June 13th, 2022 8:00am
Under normal circumstances, the immune system fights against germs, viruses, and bacteria, recognizing them as foreign invaders and sending fighter cells to attack them. The immune system usually knows the difference between normal cells and foreign cells.
However, the immune system can also mistake a harmless part of your body as a foreign invader and attack it with autoantibodies. This could result in an autoimmune disorder or disease in otherwise healthy cells, joints, or skin. In other cases, autoimmune diseases target a singular organ such as the pancreas. Doctors aren’t entirely sure what causes immune-system confusion.
Keep reading below to learn more about the relationship between autoimmune disorders and illness susceptibility. Understanding this relationship can help people learn to live more easily with their diseases.
Of the more than 80 different autoimmune diseases, doctors can easily recognize a handful of common ones. Some common autoimmune diseases include:
When someone is in the early stages of an autoimmune disorder, they may experience multiple symptoms. Some of these symptoms include:
Symptoms can come and go over time, depending on the severity of the disease. For example, type 1 diabetes can cause weight loss, extreme thirst, and fatigue.
The most important thing to know about the relationship between autoimmune disorders and illness susceptibility is that people with autoimmune disorders and diseases have a higher chance of contracting common illnesses. Conditions such as colds, influenza, allergic reactions, and even food poisoning are more dangerous to people with autoimmune diseases.
Many autoimmune disorders have no treatments or cures available. However, certain medications can often control overreactive immune responses. For example, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen can relieve symptoms of pain, swelling, skin rashes, and fatigue.
On top of taking the proper medication, following well-balanced diets and exercising regularly can also make patients feel better. It’s essential to speak with a doctor about any foods to avoid and how to otherwise reduce autoimmune flare-ups.