When Immune System Goes Wrong

What happens when police who is suppose to protect us goes rogue? It is frightening and you wouldn’t want to imagine how much damage it would cause.

This is exactly what happening to Autoimmune disease, when the immune system is attacking your body.

What is an autoimmune disease?

An autoimmune disease happens when your immune system mistakenly attacks your body.

Usually, our immune system defend us against germs, bacteria and viruses. When it senses danger, it sends out an army to fight against them.

Healthy immune system can differentiate our own cells or foreign cells (bacteria and etc). However, an autoimmune disease, mistakenly think that part of your body — like joints or skin — is not. It releases proteins called autoantibodies to attack.

Some of the diseases target only one organ. Type 1 diabetes damages the pancreas. And some others, like lupus, affect the whole body.

 

Why our immune system attack our body?

There is no answer to this yet as scientist are still figuring it out. But some people have higher probability to get an autoimmune disease than others.

Statistics show that women get autoimmune diseases 1 time more than men. Every 1 male patient, there will be 2 female patients. The disease normally starts during a woman’s childbearing years (ages 14 to 44).

Some autoimmune diseases are more common in certain ethnic groups. For example, lupus affects more African-American and Hispanic people than Caucasians.

Not every family member will carry the same disease, but the gene is there to a certain degree.

As the rate of autoimmune diseases is on the rise, researchers suspect that environmental factors like pollution, infections and exposures to chemicals is behind.

Eating high-fat, high-sugar, and highly processed foods is linked to inflammation, which might cause an immune response.

Another theory is called the hygiene hypothesis. Because of vaccines and antiseptics, children today aren’t exposed to as many germs as they were in the past. The lack of exposure could make their immune system overreact to harmless substances.

There is still no answer to what exactly causing autoimmune diseases. Diet, infections and exposure to chemicals could be the causes.

 

Autoimmune disease symptoms

The early symptoms of many autoimmune diseases are very similar, such as:

fatigue

muscles ache

swelling and redness

low-grade fever

Unable to concentrate

numbness and tingling in the hands and feet

hair loss

skin rashes

With autoimmune diseases like psoriasis or RA, symptoms come and go. Periods of symptoms are called flare-ups. Periods when the symptoms go away are called remissions.

How are autoimmune diseases treated?

There is no cure to autoimmune diseases yet but they can control the overactive immune response and bring down inflammation through usage of drugs. The drugs could help to relieve symptoms like pain, swelling, fatigue, and skin rashes.

For psoriasis disease, there is a soy-based product which had claimed to cured many psoriasis patients. There are testimonials from the patients too.

In a Nutshell

Autoimmune disease is caused by our immune system mistakenly think that our own cell is harmful to us. There is no cure yet to this disease and doctors could only control and relieve the pain.

The best what can the patient do is to control the diet and seek medical advice from an expert.

 

Here are the 14 types of autoimmune diseases.

1. Type 1 diabetes

2. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

3. Psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis

4. Multiple sclerosis

5. Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus)

6. Inflammatory bowel disease

7. Addison’s disease

8. Graves’ disease

9. Sjögren’s syndrome

10. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis

11. Myasthenia gravis

12. Vasculitis

13. Pernicious anemia

14. Celiac disease

 

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