Autoimmune Disease Specialist in Gilbert, AZ
Autoimmune disease happens when the body’s natural defense system can’t tell the difference between your own cells and foreign cells. Contact us at TRUE Health Medical for the treatment of autoimmune disease. We have convenient locations to serve you. For more information, please call us or book an appointment online.
Table of Contents:
Autoimmune disease is a condition where your immune system will attack your body. Your immune system normally protects against germs such as bacteria and viruses. Your body will sense these foreign invaders, and it will send out an army of fighter cells to attack them.
Your immune system is able to tell the difference between foreign cells and your own cells. With an autoimmune disease, the immune system will mistake part of your body, like your joints or skin, as foreign. These release proteins called autoantibodies that attack your healthy cells.
Some of the most common autoimmune diseases are:
Type 1 diabetes
The pancreas produces insulin, which helps regulate blood sugar levels. When it comes to type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.
High blood sugar can lead to damage in the blood vessels, and also organs like the heart, kidneys, eyes, and nerves.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), your immune system will attack the joints. This can cause redness, warmth, soreness, and stiffness in the joints.
Unlike osteoarthritis, which commonly affects people as they get older, RA could start in your early 30s or sooner.
Multiple sclerosis also known as MS damages the myelin sheath, this is the protective coating that surrounds nerve cells in your central nervous system. Damage to the myelin sheath can slow the transmission speed of messages between your brain and the spinal cord to and from the rest of your body.
Systemic Lupus erythematosus (SLE)
Although doctors in the 1800s had first described lupus as a skin disease, because of the rash it commonly produces. The systemic form is most common and affects many organs, such as the joints, kidneys, brain, and heart.
Inflammatory bowel disease
Inflammatory bowel disease is known as IBD, this condition cause inflammation in the lining of the intestinal wall. Each type of IBD can affect different parts of the GI tract.
Addison’s disease affects the adrenal glands, which produce the hormones cortisol and aldosterone as well as androgen hormones. Having too little cortisol can affect how the body uses and stores carbohydrates and sugar.
This disease will attack the thyroid gland in the neck, causing it to produce too many of these hormones. Thyroids control the body’s energy usage, known as metabolism.
Having too much of this hormone can revs up your body’s activities, causing symptoms like nervousness, a fast heartbeat, heat intolerance, and weight loss.
with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, thyroid hormone production slows to a deficiency. Symptoms such as weight gain, sensitivity to cold, fatigue, hair loss, and swelling of the thyroid.
Myasthenia gravis will affect the nerve impulses which help the brain control the muscles. When the communication from the nerves to the muscles is impaired, the signals cannot direct the muscles to contract properly.
This occurs when the immune system attacks the blood vessels. The inflammation that results narrows the arteries and veins, allowing less blood to flow through them.
This condition will cause a deficiency of protein, that is made by stomach lining cells, known as intrinsic factor, this is needed in order for the small intestine to absorb vitamin B-12 from when you eat food. Without enough of this, you will develop anemia.
People with celiac disease cannot eat any foods that contain gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, rye, and other grain products. When gluten is in the small intestine, your immune system will attack this part of the GI tract and cause inflammation.
The early symptoms of many autoimmune diseases are as follows:
– Achy muscles
– Swelling and redness
– Low-grade fever
– Trouble concentrating
– Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
– Hair loss
– Skin rashes
Individual diseases will have their own unique symptoms. For example, type 1 diabetes will cause extreme thirst, weight loss, and fatigue. IBD will cause belly pain, bloating, and diarrhea.
Autoimmune disorders cannot be cured, but the condition can be controlled. Historically, treatments include:
– Anti-inflammatory drugs – this will reduce inflammation and pain
– Corticosteroids – reduce inflammation and are sometimes used to treat an acute flare of symptoms
– Pain-killing medication
– Immunosuppressant drugs
– Physical therapy – to encourage mobility
– Treatment for the deficiency such as insulin injections when it comes to diabetes
– High dose immunosuppression
The exact cause of autoimmune disorders is unknown at this time. One of the many theories is that some microorganisms (such as bacteria or viruses) or drugs may trigger changes that will confuse the immune system. This tends to happen more often in people who have genes that make them more prone to autoimmune disorders.
If you have an autoimmune disease, reach out to our medical professionals here at True Health Medical, we can help you! We have convenient locations to serve you. For more information, please call us or book an appointment online. We serve patients from Gilbert AZ, Chandler AZ, Queen Creek AZ, Sun Lakes AZ, Mesa AZ, Sacaton AZ, and Apache Junction AZ.