Are you experiencing achiness, feverishness, and constant fatigue? Do you find yourself frequently wondering about the cause of these symptoms? Have you ever questioned whether they might be due to an autoimmune disease or simply a result of your hectic and stressful lifestyle? Wouldn’t it be helpful to have a convenient tool like an to guide you toward better health?
Here’s all you need to know about autoimmune diseases and a comprehensive that can guide you in better understanding your symptoms. This will empower you to make informed health decisions and be in control of your well-being.
The terms “autoimmune disease” and “autoimmune disorder” are often used interchangeably. This is because the term “autoimmune disorder” serves as an umbrella category that encompasses different diseases sharing common characteristics.
- Autoimmune diseases occur when your body’s immune system becomes unable to distinguish between its own cells and foreign cells. As a result, the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own cells, leading to illness and health complications.
- The symptoms and severity of autoimmune diseases are influenced by several factors, including genetics, environmental factors, chronic stress, and diet/lifestyle choices.
- There’s usually no single test to diagnose autoimmune disease. Your doctor considers your symptoms and specific blood markers, and sometimes even a biopsy to diagnose an autoimmune disease.
- Autoimmune diseases share similar symptoms commonly experienced as symptoms of other diseases or symptoms influenced by lifestyle choices.
The Autoimmune Registry lists the following as the top 10 most common autoimmune diseases.
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroiditis
- Celiac disease
- Graves’ disease
- Diabetes mellitus, type 1
- Rheumatic fever
- Pernicious anemia/atrophic gastritis
- Alopecia areata
- Immune thrombocytopenic purpura
As you can see, there’s an extensive range of diseases on this list. However, they all fall under the immune disorder umbrella because they all flare up as a result of your body attacking itself.
Currently, there are 80 to 100 recognized autoimmune diseases that impact approximately 23.5 million Americans. However, the actual number of people affected by is likely higher since many cases go undiagnosed. Despite their somewhat mysterious nature, autoimmune diseases are surprisingly common.
Autoimmune diseases can affect various organs, muscles, joints, and other tissues. They also affect more than one part of the body, and your symptoms will depend on the body part(s) affected. Common symptoms of include:
Do you wake up tired, force yourself through your day feeling tired, and have trouble concentrating or remembering things? Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of autoimmune disease.
We aren’t talking about the late afternoon naptime crash. We’re talking about profound and debilitating fatigue that prevents you from doing the simplest everyday tasks. Autoimmune diseases like type I diabetes, anemia, pernicious anemia, silent celiac, Addison’s disease, and myocarditis can all knock you out for days or confine you to your bed when not attended to.
Joint pain and swelling
Do you have joint pain or swelling unrelated to any injury or known cause? Joint pain and swelling occur when your body’s immune system attacks itself. The attack causes inflammation, which causes your joint linings to thicken, leading to pain and swelling. Joints usually affected are:
Joint pain and swelling associated with autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis come on slowly over time and move around from joint to joint with no rhyme or reason.
Is your skin itchy, red, or swollen for no apparent reason? These can all be , including psoriasis, scleroderma, epidermolysis bullosa, dermatomyositis, and bullous pemphigoid.
Abdominal pain or digestive problems
Are you plagued by gut problems? Bloating, acid reflux, cramping, constipation, diarrhea, and frequent blood in the stool are all common .
Gut damage is often a result of food allergies, intolerances, exposure to harmful chemicals, and medication side effects. Type 1 diabetes, , inflammatory bowel disease, and lupus are all autoimmune diseases that have been linked to abdominal pain and digestive issues.
Recurring low-grade fevers
Does it seem like you always have a low-grade fever, but there seems to be no reason for it? Intermittent low-grade fevers with no known origin are a symptom of many autoimmune diseases because your body uses a fever to fight off infection or allergy.
Swollen glands or nodes
Do you get a lump on the side of your throat, have swollen salivary glands, or have signs of other swollen glands? Swollen glands and nodes don’t necessarily mean that something is wrong with you, but they do mean that your immune system is on high alert and in combat. If you don’t have an obvious sign of infection like a cold or virus, but you have swollen glands, there’s likely an underlying condition that should be uprooted.
Have you been experiencing unexplained pain or numbness, particularly in the extremities? Shooting pain, nerve pain, numbness, muscle weakness, muscle loss, and hypersensitivity to touch are all signs of neuropathy, which is a common symptom of autoimmune disease.
Neuropathy can also affect your brain, spinal cord, and muscles with symptoms that can manifest as brain fog, dizziness, vertigo, poor coordination, and ringing in the ears. Autoimmune diseases of the nervous system include:
- multiple sclerosis
- cerebellar ataxia
- Restless Leg Syndrome
Do you feel cold, even when everyone else is perfectly comfortable, or even hot? People who are cold intolerant are extremely sensitive to cold temperatures. Cold intolerance is a common symptom that can indicate an autoimmune disease like Raynaud’s disease and hypothyroidism.
by Nava Health
As you can see from the above , you can easily be confused with a whole host of other symptoms. As a result, the diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune diseases often require the expertise of an or a approach.
At Nava Center, we specialize in a functional and integrative approach to healthcare. Our focus is on preventing, restoring, and optimizing your health. By identifying the underlying cause of your symptoms, we create a personalized vitality plan tailored to your needs, enabling you to live life to the fullest.
Reach out to us today to schedule your autoimmune consultation and start your journey toward optimal well-being!