commenter

    I think you are absolutely right that the awful work/life balance coupled with daily stress makes you ill. I survived for so long but having passed 50 I struggle to cope. Crippling depression as a result of WRS etc. I’m now going part time but think retiring at 55 may be my only choice. This should NOT be the case but there is a culture of heads down, don’t say anything, keep going as long as you are able. A colleague and I were discussing the fragmentation of the staff. There is no longer a sense of unity and solidarity, supporting and sharing. There’s this survival of the fittest going on, as each individual tries to manage their own welfare. It’s not the job I signed up for. It just wasn’t like this 20 years ago or even 10 years ago. But sadly self preservation has meant WE have let this happen by the failure of the profession (teachers and heads) to stop it all. Tragic. Looking now to maybe finish my career abroad. Poor old Britain in more ways than one.
  11. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    What Sally006 said.

    Take care of yourself.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  12. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    True. Very true.

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