Autoimmune Diseases are becoming an epidemic in America. These diseases start when your immune system, which is supposed to protect your body from bacteria and viruses, instead attacks your own tissues. As a result the organs, muscles and joints of the body are destroyed. The different types of diseases will attack different body parts. For example Rheumatoid Arthritis attacks the joints of the body. According to studies there are over 80 types of diseases that are classified as Autoimmune. Many of these have very similar symptoms, which makes it difficult for the doctors to tell which type you have. Add to this the fact that you can have multiple disorders at the same time. The disorders will have times that there are very few symptoms, which is known as remission. While other times there can be multiple symptoms, which are called flare-ups. There is no definitive cause for these disorders but there are theories. Some studies seem to indicate that there may be a hereditary link. Other studies indicate that there may be external causes like a bacteria, virus, drug use, chemical or environmental irritants. More study is needed to narrow down the cause. Some common types are:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): The joints are affected causing inflammation and damage.
- Type 1 Diabetes: The pancreas is affected resulting in the organ not producing insulin.
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS): The brain and nerves are affected
- Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD): The connective tissues are affected
- Lupus: The skin, organs, and joints are affected
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS): The small and large intestines are affected
- Psoriasis: The skin is affected
- Hashimoto’s Disease: The thyroid gland is affected
- Addison’s Disease: The adrenal gland is affected
As you can see there are many types of Autoimmune diseases. Many of the disorders cause significant pain which is treated by a number of pain medications. A holistic lifestyle with nutritional food, moderate exercise, meditation, and good sleep can help with the symptoms. If you want to know more about these disorders visit the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association website. Below is an interesting video I found on the topic.