The Immune System
Before looking into autoimmune diseases themselves, it’s important to have an understanding of the system that it affects. The immune system is a combination of the organs, tissues, cells and associated process that provide resistance and protect the body from pathogens that can otherwise cause illness or even death.
What are Autoimmune Diseases?
Autoimmune diseases are essentially abnormal responses to internal proteins, cells and tissues. In essence, the body’s immune system attacks the components of the body itself in addition to the correct response of attacking external pathogens such as viruses and harmful bacteria. The process by which this happens, is the production of antibodies that actually target the healthy, necessary cells of the body and can cause a whole host of issues ranging from inflammation, all the way up to altered organ function.
There over 80 known autoimmune diseases affecting various organs and systems within the body, most with similar symptoms making the diagnosis a difficult and sometimes long drawn out task for healthcare professionals.
To complicate matters even further, autoimmune disease ( uvlrx.com/auto-immune-disea... ) can often occur alongside each other, affecting multiple organs or systems.
What Causes Autoimmune Diseases?
A lot more research is required in order to understand the causes of immune diseases, but it is generally thought that there are numerous potential factors involved including:
●Exposure to bacteria and viruses
●Exposure to chemicals or toxins
Typically, the consensus is that some sort of trigger causes autoimmune diseases to surface, meaning that a genetic predisposition alone is not enough to cause it, but simply that it makes it more likely that a trigger will have that effect.
Warning Signs of Autoimmune Disease
There are many symptoms to watch out for, and as noted earlier, different autoimmune diseases share commonality in this area. Some of the most common symptoms include:
●Fatigue and tiredness
As you can see, these symptoms could be indicative of a whole other range of problems so diagnosis is a difficult proposition. Even if a person shows all of the above symptoms, it does not necessarily mean that they have an autoimmune disease, but they should consult with a doctor regardless for an actual diagnosis.
Treatments for Autoimmune Diseases
There are numerous non medical treatments that sufferers should try to manage by themselves. Probably the most important are preventative actions by the patient themself - to try to avoid the trigger(s) if known, taking regular exercise, increase in rest, and a decrease in stress.
Medically, immunosuppressants are prescribed in order to suppress the patient’s immune system to reduce the severity of the reaction. Alongside the preventative measures, pain medication and anti-inflammatories are used to tackle the symptoms of the disease.
Traditionally, medication is used to reduce the inflammatory response, but recently light therapies have been growing in popularity. One of the effects of such treatments is a reduction in inflammation. Because there is no medication involved, the side effects are minimal to none, making this a good choice for patients who want to avoid such complications.