There are currently 50 million Americans with an autoimmune disease. This number has been on the rise for years, and doctors and medical professionals alike are trying to figure out why. The incidence of type 1 diabetes increased by 23% from 2001 to 2009.
Our immune systems protect us from diseases and infections. But when someone has an autoimmune disease, it means that they have a dysfunction somewhere in their immune system, which can prohibit their immune system from functioning to the best of its ability.
For the most part, the causes of autoimmune diseases are still unknown. Are you worried that you might have an autoimmune disease? Keep reading to find out 5 key signs that you might have an autoimmune disease.
What Are Some Common Autoimmune Diseases?
Autoimmune diseases attack different organs or parts of the body. The one thing they have in common though, is that they all cause the body to mistakenly attack itself. This is because the diseases stop the immune system from being able to tell the difference between foreign cells and your own cells.
In order to help regulate blood sugar levels, the pancreas produces the hormone called insulin. For someone who has Type 1 Diabetes, the immune system will destroy insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.
Multiple Sclerosis damages the protective coating that surrounds nerve cells, also known as the myelin sheath. Because of the damage done to the myelin sheath, the transmission of messages between the brain and spinal cord to and from the rest of the body, slow down significantly.
Thyroid hormones are what control the body’s energy usage, which we know as metabolism. When an individual has Graves’ Disease, the immune system attacks the thyroid gland in the neck, which causes it to produce too many hormones. With too many hormones, an individual’s bodily activity increases, leading to nervousness, weight loss, heat intolerance, and a fast heartbeat.
These are only a few of the many different autoimmune diseases that exist and continue to affect people everywhere. But many of them tend to have similar symptoms. Let’s take a look at 5 of those, now!
What Are 10 Symptoms To Look For?
10 symptoms that you can look for in trying to diagnose yourself or someone else with an autoimmune disease are:
- Difficulty concentrating or focusing
- Feeling tired, weight gain, or a cold intolerance
- Weight loss, insomnia, heat intolerance, or a rapid heartbeat
- Dry mouth, eyes, or skin
- Numbness or tingling in the feet or hands
- Muscle pain, joint pain, or a tremor
- Hair loss or white patches on your skin or inside your mouth
- Abdominal pain, blood or mucus in your stool, diarrhea, or mouth ulcers
- Multiple miscarriages or blood clots
- Recurrent rashes, sun sensitivity, or a butterfly-shaped rash across your nose and cheeks
It’s essential that if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you see autoimmune disease treatment as soon as possible so that you can go on with living your life to the fullest.
An Autoimmune Disease Can Seriously Affect Your Life
Living with an autoimmune disease can be a huge detriment to your life. But many people who suffer from or who have suffered from one, have found ways to either combat or live with what they have.
It’s essential that you get diagnosed so that you can find a treatment or plan that works for you.