Autoimmune Disease - Health Center

Autoimmune Disease

By Refadoc, Posted on : Tuesday, 15 September 2015 - 10:46 am IST

Around 50 million people all over the world suffer from auto Immune diseases.

An autoimmune disease is the one which develops when the immune system of the body, which is responsible for defending the body against the diseases, decides to fight against the body’s own healthy cells.

Auto Immune Diseases are the ones that can either affect one tissue or many tissues of the body. Auto Immune Diseases cause the abnormal growth in the organs and can also change the organ function of the person.

Types of Auto Immune Diseases

There are some of the most common types of Auto Immune Diseases. They are:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: This affects the joints and the surrounding tissues of the person.
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: This affects the skin, joints, kidneys, brain as well as other organs.
  • Multiple Sclerosis: This affects the brain and the spinal cord.
  • Celiac Sprue Disease: This causes the damage to the lining of the small intestine.
  • Pernicious Anaemia: This leads to the decrease in the amount of the RBC’s which is caused due to the inability of the cells to absorb Vitamin B12.
  • Vitiligo: This causes the white patches over the skin due to the loss of the pigments.
  • Scleroderma: This is caused when the connective tissue of the body causes the changes in the skin, blood vessels as well as the internal organs.
  • Psoriasis: This is a skin condition which leads to the redness as well as irritation accompanied with the thick, flaky and silvery white patches.
  • Hashimoto’s Disease: This is an inflammation of the thyroid gland.
  • Addison’s disease: This leads to the insufficiency in the adrenal hormone.

Causes for Auto Immune Diseases:

The major cause of the Auto Immune Diseases is unknown.

However, since it can be linked to heredity, if a family member suffers from an autoimmune disease, then your chance to develop one is increased manifold.

Also, some of the other causes for Auto Immune Disease are as follows:

  • Bacteria or virus infection.
  • Drugs
  • Chemical Irritants
  • Environmental Irritants

Signs and Symptoms of Auto Immune Diseases

Since there are many different kinds of Auto Immune Diseases, the symptoms tend to vary.

However, some of the major symptoms are fatigue, fever, a general feeling of illness, etc. Some of the most common organs which are affected by the disease are as follows:

  • Joints
  • Muscles
  • Skin
  • Red Blood Cells
  • Blood Vessels
  • Connective Tissues
  • Endocrine Glands (Pancreas, Pituitary Gland, Adrenal Gland, Thyroid Gland)

Diagnosis of Auto Immune Diseases

The Immune System is known to produce antibodies in order to fight against the foreign bodies in the body, such as virus, bacteria, fungi as well as the parasites.

However, when a person is suffering from an autoimmune disease, then the body forms the antibodies against the body’s own tissues. The diagnosis of the autoimmune disease goes out to identify the antibodies in the body.

Some of the major tests for the diagnosis of the autoimmune diseases are as follows:

  • Antinuclear Antibody tests: In this, patient is tested for the type of the antibodies which are formed in the body. If it is an antinuclear antibody, then it is the one which attacks the nuclei cells of the body.
  • Antibody Tests: In this, several tests are done in order to look for the antibodies of the own tissues.
  • Complete Blood Count: This goes out to measure the number of the red and white blood cells in the blood. If the immune system is fighting against something, then the number of the cells will greatly vary.
  • C Reactive Protein: The elevated number of the CRP cells in the body is an indicative of inflammation throughout the body.
  • ESR (Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate): This test goes out to measure the inflammation in the body.

Treatment and Drugs for Auto Immune Diseases

When the autoimmune diseases arise chronically, there is no known cure for the disease. The treatment options for the disease include the control of the process of the disease in order to decrease the symptoms during the flare ups.

Below are the things which can be done in order to control the symptoms of the disease:

  • Consuming a balanced diet.
  • Regular exercises.
  • Plenty of rest.
  • Vitamin supplements.
  • Hormone replacement therapy.
  • Blood transfusions.
  • Anti inflammatory medications.
  • Pain medications.
  • Immunosuppressive medications.
  • Physical Therapy.
  • Limiting of the sun exposure.
  • Herbs
  • Acupuncture
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