Anyone can develop an autoimmune condition, a group of disorders that cause the immune system to mistakenly attack healthy body cells and tissues. These disorders, which exceed 80 in number can affect almost every body part or system and may lead to disability, debilitation or even death if untreated.
The majority of Autoimmune Diseases can be identified through blood tests. These tests, which can be administered by a physician to determine the presence of antibodies that are not normally produced. These antibodies can cause inflammation and pain in joints and other parts of the body.
There are several types of auto-immune diseases, each with its own a distinct diagnosis and treatment plan. Some, like Lupus, affect the joints. Others, such as Crohn’s disease or inflammatory bowel disease affect other organs.
A person suffering from an autoimmune condition may present with symptoms that differ between individuals and is difficult to diagnose. These disorders often cause joint pain, fatigue, and weakness of muscles.
A doctor might suggest medication to relieve the symptoms of an autoimmune disorder, which can include drugs that suppress the immune system. These drugs can be extremely efficient, but they may cause adverse reactions, therefore you should not take frequently.
Certain autoimmune disorders are linked to genes, past infections and environmental factors. Other autoimmune disorders could be caused by factors other than genetics and the immune system.
Although the incidence of autoimmune diseases is higher among women than they are for men, this is not always true. The most prevalent autoimmune diseases are rheumatoid arthritis type 1 diabetes, lupus and thyroid disease.
It is important to note that autoimmune diseases can be diagnosed in children too. While many doctors aren’t aware of the causes of these diseases in children, they do know that it could be related to their genes, as well as many other unidentified causes.
The good news is that scientists and doctors are always trying to better understand these complex illnesses. Some of the most famous researchers in this field are located at Boston Children’s. They are constantly searching for new methods to diagnose, treat, and understand autoimmune diseases.
Autoimmune Diseases in Children
There are more than 80 diseases and disorders that are classified as auto-immune. These conditions can be very difficult and require multiple medical visits before a diagnosis is made.
Typically doctors will inquire about a patient’s medical history and conduct physical examinations to assess the body and determine how the immune system is working. The doctor will also check the affected areas for signs of pain or inflammation.
A blood test may identify an autoimmune disease. However, other tests like an eye examination and a skin biopsy could be required. A physician may also review the medical records of the patient as well as family history to make an accurate diagnosis.
The aim is to lessen symptoms and prevent the disease from advancing. In most instances, this is accomplished by avoiding triggers for the disease or by taking specific medications. Patients suffering from autoimmune diseases might also benefit from other treatments such as surgery and plasmapheresis.