What are autoimmune diseases?
An autoimmune disorder is a condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy tissue in the body. Blood vessels, connective tissues, endocrine glands such as the thyroid and pancreas. Then joints, muscles, red blood cells, and skin. There are more than a hundred autoimmune diseases. Including Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, vasculitis, lupus, and Edison’s disease.
Autoimmune diseases affect women more than men. Represent one of the ten most common killers of women under the age of 65. They are usually hereditary, so if one of your family members has. Lupus, you will be at higher risk of developing the disease.
Most of them can be chronic, and it depends on the patient whether he will be able to cope with it. Therapies aim to reduce symptoms, control autoimmune processes. Maintain the body’s ability to fight disease.
Autoimmune diseases occur when the immune system makes mistakes. Attacks its tissues and organs. The immune system is, designed to defend the organism from various microorganisms. In healthy people, it does not make mistakes. Makes a clear distinction between its cells and pathogenic microorganisms. When he is not able to do that, he attacks his organs as if they were someone else’s. This is why autoimmune diseases occur. Blood vessels, connective tissues, pancreas and thyroid gland, joints, muscles, red blood cells. Skin is most often endangered in this destructive campaign.
How many autoimmune diseases are there?
– Today we know about more than 80 percent of various autoimmune diseases. The most common of all are autoimmune diseases of the thyroid gland and Sjögren’s syndrome. Unfortunately, the exact mechanism of occurrence of most of these diseases is not known. It is quite certain that most of them have a genetic predisposition. The disease is usually “triggered” by an infection or exposure to environmental toxins. Excessive exposure to sunlight. Whatever the reason, the immune system is activated in the wrong way. Further maintenance of the pathological process happens according to the “vicious circle” principle.
What type of person gets sick more often
For them, moral values are above all. It is difficult for them to survive in this competitive world that does not attach much importance to ethics.
These people live in conflict with themselves. Often feel remorse and resistance to what they have to do.
For example, if such a person performs work in a competitive work environment in which he or she needs to act to the detriment of colleagues. Which is not in line with his or her ethics, it will create suffering and remorse for him or her. But despite feeling bad, a person will do it because they “have to fit in.”
Such people live only through compromises. Wanting to please the work environment and the environment. Also, they often suffer from anxiety and depression. Which are also triggers for autoimmune diseases.
Because of the conflict that takes place within themselves. These individuals stop believing their judgments. Often have a lack of self-confidence and seek confirmation and approval from others.
Because their action is not in harmony with thoughts and feelings. A rift occurs between the physical and the subtle body.
This breakdown that occurs in the depths of the being is reflected in the cellular intelligence itself. Then the cooperation breaks down. A war begins between the physical body and its cells. So, your state of mind, or the mismatch between what you think and feel and what you live. Is the main reason you get an autoimmune disease.
Have you noticed when the symptoms of autoimmune diseases are most pronounced?
The most severe autoimmune reactions occur when you are under the most stress. That is precisely when you are experiencing a major emotional or ethical dilemma.
Several experts believe that autoimmune diseases are psychosomatic illnesses. Which means that they are closely related to the mind.
Some experts associate these diseases with unexpressed, repressed emotions. Which must have somehow surfaced.
But some go to extremes by claiming that people who have these diseases actually “invent”. Create their pain and suffering, which, of course, is not true.
How much do patients even know about their autoimmune disease?
– If it is not generally known, not enough. Therefore, they must be well educated to recognize the first signs of disease activation. Also to recognize the side effects of the medications they are taking the time. At the same time, it is very important that at the beginning of the disease. The doctor’s checkups are much more frequent until the disease is introduced into stable remission. Furthermore, controls are performed in certain periods. Depending on the disease in question. Although all this sounds complicated, most patients can lead an almost normal life. Albeit with certain limitations dictated by the disease.
Are autoimmune diseases curable?
– Autoimmune diseases are chronic and long-lasting. Most of them require constant therapy, to keep the disease in a calm phase. Immunosuppressive drugs are used for treatment. The most famous of which are corticosteroids, ie adrenal hormones. In severe forms of the disease, small doses of cytostatics are often used. Which have an immunosuppressive effect of this therapy (they hinder the further progression of the disease). However, when it comes to treatment. Something else is much more important here. Unlike most other diseases in medicine. In autoimmune, the cooperation between doctor and patient is extremely important.
What are the most common restrictions?
– All patients taking immunosuppressive drugs should be protected from infection. Patients suffering from systemic lupus are forbidden to sunbathe. Since women of reproductive age are more susceptible to the disease. They often ask doctors about pregnancy. The risk for both the mother and the fetus. When it comes to this problem, there is no universal answer.
The decision is made by a team of doctors. Each case is on its own. In general, pregnancy in patients with autoimmune diseases is possible. But it must occur in the quiet phase of the disease. While the disease is in remission. Because of that, pregnancy during the period when the disease is active. For example, with systemic lupus erythematosus and severe forms of systemic sclerosis. Can be very dangerous. Namely, it can worsen the course of the disease. At the same time, requires the use of drugs that can be dangerous for the fetus.
What can you do?
To prevent such mistakes by doctors, you must eliminate the possibility of suffering from such diseases.
- Check your family medical history in person
Current research shows that genetics are very important for the occurrence of many autoimmune diseases. So you should examine whether someone from a close or distant family has had such a disease.
- Record the symptoms
People with autoimmune disease often have symptoms that they do not remember to report to a doctor. Therefore, as soon as you notice that something strange is happening to your body. Write down the symptoms so that you do not forget them.
- Seek recommendations for a good doctor
There is no branch of medicine called “autoimmunology”. In Serbia, rheumatologists deal with this area.
Ask family members and friends, which hospital and doctor. They recommend and when you find him. Ask him about his experiences with autoimmune diseases. Do not hesitate to ask for a second or third opinion, because you need all available help.
Autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, and celiac disease are on the rise. But the reasons for this are not yet known. An early diagnosis can help you control the disease in time.