What You Need to Know about Autoimmune Disorders

September 2, 2022

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Our immune system acts as a guard against bacteria and viruses. They can differentiate foreign substances versus our own cells. So, when the body senses foreign invaders also known as antigen, the immune system works to eliminate them. 

On the other hand, immune system disorders happen when there are abnormal activities in it. The two classifications are low activity and overactivity. Overactive immune system is when the body attacks and damages its own tissues while low active decreases the body’s ability to fight infections.

Women and Autoimmune Disorders

According to the National Library of Medicine, women are more susceptible to autoimmune disorders than men because the larger number of genes originating from the X chromosome, a far greater possibility of a larger number of mutations occurring. In which women have two X chromosomes, whereas men possess only one. The risk factors include childbearing stage of a woman, having a family history of the disease or being exposed to certain environmental factors such as climate, stress, cigarette, occupation and diet.

Research shows that the underlying autoimmune disease can already be present for many years or even decades before it manifests later in life.

There are 80 types of autoimmune diseases. The most common types are:

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Rheumatoid Arthritis. This type of autoimmune disorder attacks the lining of the joints, causing painful swelling and stiffness.

Although there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, there are effective ways to manage pain and reduce swelling. You can also try taking Vitamin D to boost your immune system.

Lupus. Everyday, around 5 million people worldwide face the health consequences of lupus. It is a chronic autoimmune disease that can be fatal and affect the heart, skin, lungs, kidneys and brain.

Some of the lupus symptoms are: rashes, chest pain, fever, hair loss, kidney problems, muscle and joint pain, mouth sores, anemia and eye disease.

The best way to keep lupus under control is to take care of yourself, get enough sleep and rest, and avoid staying under the sun for too long. 

Psoriasis. A skin condition that causes patches of thick red skin and silvery scales. It usually appears on the elbows, knees, scalp, lower back, face, palms, and soles of feet. Psoriasis happens when your skin cells are replaced faster than usual and you have a weakened immune system.

Sunlight is good for people with psoriasis as it slows down the rapid rate of skin growth and shedding. Having a hot bath or showers can also help hydrate the skin.

Type 1 Diabetes. A chronic autoimmune disorder that prevents your pancreas from producing insulin and requires daily insulin injections and blood sugar monitoring.

Here are some symptoms that you need to watch out for: urinating frequently, losing weight without exercising, having blurry vision, and getting tired easily.

Improving your diet and lifestyle can prevent severe complications of Type 1 diabetes.

Multiple Sclerosis. A disease that affects the brain, spinal cord and nerves. The primary signs are: you may feel dizzy, tired, muscle spasms and may have lack of coordination.

It’s difficult to determine multiple sclerosis, thus a thorough examination and medical history is needed.

Just like the other autoimmune disorders, there’s no cure for multiple sclerosis, but you can ask your doctor for medicines and treatment that could ease its symptoms. 

Listen well and keep track of what’s happening to your body. Trust your instinct. If it tells you something is wrong, consult your doctor right away. Remember that early diagnosis provides better outcomes. 

People with autoimmune disease are considered high risks for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. That’s why securing a health plan which covers you until your senior years is important.

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Whatever your situation, it’s important to have a health strategy. Take action now so you can redirect away from any financial stress during these uncertain times.