Did you know that there are over 100 different autoimmune diseases? One would think that autoimmune diseases are rare, but did you know that, according to the National Institutes of Health, this category of diseases affect more than 24 million people in the United States?
Here is a list of the most common:
Type 1 Diabetes
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
For a complete list of autoimmune diseases click here.
So what is an autoimmune disease?
To put it simply, autoimmune diseases occur when your bodies own defense system (immune system) attacks normal cells in your body. Normally your immune system is there to protect you from bacteria, viruses, fungi and other foreign chemicals.
In an autoimmune disease, the immune system mistakenly attacks cells and tissue like your joints or skin. Some autoimmune diseases attack one part of your body while others affect the whole body.
So, why does this happen? Honestly, we really don’t know. What we do know is:
Women get twice the number of autoimmune diseases as men.
Usually women start do develop autoimmune diseases between the ages of 15 and 44 years old.
Sometimes autoimmune diseases are hereditary. If you had a family member with an autoimmune disease then you have a higher risk of developing an autoimmune disease.
Your diet can put at risk of developing an autoimmune disease. Most of us are sensitive to certain foods. These foods can cause inflammation that will set off an immune response.
A disappointing statistic is that many patients often go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for 5 years or longer.
Some general autoimmune symptoms to look for are:
Fatigue (tired all the time)
Swelling and redness on the skin
Low-grade fever (99-101)
Numbness and tingling of the hands and feet
Each autoimmune disease can have their own list of symptoms. Early on in the progression you might notice several of the symptoms listed above. With most of the autoimmune disease you may experience “flare-ups”. The disease will be extremely noticeable then it will go into remission for a period of time.
How can Regel PharmaLab help you determine if you have an autoimmune disease?
We can do some preliminary testing or refer you to a physician that is trained to look for these difficult diseases.
The initial blood test will look for antinuclear antibodies (ANA test). This will indicate that you likely have an autoimmune disease. More specific tests can be performed to determine what autoimmune disease you may have.
Another interesting fact about autoimmune diseases is that it is very common to have more than one autoimmune disease.
What can I do if I have an autoimmune disease?
1. Eliminate Gluten from your diet - Contact me for more information on this.
2. Reduce stress through exercise and other means
3. Take the right vitamins and minerals for your specific autoimmune disease. Contact me for a list customized for you.