autoimmune disease treatment

Know Your Enemy: How to Approach Autoimmune Disease Treatment

Being one of the most common causes of mortality in developing countries, autoimmune diseases are a very serious matter. Learning all we can about them means taking the first step towards treatment. Unfortunately, the difficult road to getting a diagnosis is one of the main problems with this disease type.

About the Diseases

The human immune system is our foremost line of defense against the microorganisms and other threats that come from the outside of our bodies. As such, our immune system is like an organ itself. It uses our blood cells to tackle any problem that the foreign organism or material may have caused.

Autoimmune diseases disable our immune systems by turning it against our own bodies. This means that our body begins trying to solve problems that aren’t there, starting to fight our organs and even our blood. To learn how to fight such a disease, you need to truly know your enemy.

Disease Types

There are more than 100 different types of autoimmune diseases (ADs) that vary in severity and treatment options. Let’s look at some of the most common ADs.

  • Multiple sclerosis – Affects the brain and the spinal cord. It can severely impact one’s life quality, potentially ending fatally.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis – Arthritis that affects the joints.
  • Psoriasis – An autoimmune condition marked by scaly, thickened skin patches.
  • Psoriatic arthritis – Affects people with psoriasis.
  • Lupus – A rare disease that can target any number of different organs in the human body.
  • Thyroid diseases

Most autoimmune disease types are chronic, but they can often be alleviated and even sent into remission.

Prevention Is the Best Cure

With so many different types of ADs and so many symptoms involved, the best way to ensure a healthy life is to prevent the development of the disease in the first place, or at least slow down its progress by having it diagnosed on time. In order to stop these diseases in their tracks, however, you’ll need to do some research.

Family History

The cause of autoimmune diseases is one of the most debated topics in the medical community. In truth, no one can tell what may cause one’s immune system to turn against your body. However, some people are genetically more prone to developing an autoimmune disease.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily going to get multiple sclerosis if your mother suffered from it. However, you should do everything in your power to take care of yourself if someone in your family was diagnosed with an AD.

It all starts with food and a healthy lifestyle. Add physical activity to the equation and you can rest assured that you’ve done everything in your power to protect yourself against ADs.

Good Diet

If you want to prevent or treat ADs, start with low-sodium, low-fat, and low-cholesterol foods and no refined sugars. Consuming high-fiber foods and plenty of vitamins will protect your immune system.

Knowing the Symptoms

One of the main problems with autoimmune diseases is that they are rarely detected early, which may be the key to successful treatment. These afflictions do not share a typical set of symptoms. For example, lupus targets the kidneys in some cases, while in others, it targets the liver or the lungs. The issue here is that many ADs may behave as a completely benign ailment.

Take kidney failure, for instance. The organ may be failing for to a wide variety of reasons, and it can take doctors too long to pinpoint an autoimmune disease as the cause.

But knowing when to go to the doctor is key here, and learning about the symptoms may very well save your life. Here are some symptoms to watch out for, especially if you have a family history of ADs.

  • Fatigue – Unusual sudden onset of fatigue that keeps happening for days on end.
  • Joint pain and swelling – Swollen joints without a known cause (injury, medication).
  • Skin problems – Unusual butterfly-shaped rashes in the nose/mouth area.
  • Digestive issues – Abdominal pain or digestive issues that won’t pass for weeks.
  • Swollen glands
  • Recurring fever

Holistic Medicine

The main problem with autoimmune disease treatment is that science hasn’t progressed enough to deliver a simple cure or treatment. So taking the holistic, alternative medicine approach is not a bad idea. If applied alongside medical treatments, alternative medicine can help slow the disease or at least alleviate the pain.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids – Commonly found in fish products, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are very effective and are healthy overall. This is because these acids possess immunomodulatory activities, helping you control the rate of your metabolism. However, AD treatments based on omega-3 are still being researched.
  • Acupuncture – This traditional form of medicine is extremely beneficial to your body in general, and it simply means that tiny needles are inserted in the surface level of your skin. When it comes to autoimmune disease pain relief, acupuncture is well-known as a joint pain remedy. The method isn’t painful or dangerous.
  • Yoga – It may sound strange, but yoga is a huge stress reliever and stress has been linked to autoimmune diseases. Practicing and performing yoga will improve your lifestyle in many ways, in addition to preventing potential autoimmune disease occurrence.

Be an Autoimmune Warrior

As someone who’s struggling with an autoimmune disease, you can become a part of a larger community. Being an autoimmune warrior means being strong for yourself, but also strong for others. Joining the community will help you live with your disease and find ways to alleviate the ailment.

Friends, family, doctors, and the support of other warriors are all a necessary part of finding the best autoimmune disease treatment for you.

Go to the Doctor

Doing a yearly checkup at the doctor is fine by default, but if you are experiencing two or more of the listed symptoms, talk with a doctor about your concerns right away. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Autoimmune diseases can turn out to be a nightmare if not detected promptly. Work with your friends, family, and your doctor to fight this immunological disorder.







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