My wife has been diagnosed with lupus and is now struggling with her health condition. It’s difficult to understand her situation, and I honestly don’t see anything different from her overall health, as she seems perfectly okay. She looked fine, but she was currently struggling. However, I realized that there’s something more about the disease that I should know to be able to help my wife get over the symptoms that drastically made her weak and dysfunctional.
As I begin to share my experience with other people, I realize that I am in need of help. I don’t honestly understand how autoimmunity works, but it seems to pretty much affect everything that I entirely do in my life. My routines have changed, my wellness is at stake, my illness escalates quickly, and my relationship is currently dying. That’s all because I have lupus.
Do you know how bullying works? A group picks on an unassuming person and starts attacking from all directions, rendering the victim powerless. Well, this form of abuse can happen inside your body too; that’s why there are autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s.
Psoriasis is a skin disorder affecting any part of the body. It appears to be red plaques capped with silver scales and can mostly affect the elbows and knees, shin, lower back, and scalp. Typically, our skin is undergoing 15 cycles before it is completely renewed in 30 days. For people with psoriasis, the skin undergoes a fast renewal process and misses a specific process making it five cycles instead of 15. The affected area then forms scaly plaques which are itchy and inflamed.
Symptoms Of Psoriasis:
- Pain and swelling in the affected area
- Itchiness in the affected area
- Redness and bleeding in the affected area
- Silver scales on the red patches
- Cracks in the dry regions of the extremities
- Swelling joints
- Pitting of nails
Causes of Psoriasis:
Things To Know About Psoriasis:
- Some studies showed a decrease in psoriasis when patients avoided the consumption of acidic foods or drinks like coffee and soda.
- Some reports suggested that a vegetarian diet contributes to the improvement of symptoms of psoriasis. Eating less protein and more vegetables can aid in treating this condition.
- Alcohol plays a considerable part in the development of psoriasis. According to researchers, heavy drinking can trigger psoriasis, and it increases the risk of some infections.
- Vitamin D can also help in treating psoriasis. Studies show that vitamin D produced from sunlight aids in the treatment of psoriasis. Dr. Michael Holick, M.D., Ph. is a Professor of Medicine and an endocrinologist who studied vitamin D intensively.
- There are different types of psoriasis that can be diagnosed by a physician.
Different Types Of Psoriasis:
- Erythrodermic psoriasis is a rare but severe type of psoriasis. The skin almost all over the body appears to be burned.
- Guttate psoriasis consists of small pink to small red spots on the skin.
- Inverse psoriasis doesn’t cause the skin to be scaly, but it appears to be smooth and shiny on the affected area.
- Nail psoriasis affects the nails.
- Palmar-Plantar psoriasis affects the palms of the hand or soles of the feet.
- Plaque psoriasis is characterized by silver scaly plaques which commonly appear on elbows, knees, and lower back.
- Pustular psoriasis has pus inside the bumps.
- Psoriasis of the scalp appears in the head or the scalp.
- Psoriatic arthritis is a condition where a person with psoriasis also develops arthritis.
- Dovonex is a prescription cream or ointment known to treat psoriasis.
- Tegison is a prescription of superpotent vitamin A taken orally also known to treat psoriasis.
- Multivitamins composed of folic acid and iron are also beneficial in the treatment of psoriasis.
- Olive oil helps in the hydration of the skin.
- Garlic has a medicinal property which fights sickness and
- Licorice can help with skin inflammation.
Psoriasis is surely an unpleasant skin disorder to have. Just like other diseases, it affects all the aspects of a person’s life, but in psoriasis, a person may have poor social interactions due to fear of scaring people off. However, people should know that psoriasis is not contagious, so there shouldn’t be any fear of getting it by being around a person who has it.
It is crucial that the patient seeks the help of a physician in dealing with psoriasis. self-medication might cause a worsening of the condition.
Autoimmune pancreatitis, also called AIP, is a medical disorder where the immune system attacks the pancreas. There are instances where there is a misdiagnosis, and symptoms could be that of chronic pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer. It responds to steroid therapy such as a corticosteroid specifically prednisone.
Two Types Of Autoimmune Pancreatitis:
- AIP Type 1 is common to the elders and is IgG4-related. A blood test may reveal a high level of an immunoglobulin known as IgG4. This type of autoimmune pancreatitis affects other organs in the body such as the liver, kidneys, salivary glands, and lymph nodes. People who have AIP type 1 may experience a relapse or the reoccurrence of the condition.
- AIP Type 2 also known as idiopathic duct-centric pancreatitis is common to younger people and only affects the pancreas. Patients who have this condition do not experience a relapse or reoccurrence.
Causes Of Autoimmune Pancreatitis:
Like any other autoimmune diseases, the origin of autoimmune pancreatitis remains unclear. Studies show that it could run in the blood or hereditary, but it is still ongoing to finally reveal what’s causing our immune system to attack its own.
Symptoms Of Autoimmune Pancreatitis:
- Dark and cloudy urine can be a sign of this condition. The color of our urine can say a lot about our overall health that’s why it is smart to pay close attention to it sometimes, especially when we are feeling something odd about our body.
- Believe it or not, the color and composition of our stool can also say something about our health. Watch out for pale stools or if they are floating in the toilet.
- Is your skin or eyes yellow? Jaundice often correlates with problems in the pancreas, so having a pale or yellow skin or eyes is not normal and could be a warning that there is something wrong with it.
- Pain could always be a symptom of a problem in our internal organs. Be alert for any discomfort in the upper abdomen or middle region of the back.
- Nausea and vomiting are signs of medical issues, and if you experience them along with any other symptoms, these could be warning signs that you should consult a doctor.
- Are you experiencing unexplainable fatigue? You think you get enough rest and eat the right amount of food but still feel weak. You also don’t engage in hard labor yet you experience extreme tiredness. These could be signs of something else like autoimmune pancreatitis.
- Do you notice something different from your eating habits? It is not normal to lose appetite, especially when you are not taking any medications to cause
- Do you experience unexplainable weight loss? There are many medical health problems that contribute to unexplainable weight loss, but if you are having some symptoms of autoimmune pancreatitis, it is best to get a medical opinion.
Diagnosis Of Autoimmune Pancreatitis:
Several tests should be undertaken to determine if a person has autoimmune pancreatitis such as:
- Imaging Tests
- CT scan
- Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatograph (ERCP)
- Blood Test
Blood tests could reveal the increased level of the immunoglobulin called IgG4 which is produced by the immune system, but it doesn’t automatically mean that you have autoimmune pancreatitis. Some medical conditions such as pancreatic cancer can cause this as well.
- Endoscopic Biopsy
Through the use of an endoscope, the doctor will get a sample of pancreatic tissue which could determine autoimmune pancreatitis.
- Steroid Trial
Autoimmune pancreatitis responds to steroid treatment. During the steroid trial, the doctor will test if the IgG4 of the patient will be affected by steroid therapy.
Treatment Of Autoimmune Pancreatitis:
- Biliary Stenting
It is a procedure where the doctor will need to drain the biliary ducts which are usually for patients with jaundice.
- Steroid Therapy
Autoimmune pancreatitis responds to steroids particularly corticosteroids.
Immunosuppressants are used to counter the side effects of prolonged use of steroids.
There may be other treatments and therapies that can help the condition of autoimmune pancreatitis. Early diagnosis is the key to treating medical health problems. If you experience one or more of the symptoms mentioned above, it is best to consult a doctor to deal with the health issue at once.
What Is Graves’ Disease?
Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects the thyroid gland. It is a condition where the body produces an antibody to fight against bacteria and viruses which then causes the thyroid to produce excessive hormones. Although it is still unknown as to what causes autoimmune disorders, Graves’ disease is found to be inherited. It commonly affects women than men and usually occurs before 40.
What Happens When The Thyroid Gland Produces Excessive Hormones?
Most of us would want to speed up metabolism to prevent us from gaining weight, and in the condition of the overactivity of the thyroid gland, our metabolism speeds up causing unpleasant symptoms like:
- Anxiety is a mental health issue where a person experiences nervousness, panic, trouble sleeping, rapid heartbeat, cold and sweaty extremities, and shortness of breath.
- Hyperactivity is the condition of the body where it has too much energy. A hyperactive person may seem to not tire and could not stay still.
- Weight Loss is also noticeable with no explainable reason. It is due to the boost in metabolism which contributes to unexplainable weight loss.
- The swollen gland forms a lump in the thyroid commonly called goiter.
Where Did It Get Its Name?
Graves’ disease got its name after an Irish doctor named Robert J. Graves first noticed and described its symptoms on a patient in 1835. Five years later, a German doctor named Karl Adolph Van Basedow, unknowing of Graves’ findings, also gave the same description of the symptoms on his patient that’s why this disease is commonly known as Basedow’s disease in Europe while it’s called Graves’ disease in the United States.
What causes Graves’ Disease?
The cause of Graves’ disease is still a question just like with any other autoimmune disorders. Results of most studies about the condition connect it to family history, but then again, more studies are required to prove this theory.
What Are The Symptoms Of Graves’ Disease?
- Unexplained weight loss
- Sweaty hands and feet
- Swelling of the gland (goiter)
- Changes in menstrual cycles
- Erectile dysfunction or decreased libido
- Frequent bowel movements
- Bulging eyes
- Thick, red skin on the tops or shins of the feet
- Palpitations or rapid heartbeat
- Vision problems
- Pressure in the eyes
- Puffy eyelids
- Reddened or inflamed eyes
What Are The Kinds Of Food To Avoid When A Person Has Graves’ Disease?
- Food Allergens
When you have allergies to a particular food, avoid eating it. The symptoms of Graves’ disease can somehow be similar to that of allergies, so eating food that you’re allergic to can aggravate the symptoms.
Caffeine is known to cause nervousness and palpitations which are also symptoms of Graves’ disease. It is not wise to consume products that can contribute to the worsening of symptoms.
What Are The Kinds Of Food A Person With Graves’ Disease Should Eat?
- Fruits And Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are the primary food source of vitamins and minerals needed by the body to function well. Some of these foods, especially berries, have an antioxidant component that can strengthen the immune system. Although they cannot cure Graves’ disease, they will aid in giving the body extra strength and protection.
- Protein-Rich Food
Fatigue or weakness is one of the symptoms of Graves’ disease. Eating foods rich in protein can help strengthen the muscles and gain more energy.
- Food Rich In Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin needed by the bones. It works together with calcium to give proper nourishment to the body.
- Dairy Products Such As Milk
Milk and cheese are examples of dairy products and are excellent sources of calcium, which work hand in hand with vitamin D to strengthen the bones.
Can Graves’ Disease Be Cured?
Yes, Graves’ disease is curable with some treatment methods.
Can Graves’ Disease Cause Death?
Yes, Graves’ disease if left untreated can cause severe heart problems and weakened bones. The body overall may weaken and eventually die.
What Are The Treatments For Graves’ Disease?
When you’re diagnosed with Graves’ disease, you will be prescribed with antithyroid medications or may undergo radioactive iodine or removal of the thyroid. These treatments are effective in re-establishing the proper function of the thyroid gland, but there is a chance of relapse.
Graves’ disease is indeed a grave medical condition. Just like any disorder, it can affect how a person lives not only physically but psychologically as well. A person diagnosed with this condition may have to deal with it for a long time.
This disease can cause isolation and poor self-esteem because it can hinder a person from doing outdoor activities due to poor vision and visible manifestations physically, especially the eyes and skin. Though it is still unclear as to what causes Graves’ disease, observing a healthy lifestyle is always the key to being healthy. If you experience the symptoms above, don’t think twice. See a doctor.
When the body shows signs of allergy, it means that the immune system reacted to any substance that has entered or contacted by the body, which is commonly harmless to most people. These substances are called allergens. They are evaluated by the immune system as harmful and try to get rid of it. Allergens may vary from person-to-person. You can find it in food, environment, drinks, and other places.
Explanation Of Allergy
An allergic reaction will not immediately take place in a scenario when a person comes in contact with an allergen. The immune system will start to become sensitive to the allergen as time goes until it overreacts to this substance. The immune system will start to create antibodies to attack the allergen once it recognizes and remembers this substance which is a process called sensitization.
What Causes It
The antibody immunoglobin is the cause of allergic reactions. This antibody is released to fight foreign and potentially harmful substances that get inside the body. It particularly destroys the allergen, which causes a chemical production that activates the allergic reaction. Histamine is one of the chemicals that induce the activation of the allergic reaction, which can trigger muscle tightening in blood vessel walls and airways. It can also induce the production of more mucus in the nasal lining.
Symptoms vary from the type of allergen that causes the reaction, which can be internal, external or both. It may become visible on the skin, nasal passages, airways, and the digestive system. The symptoms can range from mild to severe and sometimes life-threatening in rare cases.
Here is an index of symptoms from different kinds of Allergy.
Atopic Dermatitis: Eczema will appear in this allergic reaction, which can cause the skin to peel, flake, itch and redden. It gives a lot of body discomfort but it is not life-threatening.
Food Allergy: It can cause hives, swelling of the face, throat, and tongue, and may give a tingling sensation in the mouth. Severe cases may cause anaphylaxis.
Medicine Allergy: It can cause an itchy sensation on the skin, rashes, wheezing, facial swelling, and anaphylaxis if the reaction is severe.
Allergy Due To Insect Sting: The area that is stung can induce edema. Hives can appear over the body with chest tightening, coughing, wheezing and breathing problems such as anaphylaxis.
Hay Fever: It is also known as allergic rhinitis. It is popular due to the continuous sneezing symptom as an allergic reaction. Itching of the nose, eyes and the roof of the mouth are also some common symptoms. The eyes may become swollen, red and watery in conjunction with a runny nose.
It is essential to know the type of allergic reaction you have to relieve the symptoms and prevent future breakouts. Identify what causes symptoms to appear and what worsens the condition. Avoid these variables that may cause a trigger for the allergy. Inform your friends and family members if you have any severe case of an allergic reaction in case of a life-threatening breakout.
Multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, type 1 diabetes, Guillain-Barre syndrome, systemic lupus, inflammatory bowel diseases, etc. are just examples of autoimmune diseases. It is composed of a broad range of human illnesses that comes from the body’s skewed immune system. Specific proteins called autoantibodies are released, and they attack the body’s healthy cells.
Autoimmune disorder mistakenly attacks the healthy cells in your body that can cause an overall impact. There are tons of their types, and each one has its unique symptoms that range from mild to severe cases. Since there has been an increase in autoimmune incidents, researchers are now studying its environmental factor. For instance, exposure to some different types of chemicals can set off an immune response.
Given that there is still no exact evidence of its origin, it could take time to diagnose such disease. However, some of its classic signs are determined through the case of inflammation, fatigue, and muscle aches.
Part of the goals of the Oklahoma Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month is to educate the people on the prevalence, and risk factors, and the extreme lack of awareness of the public about autoimmune illnesses. The AARDA (American Autoimmune Related Disease Association) works with community leaders to organize activities and events that help educate the people of the most important points that one must know about autoimmune illnesses. These include:
- There are more than a hundred autoimmune illnesses in all, which include but are not limited to celiac disease, Addison’s disease, vasculitis, and Crohn’s disease.
- There are about 50 million people in America with an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases occur in groups. For instance, if you have a relative who has scleroderma, there’s a higher risk that you will develop an autoimmune disease.
- Only 13% of Americans can name an autoimmune illness.
- Women are more likely to be affected by autoimmune diseases than men. In fact, autoimmune diseases are among the ten most deadly killers of women 65 years and below.
These details have pushed the AARDA’s President, Virginia Ladd, to increase the level of awareness among the public. According to her, the incidence of some autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, and multiple sclerosis have shown to be increasing yearly, yet solutions to this dilemma are still unknown. She also says that it is important for people to be more vigilant of the factors that make vulnerable to developing autoimmune diseases so that if and when symptoms occur, they can seek help early and begin treatment. Diagnosis and treatment at an earlier stage of the disease make a huge difference in one’s chances of becoming incapacitated or suffering organ failure.
Organizing events such as this one encourages community members to help in their own little ways in the elimination of autoimmune diseases and the relief of symptoms. It also fosters collaboration, public awareness, and improvement of inpatient services in all areas of the country.