As if we did not have enough diseases and the like, our own body had to fight with itself. Autoimmune disease is a condition where the body’s immune system is flawed to the extent that it does not differentiate between the cells that are your own and foreign cells.
Here are 5 facts that you need to know about the disease to make coping with the disease easier for you and your loved one:
1) Autoimmune diseases are not allergies
Symptoms of autoimmune diseases are sometimes confused for allergic reactions. Though it can be found that allergies can trigger autoimmune diseases, the two are entirely different.
The best example to showcase the difference is Celiac disease and heat allergy.
A person with a wheat allergy and a person with Celiac disease would both be treated similarly where they both have to remove gluten from their diets. But the body of a person with a wheat allergy is not attacking itself.
2) They can be genetic
Research has shown that members of the same family are more likely to develop similar or the same autoimmune disease. But then it is not only genes but even environmental, infections and other external factors that trigger autoimmune disease in a person.
3) They are common
Specific autoimmune diseases can be rare but general autoimmune disease affects millions of people across the globe.
4) They take years to diagnose
Autoimmune diseases affect various parts of the body and the symptoms come and go due to which it can be difficult for even experts to diagnose.
There is no single test to confirm a diagnosis. Tests either suggest one diagnosis or rule out others. It’s not uncommon for someone with an autoimmune disease to receive another diagnosis first and then later be told that his or her symptoms are just due to stress.
5) Autoimmune disease causes one’s body to fight itself
We all have an immune system that comprises of cells and organs that fight off germs and other foreign invaders. In a healthy person, the body immediately understands the difference between cells that are your own and cells that are foreign and need fighting off. In people with an autoimmune disease, the immune system is flawed in a way that causes it to attack normal cells. This misguided attack on your own body can affect your body’s functions.