Your body’s defence against external invaders including bacteria, parasites, viruses, and cancer cells is the responsibility of the organs and cells that make up your immune system. An autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system attacks the body instead of guarding it from harmful chemicals.
Approximately 100 distinct autoimmune diseases have been identified so far. Some of the most prevalent autoimmune disorders include lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.
Almost every organ in the body as well as a wide range of tissues are susceptible to autoimmune diseases. They have the potential to produce a wide range of symptoms, some of which include discomfort, fatigue, rashes, nausea, migraines, and dizziness. Specific conditions may be followed by different symptoms.
How do autoimmune illnesses occur?
What causes your immune system to begin attacking healthy cells and tissues is unknown. Scientists believe this may be the result of your immune system losing the ability to distinguish between healthy and dangerous cells. Although there are a few theories that try to explain why this occurs, experts are still attempting to address this question.
What causes autoimmune diseases?
The exact cause of autoimmune illnesses is unknown at this time. The likelihood of getting an autoimmune disease can, however, be increased by a few factors. Some of the risk factors include:
- Have a conversation with your healthcare practitioner about the potential adverse effects of blood pressure drugs, statins, and antibiotics you are taking.
- Having family members who have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease increases your likeliness of developing one yourself.
- Smoking regularly can increase your risk of developing an autoimmune disorder.
- Having already been diagnosed with one autoimmune condition increases the likelihood of you contracting another illness.
- Toxic substance exposure can increase your risk factor.
- Obesity. Being overweight may make you more susceptible to autoimmune disorders.
Women are significantly more likely than men to live with an autoimmune disease. Approximately, 78 percent of people with an autoimmune disorder identify as female.
What are the signs and symptoms of an autoimmune disease?
Depending on your condition, the following symptoms may be present:
Conditions affecting the muscles and joints:
- Aches and pains in the muscles
- Stiffness, and edoema in the joints
- Weakness in the muscles
Infections affecting the digestive tract:
- Abdominal discomfort
- Acid reflux
- Intolerance to certain foods
- blood or mucous in stool
Conditions affecting the skin:
- Ocular dryness
- Oral parchedness
- Loss of hair
- Dry skin
Disorders that affect the neurological system include:
- Anxiety with a sense of hopelessness
- Confusion, as well as difficulties thinking and concentrating.
- Vision that is hazy
- Problems with memory
- Numbness and tingling
- Aching in the chest
- Swollen glands
- Sudden gain or loss of body weight
- Erratic heartbeat
- Uneasy and shallow breaths
- Sensitivity to changes in temperature
How long do autoimmune illnesses last?
It varies. Some are simple to treat, while others are more difficult. Some autoimmune illnesses can last a lifetime.
How are autoimmune illnesses diagnosed?
Medical practitioners often need more time to diagnose an autoimmune disease than they do to diagnose other disorders. This is because many autoimmune disease symptoms are common in other conditions. You can help your healthcare provider with the diagnosis procedure if you bring the following things with you to your appointment:
- A thorough list of any symptoms you’ve experienced, along with how long each one has lasted.
- A timeline of illnesses that your loved ones have endured. Pay attention if someone in your family has an autoimmune disease.
Along with talking to you about your symptoms, your healthcare practitioner may run certain blood tests to check for autoimmune diseases. These examinations might involve the following:
- Test for anti-nuclear antibodies (ANA).
- Blood count taken in its entirety (CBC).
- The rate of sedimentation of erythrocytes (ESR).
What kinds of treatments are available for autoimmune diseases?
Although the symptoms of autoimmune illnesses can be managed, there is no cure for them. Every person has a different immune system, genetic makeup, and follows a different lifestyle.
The following are some examples of drugs that can be used to treat autoimmune diseases:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Medications for mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.
- Injections of insulin
- Sleeping medication
- Plasma trades and deals
- Creams and tablets for the rash
- Intravenous immune globulin
- Medications that calm or control your body’s immunological response
Some people use complementary and alternative therapies and medical procedures. Examples include:
- Techniques utilised in chiropractic care
What kind of medical professional treats patients who have autoimmune diseases?
The type of specialist you need to see depends on the particular autoimmune condition you have. Your physician or another healthcare provider might advise that you visit a:
Could you avoid developing an autoimmune disease?
It may not be possible to prevent autoimmune illnesses. Nonetheless, some professionals recommend that you try the following:
- Maintaining a regular exercise routine.
- Avoid smoking tobacco products.
- Keeping away from poisonous substances.
- Eat less processed meals and implement organic foods.
Want to learn more?
ConsidraCare’s live in caregiver for seniors are experienced professionals familiar with caring for seniors with autoimmune disorders. Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at 1-855-410-7971, and we will be happy to help you arrange care for a loved one.