Autoimmune Disorders

Autoimmune Disorders:

What are Autoimmune Disorders? Autoimmune disorders cause the body to attack itself.  Our bodies are supposed to create antibodies to attack infections, and foreign invaders, but in this case, it attacks it’s own tissues. These are chronic, forever diseases that have no cure.  Here is a list of some autoimmune disorders.

Rheumatoid Arthritis:

This autoimmune disorder causes the immune system to create antibodies to attack the joints.  The joints get inflammation, swelling, and pain. The joint damage can be permanent. Finding a correct medication is difficult for this one.  Treatments range from oral medication, injectable medications, and infusions. 

Lupus:

This autoimmune disorder causes the immune system to create antibodies that attack tissues throughout the body.  The joints, lungs, blood cells, nerves, and kidneys are commonly affected. Treatments are usually a daily steroid to help reduce the immune system function.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS):

This autoimmune disorder causes the immune system to attack nerve cells.  This can cause blindness, pain, poor coordination, weakness, and muscle spasms. Treatment tends to suppress the immune system. 


Crohn’ Disease:

This autoimmune disorder causes the immune system to attack the digestive tract. This can cause inflammation and tissue damage causing abdominal cramps, diarrhea, urgent bowel movements, bleeding, and weight loss.  Treatments are usually to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. 

Graves Disease:

This autoimmune disorder causes the immune system to stimulate the thyroid gland resulting in excess amounts of thyroid hormone in the blood.  This can cause bulging eyes, weight loss, irritability, rapid heart rate, weakness, and brittle hair.  To treat Graves Disease, surgery to remove the thyroid gland is a typical response. 

There are many more diseases that are autoimmune, but these are a few to introduce you. Remember that these are tough to live with and debilitating. If you know someone who has an autoimmune disease, give them a gentle hug and be as supportive as you can.