Autoimmune Diseases

What’s wrong with my immune system?

 types of autoimmune disorders

When the immune system begins to misbehave it may not act in a way that helps your body, but can create many different painful conditions.

With all of the types of autoimmune disorders the immune system is either not functioning enough or it is functioning too well and attacking healthy tissues in your body. Autoimmune disorders can affect organs, muscles and tissues around the joints.

Chronic pain and autoimmune disorders

One acknowledged issue with treating autoimmune disorders is that they most commonly come with chronic pain.

Chronic pain can be difficult to understand for people who don’t experience it, but it can reduce someone’s ability to move, and their quality of life significantly.

There are many options for treating chronic pain that can range from pharmaceutical methods to diet and lifestyle changes.

Most frequently it is a combination of approaches that will help a person deal with their chronic pain and not one approach that cures it.

How many types of autoimmune disorders are there?

There are hundreds of disorders that are recognized as being caused by autoimmune issues. There is more and more evidence that conditions such as certain cancers and even schizophrenia may also be an autoimmune disorder as well. Here are just some of the most common types of autoimmune disorders diagnosed.

Addison’s disease

Addison’s disease is a rare disorder in which the adrenal glands malfunction and are not producing enough steroidal hormones to resist certain inflammation.

People with the disorder often suffer from severe abdominal pain. Untreated, it can move into a crisis stage that can lead to coma and death.

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a condition in which there is chronic pain throughout the body that includes localized tender areas. The pain is in the muscle and bone structure.

It is not known what the exact malfunction of the autoimmune system is that causes it, but it is thought to have a connection to the release of steroidal hormones in the body.

Autoimmune disorder related arthritis

Common autoimmune disorders include a large variety of arthritis types. Arthritis can be a result of the swelling of the tissues and cells in the body, primarily around the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful autoimmune condition that is common.

Autoimmune Allergies

One of the most common types of autoimmune disorders is allergies. Some types of allergies are directly related to the body’s inability to reduce inflammation as a result of exposure, or to act too strongly in reaction to exposure to a substance.

Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease

Characterized by a sudden loss of hearing in one ear, vertigo, a feeling of fullness in the ear and a steady decline in hearing in the remaining ear; autoimmune inner ear disease can be frightening.

It is caused by the immune system suddenly seeing the healthy inner ear tissue as a virus or harmful bacteria and attacking the healthy tissue.

Grave’s Disease

Grave’s disease is more common in women than in men. It causes overactivity in the thyroid gland that can lead to swelling, malfunctioning of the thyroid and bulging eyes.

It causes chronic fatigue, pain, high blood pressure and general malaise. Grave’s disease affects all of the systems of the body, including the skin and nervous system.

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis is a progressive autoimmune disorder that attacks the nerve sheaves in the brain and spinal cord. It reduces the person’s ability to move and speak until it is eliminated altogether and can cause chronic pain as well.

The process with which MS occurs is not understood well as it is focused on the nervous system which is only beginning to be understood. Treatment is usually focused on relieving discomfort and trying to promote nerve protection.

Eczema

Eczema is just one of the types of autoimmune disorders that affect the skin. With eczema the skin cells become inflamed. This may cause the skin cells to itch, burn, bleed, weep and harden as well.

Unfortunately, scratching can break the skin that then will widen the rash type inflammation as it will spread to healthy skin cells and cause the immune system to attack there.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is another of the skin conditions that are an autoimmune disorder. With this condition, the immune system sends healthy skin cells to an area of the body as if to repair damaged cells.

This overproduction of skin cells leads them to build into hardened, itchy, scales or plaques on the exterior of the skin.

Guillian Barre Syndrome

This disorder affects the periphery nervous system and causes it to begin to malfunction and then shut down. It is characterized by a slow paralysis of the body, usually starting at the toes and working upwards towards the head.

It is considered to be a terminal condition because the paralysis will eventually affect all of the muscles involved with respiration and body functions. It is also sometimes referred to as the “locked-in” syndrome.

Vasculitis

Vasculitis is a condition in which the vascular system becomes inflamed. The veins can become so enlarged that they can also burst.

Common symptoms include vision loss, fever, weight loss and the appearance of localized points of lividity on the body.

Restless Leg Syndrome

While many people are aware that this syndrome results in the uncontrollable urge to move the legs, which can disrupt sleep and cause other problems; they aren’t aware that the movement is caused by perceived discomfort in the limbs.

RLS is considered to be an autoimmune disorder that attacks the nervous system causing the wrong signals to be sent and responded to by the body.

Primary Sclerotizing Cholangitis

This autoimmune disease causes an inflammation of the bile ducts that prevents the processing of bile. It has been directly connected to contributing to liver disease, cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Getting help for all types of autoimmune disorders

There are many ways you can get help to manage your autoimmune disorder. The treatments tend to focus on a biopsychosocial model that addresses the physical and the effects of the pain and stress on other areas of your life.

New advances have been made in the treatment of all of these disorders that will enable you to improve the quality of your life greatly.

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