Some autoimmune diseases have symptoms which come and go, flare up and then die down while others have persistent symptoms. Autoimmune disease can affect almost any part of the body including the heart, brain, nerves, muscles, skin, eyes, joints, lungs, kidneys, glands, the digestive tract, and blood vessels.
Some of the most common autoimmune diseases include alopecia areata, diabetes type 1, Graves’ disease, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease and Hashimoto’s disease.
What Causes Autoimmune Disease
The function of your body's immune system is to protect the body against disease and infection. When the immune system is healthy it will recognize organisms like bacteria and viruses and attack them. However, when the immune system misidentifies healthy tissues as being foreign, it goes on the attack and destroys them as well.
Autoimmune disease typically causes inflammation, which can cause redness, heat, pain, and swelling in whichever part of the body it is targeting. If the disease affects the joints it will cause joint pain and stiffness. If it attacks the thyroid it may cause weight gain or loss and fatigue. If it targets the skin it can cause redness, flakiness and rashes and so on.
How Many Autoimmune Diseases Are There?
There are many autoimmune diseases, probably close to around 80 in total and some are common, while others can be quite rare. Here is a list of some autoimmune diseases and their associated symptoms:
- Alopecia areata - the immune system attacks hair follicles causing patchy hair loss on the scalp and other parts of the body.
- Autoimmune hepatitis – the immune system attacks liver cells and causes symptoms of fatigue, yellowing of the skin and an enlarged liver.
- Celiac disease - a disease in which people can't tolerate gluten, a substance found in wheat, rye, and barley. Can result in abdominal pain, bloating, fatigue and diarrhea.
- Diabetes Type 1 – a disease in which the immune system attacks the cells that make insulin, so it is no longer produced. Early signs are constant thirst, frequent urination and weight loss.
- Graves’ disease – occurs when the immune system attacks the thyroid, causing it to make too much thyroid hormone, resulting in insomnia, weight loss and muscle weakness.
- Guillain-Barre syndrome - The immune system attacks the nerves that connect the brain and spinal cord with the rest of the body. Can result in muscle weakness, tingling and in some cases, paralysis.
- Hashimoto's disease - causes the thyroid to not make enough thyroid hormone. Resulting in weight gain, fatigue and sensitivity to cold.
- Hemolytic anemia – the immune system destroys red blood cells causing fatigue, yellowing skin and shortness of breath.
- Inflammatory bowel disease – includes Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis which are caused when the immune system attacks the lining of the intestines resulting in abdominal pain, rectal bleeding and diarrhea.
- Multiple Sclerosis - the immune system attacks the nerve cells causing muscle weakness, poor coordination, blindness and muscle spasms.
- Psoriasis - a skin condition produced by the immune system making skin cells reproduce too rapidly, causes redness and irritation as well as thick, flaky, silver-white patches
- Rheumatoid arthritis - antibodies attach to the linings of joints and surrounding tissues, resulting in pain and inflammation.
- Systemic lupus erythematosus - the antibodies attach to tissues throughout the body and can affect skin, blood cells, nerves, joints, kidneys, brain, and other organs.
- Scleroderma - the connective tissue is compromised, causing changes in skin, blood vessels, muscles, and internal organs.
- Sjögren’s syndrome - destroys the glands that produce tears and saliva causing dry eyes and mouth; may affect kidneys and lungs.
Autoimmune Disease Treatment
Most commonly, practitioners will help their patients to manage the consequences of their autoimmune disease by prescribing medications that slow or suppress the immune system response. These may include corticosteroids (prednisone), methotrexate, cyclophosphamide, azathioprine, and cyclosporine. Unfortunately, by suppressing the immune system, these medications leave the body unprotected and vulnerable to infection.
At LifeWorks Wellness Center, the first step in treating autoimmune diseases is to immunize the patient to their own blood. In this a simple, effective procedure where a small amount of a patient’s blood is taken and mixed with a homeopathic remedy. This combination is then delivered back into the patient. This has the effect of re-programming the patient’s immune system and in many cases, begins the process of improving their symptoms toward recovery.
Florida’s Top Autoimmune Disease Clinic
LifeWorks Wellness Center is considered by many to be Florida’s top autoimmune disease clinic and patients travel from all over the country to seek treatment. That is because the autoimmune disease treatment at this Tampa Bay clinic exceeds anything available to them where they live.
We have offered autoimmune disease treatment to many patients to help them regain their health and we would love to help you, too. To become a patient, or for more information, feel free to call our New Patient Coordinator at (727) 466-6789 or simply submit an online web form with your request.
*Disclaimer: Individual patient results may vary based on a patient's medical history and other factors.