Suffering from an autoimmune disease can make your life challenging. These diseases are mostly misunderstood by both the health care provider and the patient. Autoimmune diseases can be characterised by very vague symptoms which can make the diagnosis difficult. So, here are a few facts about autoimmune diseases that will make you or your loved one’s to live with the condition a little easier.
Autoimmune diseases make a person’s body to fight itself
The immune system in a healthy body functions to know the difference between the body’s own cells and the cells that are foreign to the body. This differentiation lets the immune system fight off harmful foreign cells. However, people who suffer from autoimmune diseases have a malfunctioning immune system which attacks the normal cells.
Also read : 7 Signs you have an Autoimmune Disease
There are more than 80 types of autoimmune diseases
Some of the many types of autoimmune diseases include celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, endometriosis, Guillain-Baree syndrome, narcolepsy, psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Autoimmune disorders can be genetic
It has been noticed that members of the same family are more likely to develop the same or similar autoimmune diseases. But, it isn’t only the genes that play a role. Environmental factors and infections also have a role to play in triggering autoimmune diseases in a person.
These diseases are not allergies
Symptoms of autoimmune diseases can be mistaken for allergic reactions. But, the fact remains that both these conditions are completely different. For example, a person suffering from wheat allergy and a person suffering from Celiac disease will be treated similarly, but, in the case of wheat allergy the body's cells are not attacking it's own cells the difference remains that the body of the person suffering from wheat allergy is not attacking itself and he not at a risk of intestinal damage, nutritional deficiencies and other risks associated with Celiac diseases.
Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia are not autoimmune diseases
Both the conditions are classified as autoimmune diseases frequently because they share common symptoms. Although these are different conditions, experts suggest that fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue may both be associated with autoimmune diseases.
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