In a healthy person, the immune system essentially protects the body from foreign bodies like bacteria, viruses, 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. Those struggling with autoimmune diseases have immune systems that fail to differentiate between healthy cells and foreign cells. As a result, they release 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 include psoriasis. Psoriasis 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. They look like large red patches on the skin. Rheumatoid arthritis is another 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. Another common autoimmune disease is lupus. Lupus occurs when 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:
- Autoantibody tests
- Organ function tests
- CRP or C-Reactive Protein
- Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate or ESR
Autoimmune Diseases in Los Angeles, CA
At Allergy & Skin Spa, our team of medical professionals will conduct an in-depth evaluation and consultation to determine the best course of treatment for you. If you are suffering from an autoimmune disease, call us at (310) 312-1231 or submit the appointment form below to get started today.