Autoimmune Disease Treatment in Sanibel, FL
Every cell inside your body has a function. Sometimes, these cells are attacked when your immune system mistakes them for something foreign—something that shouldn't be there. This causes your body's defense system to try to eliminate those cells from the body, causing a variety of health problems. This is known as autoimmune disease.
Autoimmune disease can attack many different tissues or organs of the body. There are over 80 types of autoimmune diseases and the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association estimates that 50 million Americans are living with one of them.
Learn more about autoimmune disease today: Call (239) 425-2900 or contact Dr. Doreen DeStefano online.
Types of Autoimmune Diseases
Because the immune system is responsible for defending the entire body, it's possible for an autoimmune disease to develop in just about any area or system. Here's a list of some of the most common autoimmune conditions, though the list is much longer:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (Lupus)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Celiac disease
- Pernicious anemia
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Type 1 diabetes
- Hashimoto's disease
- Addison's disease
- Temporal arteritis
- Grave's disease
What Causes Autoimmune Disease?
The exact cause of an autoimmune disease will vary depending on which disease is present. However, researchers do believe that a few common factors may contribute to most types of autoimmune disease. These include:
- Environmental factors
- Chemical irritants
- Medication reactions
- Bacteria and viruses
Autoimmune Disease Symptoms
Symptoms will vary depending on what disease is present, as each autoimmune disease affects the body differently.
For example, if you have Hashimoto's thyroiditis your thyroid function will decline. You may have hair loss, intolerance to cold, feel fatigued , or experience heart palpitations. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis will experience joint pain, swelling, and stiffness.
Symptoms of an autoimmune disease tend to come and go and may be vague or hard to diagnose. You may experience symptoms for several days or weeks and find that they get better for a time. Some people may have relapses for years before symptoms return.
Autoimmune Disease Treatment & Diagnosis
Your healthcare provider will start by gathering your medical history and listening to an explanation of your symptoms. They will likely conduct a physical exam and collect a blood sample .
There are specific blood tests that can show elevated immune responses in the body. Your doctor may look for these results or perform other diagnostics on a specific organ.
There is no cure for an autoimmune disease, but symptoms can be mitigated and controlled. This may mean taking medications, receiving surgery or various other treatment protocols. Common treatments for autoimmune diseases include:
- Prescription medication
- Getting plenty of rest
- Exercising regularly
- Avoiding known triggers
- Physical therapy
- Taking vitamin supplements
- Avoiding stress
Call (239) 425-2900 or contact Dr. Doreen DeStefano online today for more information about autoimmune disease treatment.
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