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Living With An Auto Immune Disease
According to the (1) American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) Autoimmune disease affects up to 50 million Americans. It is a global epidemic that is growing rapidly.
One of the reasons I chose this topic is that Autoimmune disease is one of the top 10 leading causes of death in female children and women in all age groups up to 64 years of age and many people still have not heard of it!
Researchers have identified more than 80 different autoimmune diseases and suspect at least 40 additional diseases of having an autoimmune basis. These diseases are chronic and can be life-threatening.
So what is an autoimmune disease? It develops when your immune system, (which defends your body against disease), decides your healthy cells are foreign. As a result, your immune system attacks healthy cells. In other words, your body starts to attack itself.
Depending on the type, an autoimmune disease can affect one or many different types of body tissue. Different diseases attack different organs.
You may not realise you have an autoimmune disease as many are hard to diagnose. It is also possible to have more than one autoimmune disease at the same time. Many of the symptoms in autoimmune diseases are the same in each disease.
Medical education provides minimal learning about autoimmune disease. Specialists are generally unaware of interrelationships among the different autoimmune diseases or advances in treatment outside their own specialty area. I believe we need to educate ourselves so we can empower ourselves with knowledge. Many of these conditions are not easy to diagnose and many can be relieved and sometimes reversed with a change in lifestyle. I want to list just a few conditions here. I guess you will know at least one person, if not more, who are suffering from one of these conditions. They are more common than you many think.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: inflammation of joints and surrounding tissues.
- Inflammatory bowel diseases: a group of inflammatory diseases of the colon and small intestine.
- Systemic lupus erythematosus: affects skin, digestive tract, joints, kidneys, brain and other organs.
- Psoriasis: a skin condition that causes redness and irritation as well as thick, flaky, silver-white patches.
- Hashimoto’s disease: inflammation of the thyroid gland.
- Addison’s disease: adrenal hormone insufficiency.
- Graves’ disease: overactive thyroid gland.
- Vitiligo: white patches on the skin caused by loss of pigment
These are some of the common diseases, but as stated above, there are many more.
There are many things we can do to change our lifestyle. Currently modern allopathic medicine controls the symptoms with medication. Throughout this magazine, our experts will help you to understand healthy ways to manage your autoimmune condition and may even help you to reverse it so you can live a healthier, happier, more energetic life.
1 American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, https://www.aarda.org/autoimmune-information/autoimmune-statistics/, accessed 20th November 2015