Autoimmune diseases: Early detection and symptoms
In theory, an autoimmune disorder can develop against any tissue in the body. This is also the reason why we know around 140 different autoimmune diseases right now.
The symptoms are multi-layered, can be limited to the affected organ (for example, the skin) and/or have a systemic effect (throughout the body).
When that happens, the symptoms are quite general. If you or a person close to you suffer from such symptoms more often, you should become alert. This way you can detect the illness fast and limit it to one affected organ:
Weight loss, without changing diet or exercise
Recurring fever surges
Chronic fatigue (see Five Causes Why You Feel Tired After Breakfast & How To Fix It)
Hair loss, even at a young age
Sleep problems (see Adopt Better Sleep Hygiene With These Simple & Effective Tips)
Concentration disorders all day long
Muscle pain and decreasing muscle strength
Bowel Problems and Leaky Gut Syndrome
Alternating hot flushes and freezing, even outside the menopause
These are the most common symptoms that an autoimmune disease can hide behind. As I said, if these (or several of these) symptoms occur more often in you or other people, you should you become aware and reduce the symptoms to a particular organ.
You can keep a symptom diary and contact a well-trained doctor (internist, endocrinologist, functional physician).
We have already said that in theory, any tissue in the body can develop an autoimmune disease, in special cases even several tissues at the same time.
In the following, I would like to give you an overview of common autoimmune diseases, so that you can imagine a few well-known manifestations under the term.
Autoimmune diseases at a glance
There are currently more than 140 known autoimmune diseases. In theory, an autoimmune disease can develop in any tissue in the body – and this is very likely to be the case.
Not every autoimmune disease is known yet. Doctors and scientists often even confirm known diseases as autoimmune disorders after long research (for example, Chronic exhaustion syndrome).
The following autoimmune diseases are listed as known to occur in the individual body tissues.
Autoimmune diseases of the thyroid gland
The two more well-known autoimmune diseases mentioned here are Hashimoto Thyroiditis and Basedow’s Disease. Both diseases differ a lot from one another.
While Hashimoto thyroiditis has chronic thyroid dysfunction, Basedow’s disease (named after the discoverer Dr. Basedow) has a thyroid over function.
Autoimmune diseases of the skin
The skin quickly inflames when it runs out of essential nutrients and antioxidants. The fact that an overloaded liver and an inflamed intestine has a higher need to detoxify through the skin makes everything worse.
The following autoimmune diseases of the skin are known and well described:
Neurodermatitis (not always autoimmune reactions, officially an allergic chronic inflammatory skin disease)
Dermatitis herpetiformis Duhring
Epidermolysis bullosa acquisita
Linear IgA dermatosis
Pemphigus foliaceus, seborrhoicus and vulgaris
Systemic autoimmune diseases with clear manifestation on the skin:
Lupus erythematosus (also systemic)
Microscopic polyangiitis (also systemic)
Autoimmune diseases of the intestine and stomach
The gastrointestinal tract is confronted every day with irritants, toxins and pathogens. It is not surprising that autoimmune diseases can also develop here.
Known autoimmune diseases of the gastrointestinal tract:
Pupura Schönlein-Enoch (besides on skin the strongest manifestation occurs in the intestine)
Autoimmune diseases of the central nervous system (CNS)
Autoimmune reactions also happen in the CNS. Multiple sclerosis is the most well-known disease, but there is more.
An overview of autoimmune diseases of the central nervous system:
CIPD (chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy)
Stiff Man Syndrome
Anti-NMDA receptor encephalopathy
Chronic fatigue syndrome
PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections)
Autoimmune diseases of connective tissues and blood vessels (rheumatic diseases & collagenosis)
This group of autoimmune diseases includes autoimmune diseases that affect blood vessels, connective tissue, bones, cartilage and joints. Also known as systemic autoimmune diseases, as they can work anywhere in the body.
Rheumatic autoimmune diseases and collagenosis at a glance:
Rheumatoid arthritis (see Everything About Rosehip – Power Weapon For Arthritis & Other Diseases)
Antiphospholipid syndrome (this is the right treatment for antiphospholipid syndrome!)
Bechterew’s disease (Spondylitis ankylosans)
Rheumatic fever (“Streptococcal rheumatism”)
Sharp syndrome (mixed collagenosis)
Giant cell arthritis
Autoimmune diseases of the kidney and adrenal gland
Autoimmune diseases of the muscles
Polymyalgia Rheumatica (shoulder and pelvic muscles, large muscle groups)
Autoimmune diseases of the lungs
Sarcoidosis (most likely autoimmune disease)
Primary binary sclerosis
Autoimmune diseases of the liver
Primary biliary cholangitis (obsolete: primary biliary cirrhosis)
Primary sclerosing cholangitis (70% of cases autoimmune)
Autoimmune diseases of the eyes
Other autoimmune diseases and affected tissue
Pancreas (ß cells): Type 1 diabetes (What is type 1 diabetes? A brief overview)
APECED (Polyendocrine Autoimmune Disease)
Hair: Alopecia areata (circular hair loss)
Why are so many people affected?
It is estimated that 23 million people in America suffer from an autoimmune disease with a climbing prevalence. Some even suffer from several autoimmune diseases at the same time.
How can it be that autoimmune diseases are so prevalent in us, while native people seem less affected?
There’s another post regarding autoimmune diseases, and you can find it here (autoimmune diseases causes). This article explains the factors that misdirect our immune system, produce auto-antibodies, and attack the body’s own cells.
It also deals with other factors (e.g. nutrient deficiencies, liver damage, Leaky Gut Syndrome, hormonal imbalances) that amplify this process in other ways.
After reading this post, you will be aware of why there are now so many people affected; with the trend rising.
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