What Is an Autoimmune Disease?

The body has its own first line of defence in the immune system. However as with all armies there can be trouble and the immune system is no different. So what is an autoimmune disease? It is one where the immune system of the body has an overactive response leading to harm to the body tissues.

In other words it is like friendly fire where instead of shooting the enemy, the gun shoots its own soldiers. So the immune system mistakes the regular normal body cells to be a pathogen and then attacks them.healthwatchcenter.com/2012/09/what-is-an-autoimmune-disease

Causes of autoimmune disorders

A number of antigens like bacteria, viruses, toxins, etc, can harm the human body. The white blood cells from the immune system fight these antigens. What is an autoimmune disease to do with antigens? Everything possible, as in these disorders the immune system gets confused and cannot tell the difference between antigens and regular healthy body cells and tissues.

So an autoimmune disorder may cause the demolition of one or more kinds of body cells. It can cause changes in the functioning of an organ or even cause the abnormal growth of some cells of the organ. It can also cause you to have different emotional responses than what you would ordinarily have. This is because your body is literally at war with itself.

Diagnosing autoimmune disorders

How does a doctor distinguish what is an autoimmune disease? Since there are any number of these disorders possible based on the disease and location of the abnormal response of the immune system it can be confusing to distinguish the auto immune disorders. Some common symptoms are a feeling of fatigue, fever due to the internal infection, or malaise or general feeling of ill being.

If the health care professional suspects an auto immune disease he will follow up the physical examination with a number of tests to diagnose the exact auto immune disease the patient is suffering from. These tests include antinuclear antibody tests, autoantibody tests, CBC, C- reactive protein test, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Your symptoms will define which of the tests you need to undergo to help in the confirmation and diagnosis of the auto immune disorder you are suspected of having.

Treatment of autoimmune disorders

The essential treatment of the disorders here is to tone down the response of the immune system to its mistaken pathogen. What is an autoimmune disease’s best treatment option? That can only be determined by the attending doctor. Some of them need specific medication, and some of them need a special diet, while some may require specific physical treatment. In some cases the auto immune process needs to be controlled but at the same time the body’s natural ability to fight disease must not be compromised.

The best combination of these will be used. It all depends on just what goes wrong in that particular auto immune disease. It is important to understand that chronic illnesses can be draining both physically and emotionally. So a personal support system will come in very handy when dealing with an auto immune disease. The better you understand the disease the more accepting you will be of the treatment.

Posted in: Immune Disorders

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