Autoimmune diseases are on the rise, and according to the latest estimates, nearly 23.5 million Americans are living with an autoimmune disease. This is a startling statistic, and it’s one we need to take very seriously. If you have an autoimmune disease, or if you’re close to someone who does, then it’s important to learn as much as you can about these conditions. Autoimmune diseases can be debilitating, and they often require lifelong treatment. But there is hope. By understanding autoimmune diseases and making smart lifestyle choices, you can manage your condition and lead a healthy life. So read on for more information about autoimmune diseases, and don’t hesitate to ask a professional any questions you may have. We’re all in this together!
Autoimmune diseases are on the rise. In fact, they’re becoming increasingly common. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the symptoms and risk factors. If you think you may be at risk, don’t hesitate to speak to your trusted healthcare professional. .
Autoimmune disease, what is it?
An autoimmune disease is when your body produces antibodies against your very organs. Your immune system has been attacking your organs because it feels like they’re not yours. In other words, your immune system is confused and thinks your organs are foreign invaders.
This can lead to a wide range of symptoms, depending on which organ or organs are affected.
Autoimmune diseases are on the rise, and there are certain telltale signs you may have. Suppose you’re constantly experiencing aches and pains, feeling exhausted or run down, and generally feeling sleepy or tired. In that case, it’s worth checking in with your doctor to see if you might have an autoimmune disease.
Also, some people may lose a lot of weight. Some experience excessive hair fall.
There are many different symptoms that can happen to different people. Some people may experience one symptom, while others may experience several. Symptoms can vary in severity, and they can also change over time.
The Most Common Autoimmune Diseases
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation of the joints. It typically affects the hands and feet but can also affect other parts of the body like the lungs and eyes. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling, and a loss of range of motion in the affected joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is more common in women than men and usually develops between the ages of 40 and 60.
Lupus is a common autoimmune disease that causes the body’s immune system to attack healthy tissues. The disease can affect any part of the body, but most commonly affects the skin, joints, and kidneys. It is a chronic disease, which means it often leads to long-term symptoms and may even be disabling. However, with early diagnosis and proper treatment, many people with lupus can live normal, healthy lives.
Autoimmune Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
Hashimoto’s disease is another autoimmune disorder that affects the thyroid gland. However, in Hashimoto’s disease, the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, causing it to produce too little hormone. This can lead to symptoms like fatigue, depression, dry skin, and constipation. Hashimoto’s disease is the most common form of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).
Sjögren syndrome is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s white blood cells attack the exocrine glands. This can lead to a decrease in the production of tears and saliva and can also cause inflammation in other organs such as the liver, kidneys, and lungs. The most common symptoms of Sjögren syndrome are dryness of the eyes and mouth, fatigue, joint pain, and muscle aches. However, the condition can also cause more serious problems such as difficulty swallowing, kidney failure, and pneumonia.
MS is one of the most common neurological diseases in young adults. Early symptoms can include fatigue, tingling, and numbness in the extremities. The disease can then progress to more severe symptoms, such as muscle weakness, paralysis, and loss of vision.
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and celiac disease are all considered inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). IBD is a group of autoimmune diseases that cause inflammation of the digestive tract. The most common symptoms of IBD are abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and fatigue. Some people with IBD also have arthritis, skin problems, and eye inflammation.
Treatment for IBD typically includes medication to reduce inflammation and symptoms. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove damaged tissue.
Even Alzheimer’s Disease, Endometriosis, and PCOS are now considered autoimmune diseases. They all have an autoimmune element.
An autoimmune disease, once diagnosed, is often treated with biological drugs. These drugs, whether in the form of infusions, tablets, or pills, really suppress your immune system so it doesn’t react to the antibodies your body is producing. While these medications can be effective, they can also cause serious side effects, such as increased susceptibility to infections.
In other words, it’s just “putting out the fires.” It’s not getting to the root cause.
It’s not getting to the root cause if you’re constantly trying to Band-Aid the problem.
Functional Medicine Approach
Numerous factors can explain why you don’t feel your best. Here at functional medicine, we aim to get to the root cause so you can look and feel well again. We individualize care based on what’s going on with *you*, not just your symptoms.
All these diseases emerge because of an unhealthy gut. We know your gut health is essential to your overall well-being. The right environment can help you fight off illness and maintain a healthy lifestyle, so we start there! We identify what’s going on with it, like too much sugar or exposure to toxins such as pesticides. Then we work towards getting those things out of the way so our bodies have room for healing naturally.
Are there side effects to the treatments?
The package inserts for many medications warn of the risks associated with taking them. For example, conventional treatment drugs can increase your chances of getting cancer. In some cases, drugs negatively affect immune system responses. If you have ever checked the package insert, it’s all written down there.
It may cause more damage to your body when left unchecked.
In functional medicine or the natural approach, there are not many side effects. It may take longer to help and treat you and identify everything, but there aren’t any side effects because we are not prescribing anything.
We don’t want to give you a drug that will only mask your symptoms and never fix the root problem. In functional medicine, we focus on healing by providing an environment for your body as it was designed.
Autoimmune Disease Prevention
Autoimmune diseases are preventable. They start 15 to 20 years before the symptoms show up chronically. The early detection of the high antibody levels in your body can jumpstart your treatment by healing your gut. Consequently, this can start by healing your body and immune system by treating them with different foods, supplements, and essential nutrients that will help you get rid of trigger factors causing the autoimmune disease.
We hope this article has helped you better understand autoimmune disease and the various treatment options available. If you would like to discuss your specific situation in more detail, please don’t hesitate to reach out for a discovery call. Our team of experts will be happy to help guide you on your journey back to health.
You may be experiencing vague symptoms, leaving you in the dark and wondering if it is a sign of an autoimmune disease. We’d love to help get your diagnosis determined! We’d be happy to schedule a discovery call with you. During this call, we can discuss your symptoms in more detail and come up with a plan tailored specifically for you.
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DISCLAIMER: The information in this email is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content is for general informational purposes only and does not replace a consultation with your own doctor/health professional