Friday, October 24, 2008

Answering Your Autoimmune Diseases Questions


In health class you are taught about how the body has its own defense mechanism called the immune system. In a healthy body the immune system works to keep out infection and keep the body from developing colds, flues, and other diseases. It works around the clock to protect the body from outside intruders. But what happens when the immune system does not work as it should? It stops protecting the body and instead begins to attack it.

That is what autoimmune diseases are. Autoimmune diseases are when the body begins to attack its own tissues and organs. This can prove quite problematic for the host body and over time without the proper care it can cause the person to become gravely ill or even die.

It is not an easy condition to have and it is one that must be constantly monitored at all times. In this article we will discuss autoimmune diseases and how they can affect you and your body.

What are some examples of autoimmune diseases?

There are many, many autoimmune diseases to choose from. They range from Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis to, Graves' disease, Narcolepsy to Wegener 's granulomatosis. Each disease is different in how it manifests itself. There are some diseases such as Schizophrenia that many people do not realize is an autoimmune disease.

These are serious diseases that have caused misery to those that have them. But each day more and more research is done to understand why these diseases develop and if there is a cure that can be found or manufactured.

But until that time most patients have to live with the disease and its effects on their daily lives. It is not an easy life and it is one filled with numerous trips to various doctors.

What are the symptoms for some autoimmune diseases?

Autoimmune diseases differ widely by each disease. There are many symptoms that can seem alike but are in actuality different diseases. In Addison 's disease it is a rare endocrine disorder where the adrenal gland does not produce the necessary hormones needed for the body to survive. The symptoms of Addison 's disease can be commonly mistaken for other illnesses.

Common symptoms of Addison 's disease are muscle weakness, fatigue, weight loss, changes to the person 's mood and personality along with a host of other symptoms. Each of the symptoms by itself is nothing remarkable and can be explained away as a common cold or the flu. But when physicians begin looking at the total symptoms presented along with performing endocrine tests, and then the likelihood for a diagnosis of Addison 's disease becomes present.

What are some tips for dealing with these diseases?

The best tip for dealing with autoimmune diseases is to lead a healthy life. This means eating a balanced diet rich in fresh vegetables and fruits. It also means exercising daily to help the body stay strong and active. You can also lessen the impact of the disease on your life by learning how to meditate to take your mind off your aches and pains.

You should also get plenty of rest. Some nights this may seem impossible when the disease is active but you can get sleeping medication and better sleeping methods from your doctor. It may also help to talk to a therapist about your disease and how you can take the strains and pressures of work and life off your shoulders. You must keep your body healthy and that includes keeping your mind healthy as well.

Can I lead a normal life while dealing with autoimmune diseases?

Yes, you can lead a normal life when dealing with autoimmune diseases. It will take some effort and work on your part but you can live as you used to before the diagnosis. The key is to learn to work around your disabilities.

By keeping your body and mind healthy you can work through any problems that present themselves. You are the most important factor in living a healthy, normal life. Will it always be easy? No, but few things are easy. Many people live with their conditions everyday and do not let the disease live their lives for them. You can do the same too.