The human body’s immune system is essential in defending your body against diseases. Having a healthy immune system ensures that your body can effectively guard against virus and bacteria that are foreign to your body. In doing this, your immune system protects your body from getting ill.
However, a number of people face problems with their immune system that can tamper with the way their body and organs function. Having a weak or problematic immune system can affect the function of your body and can even cause the entry of major diseases. One such problem with the body’s immune system is called “autoimmune disease”.
What is an Autoimmune Disease?
An autoimmune disease occurs when your immune system itself fails to differentiate your healthy cells from foreign bodies. This results to your immune system attacking your healthy cells, affecting your body’s tissues. Because of an autoimmune disease, individuals experience changes in the functions of their organs. There are numerous types of autoimmune diseases and some even have similar symptoms. There are also instances when there is more than one autoimmune disease that occurs at the same time.
Here are some of the most common autoimmune diseases:
This happens when the immune system creates antibodies that attack the linings of the joints which then cause swelling and inflammation. Severe rheumatoid arthritis can lead to permanent joint damage.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) happens when the immune system attacks the lining of the intestines that cause bowel movements, rectal bleeding, weight loss and severe abdominal pain. Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease are two of the major forms of IBD.
This type of autoimmune disease involves the immune system attacking the nerve cells. Symptoms of this type of disease include weakness, muscles spasms, body pain and blindness.
Psoriasis is a form of autoimmune disease that causes an overactive immune system. Skin cells are produced at a faster rate than what is normally needed by the body, resulting to white scaly plaques on the skin. This commonly causes itchiness and scaling on the skin.
This form of autoimmune disease causes the thyroid gland to produce huge amounts of thyroid or hyperthyroidism. Symptoms of this disease can be seen through weight loss, increase in heart rate, irritability, bulging eyes, and body weakness. This form of autoimmune disease can be done through the removal of the thyroid gland in cases of severe symptoms.
How to Treat Autoimmune Diseases?
For people who think they have autoimmune disease, it is best to consult a doctor right away. If this is in fact a disease, it is better to cure it at an early stage when your body is still strong. Since most of the autoimmune diseases have similar symptoms, looking for the root cause of your disease may take some time.
Some doctors prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs and steroids to treat the symptoms while failing to address the causes of these. This is why it is very important to discuss with your doctor thoroughly any family records of this type of disease or any form of sickness that is commonly faced by your family. This makes it easier to understand the possible causes of your symptoms and find the best way to address them. In finding the root cause of your disease, the cause of your symptoms will be more effectively treated.