Auto Immune Diseases have the possibility to happen to anybody and can make you suffer lifelong.
Auto Immune Diseases possess analogous symptoms which make them difficult to diagnose; there are in excess of 80 diseases types under it. It may involve any or many parts of the body. Being diagnosed with these diseases can dive a stressful and frustrating feeling. In most people, the primary symptoms exhibited are muscle ache, low fever and tiredness. Read on to learn more about Auto Immune Diseases.
How do Auto Immune Diseases occur in the Body?
The normal function of the immune system of the body is to protect it from foreign substances that may be harmful to you body’s systems and functions. A number of examples are viruses, bacteria, cancer cells and tissues or blood from the environment, humans and other organisms. The body activates its immune system to produce antibodies against these harmful organisms.
With auto immune diseases, the normal function of the body’s immune system is altered. The immune system in this case can’t determine the difference between normal healthy tissues and the pathogens that can cause ailments. Therefore, instead of destroying the pathogens, it destroys the normal cells of your body. This is a hypersensitive reaction of the body akin to an allergic response. However, it differs significantly with allergic reactions.
In allergies, the reaction of the immune system is triggered when the person is exposed to certain allergens. On the other hand, in this condition, it doesn’t require the presence of any exogenic or external factors to be present. These diseases can further take its effect to an abnormal organ growth, organ function changes and destruction of a single or more types of body tissues.
What are the Risk Factors of having the Disease?
These conditions can possibly affect any individual in the population but there are existing risk factors that increases the probability of having these diseases. The risk factors include gender, age, ethnicity, family history, exposure to environmental factors and previous infections.
Age can give you high risks. Young to middle aged adults has the highest risk of having the diseases but with the exemption of rheumatoid arthritis. Ethnicity as mentioned earlier can affect the vulnerability of contracting the diseases. Women in general and specific races (Hispanic-American, Native-American and African-American) are at high risk for several types of this disease. The family history is included with these other factors because of the verity that these types of conditions are inherited from one generation to another. Exposure to environmental factors like hydrolizine and procainamide can be linked to its occurrence. Lastly, previous infections from viral and bacterial sources may perhaps be at greater vulnerability for quite a few types of auto immune disorders.
What are the Symptoms of Auto Immune Diseases?
There are more than 80 auto immune disorders that exist and each of it has their own distinctive batch of symptoms. In general, there are also many symptoms that they share.
The common symptoms are extreme fatigue or weakness that can’t be alleviated by rest, joint and muscle pain (varies from aching, burning and soreness), muscle weakness or the loss of function of major muscle groups, swollen glands specifically in the throat (See: Throat cancer symptoms), inflammation and enlargement of lymph nodes, frequent infections due to high susceptibility, difficulty in falling asleep, weight gain or loss (10-15lbs loss) and a low blood sugar levels (a sign of adrenal failure).
Moreover, other symptoms may arise as the conditions progress such as variation in the blood pressure (majority has low blood pressure and some has high blood pressure), vertigo, palpitations, fainting, Candida (yeast) infection or oral thrush, allergies with foods and chemicals, digestive troubles, anxiety, depression, memory problems, thyroid deficiencies, low grade fever and recurrent miscarriages.
How is it Diagnosed?
The diagnosis of these diseases can be difficult to obtain but there are certain laboratory examinations to undergo that will help the physician confirm its occurrence. The first one is the ESR or the Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate. It is an indirect indication of the amount of inflammation that occurs in the body. An increased ESR can be linked to Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, vasculitis and other forms of auto immune disorders.
Testing the levels of C-reactive protein is also used for diagnosing the condition. This substance is formed by the liver and its level rises when inflammation is present through out the body. This is not a specific test for the presence of inflammatory rather a general test. This can be a measure on checking for symptoms flare-up. Flare-up is the sudden recurrence of symptoms to a person.
What are the Treatments for Auto Immune Diseases?
The primary objective of treatment in Auto Immune Diseases is to lessen and control the progress of the disease and maintain the body in a remission state. Managements are enforced to prevent exacerbation of symptoms by avoiding fatigue, stress and infection. Treatments also depend on definite diseases and symptoms. Medications such as immunosuppressant agents (azathioprine or cyclophosphamide) are given to reduce the damage that your own immune system does to your body.