WHAT HAPPENS WITH AN AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE?

In a healthy person, the immune system essentially protects the body from foreign bodies like bacteria, virus, and other germs. This is enabled by the ability of the immune system to make a clear distinction between foreign cells and the body’s own cells.

The immune system of a person suffering from an autoimmune disease fails to differentiate between healthy cells and foreign cells. As a result, it releases antibodies as part of its defense mechanism. Antibodies are the proteins released by the immune system to attack foreign bodies. However, in the case of an autoimmune disease, these antibodies attack healthy cells of the body.

WHAT CAUSES AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES?

The exact cause of autoimmune diseases has not yet been determined. Doctors suspect that the susceptibility to autoimmune diseases could be brought on by genetic factors, environmental factors, and ethnicity.

Some of the most common autoimmune diseases

Psoriasis
It is an autoimmune disease that affects the skin. Normally, skin cells go through a growth cycle, and once it is completed, these skin cells are shed. In psoriasis, the skin cells begin to multiply rapidly. These skin cells are not shed. Instead, they accumulate on parts of the body like the scalp, hands, and legs. The look like large red patches on the skin.

Rheumatoid arthritis
This is a common condition in which the immune system of the body starts attacking the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can occur in people as early as when they are in their 30s. It is not age-related and can cause a lot of discomfort for the patient as it causes stiffness and swelling in the joints.

Lupus
Another common autoimmune disease where the immune system of the body produces antibodies that attack the organs and tissues in the body. It causes inflammation and extreme pain for people who suffer from lupus. In some cases, lupus can present itself as a rash on certain parts of the body.

DIAGNOSING AND TREATING AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES

One of the first steps in treating and managing autoimmune diseases is to identify the condition as soon as possible. Early detection makes treatment more effective.

Dr. Kia, with over ten years of experience in immunology, uses effective methods to diagnose autoimmune conditions. You can visit him if you require a consultation or treatment plan for your condition.

Since there are more than 80 types of autoimmune diseases, diagnosis can be a task. Dr. Kia, being specialized in immunology, uses a combination of blood tests and a detailed review of your medical history and past medical conditions to conclude whether or not you suffer from an autoimmune disease.

Here are some of the tests used to diagnose autoimmune diseases:

DIAGNOSING AND TREATING AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES

One of the first steps in treating and managing autoimmune diseases is to identify the condition as soon as possible. Early detection makes treatment more effective.

Dr. Kia, with over ten years of experience in immunology, uses highly effective methods to diagnose autoimmune conditions. You can visit him if you require a consultation or treatment plan for your condition.

Since there are more than 80 types of autoimmune diseases, diagnosis can be a task. Dr. Kia, being specialized in immunology, uses a combination of blood tests and a detailed review of your medical history and past medical conditions to conclude whether or not you suffer from an autoimmune disease.

Here are some of the tests used to diagnose autoimmune diseases:

Autoantibody tests

Autoantibodies, like the name suggests, are antibodies that attack the body’s immune system. Autoantibody tests help determine the type and extent of the autoimmune disease. These tests also help determine the progress of the treatment.

Organ function tests

Certain autoimmune diseases like lupus attack the organs in the body. An organ function test determines whether organs like your kidneys and lungs are functioning properly and whether they are giving outputs within the normal range. Any deviation from normal results, results in further tests to confirm the presence of an autoimmune disease.

CRP or C-Reactive Protein

The C-Reactive Protein is a protein synthesized by the liver and released into the bloodstream if any tissues are injured. This means that an increase in CRP could be an indication of an autoimmune disease. CRP levels are measured through a simple blood test. In case of autoimmune diseases, the level of CRP level increases almost thousand times more than in case of other conditions.

Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate or ESR

Erythrocytes are nothing but the red blood cells in the body. The ESR measures the rate at which red blood cells settle down at the bottom when placed in a thin tube. In the absence of autoimmune diseases, red blood cells settle down slowly. However, an autoimmune disease causes a large increase in the level of CRP as we discussed above. Presence of an increased amount of protein can cause red blood cells to settle down faster, thus indicating an autoimmune disease.

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If you are suffering from an autoimmune disease, schedule a consultation today and get the treatment and care to help you regain your full health and vitality. Give us a call or schedule online.