When the Body Attacks Itself

Your body’s biggest defender is the immune system. It is designed to protect you against everything from bacteria, infections, to viruses, to allergens.

Like any good defence system, when it encounters something it doesn’t recognize, it starts up in order to help kill or overcome the “intruder” and protect the body.

 Amazing as this is, the immune system sometimes gets confused and starts to see our own organs as “intruders” causing inflammation and in some severe cases, destruction.

Photo Credit:  Why Zebra’s Don’t Get Ulcers

Photo Credit: Why Zebra’s Don’t Get Ulcers

 According to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA), 50 million Americans — 20 percent of the population, or one in five people — suffer from autoimmune disease. These diseases predominantly strike women, who suffer from about 75 percent of all autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune diseases are more common during childbearing years, and frequently appear in women who have just had a baby, after periods of high emotional or physical stress or accidents, during periods of hormonal change such as peri-menopause, or after starting birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy.

The most common autoimmune disease are those that affect the thyroid which include: Graves' Disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.  

Other common autoimmune diseases include: Celiac Disease, Diabetes Mellitus, Vitiligo, Rheumatic Fever, Pernicious Anemia, Atrophic Gastritis, Alopecia AreataPolycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), Cushing’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis.

 Risk factors and symptoms for autoimmune disease can run into the hundreds and can help determine a more specific condition. There are a number of symptoms that are common across many different autoimmune diseases and should be checked by a medical professional as soon as they are noticed, these include:

 ·      Chronic low-grade fever of unknown origin

·      Joint and muscle pain

·       General muscle weakness

·       Greater susceptibility to infections, slower recovery from infections

·      Frequent rashes of unknown origin

·       Regular fatigue, debilitating fatigue

·      Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet

·       Dry eyes

·       Dry mouth

·       Hair loss

·       Shortness of breath

·       Heart palpitations

·       Unexplained weight changes

·       Recurrent miscarriage

·       Mood changes, unexplained depression

·       Concentration and memory problems

Autoimmune disease can be very difficult to treat and diagnose. If you are experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms, please advocate for your health! If you are living with an autoimmune disease and suffering from any sort of symptoms, please give us a call or book an appointment. ONE80 Health several tools and resources that can help you.