Know the Symptoms and How to Treat Autoimmune Diseases – As the title you have read earlier, we will discuss what is an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease is medically a disease in which a person’s immune system attacks its own body. In the body there are two groups of autoimmune functional systems, namely nonspecific and specific defense mechanisms. Non-specific defense includes the skin and mucous membranes, this defense mechanism is innate (innate immunity) meaning that the defense is naturally present and its absence is intrinsically influenced by contact with previous infectious agents. The defense mechanisms described earlier serve as the first line of defense for the body and inhibit most potential pathogens preventing the occurrence of emerging infections. This mechanism involves the humoral immune system, namely the production of B cell antibodies and T cell cellular immunity.
Types of Autoimmune Diseases Most People Suffer
1. Rheumatoid Arthritis (Rheumatism)
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that attacks the joints and even to the eyes, skin, or heart. Rheumatoid arthritis causes the body’s immune system to attack its own tissues and cause complaints such as joint pain, swelling, and severe stiffness.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own cells and tissues. The immune system is a complex network of cells that work in harmony to defend the body against foreign substances that are harmful to the body.
3. Diabetes Type 1
People with type 1 diabetes are in a condition when the body does not make insulin at all. The reason is type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. A person can be born with this disease condition and it usually develops from childhood.
4. Alopecia (Hair Loss)
Usually, a person experiences alopecia when exposed to stress. Research shows that 70 percent of 500 alopecia patients experience stress. This health problem is said to arise when the body attacks the hair follicles. Damage that occurs is not permanent but can not cause baldness, thinning hair, or broken.
5. Inflammatory Bowel Disease
The immune system attacks the lining of the intestines is called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), because it can cause chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. This disease can present with symptoms of diarrhea, rectal bleeding, urgent bowel movements, abdominal pain, fever, weight loss, and fatigue.
6. Giant Cell Myocarditis
Is a rare cardiovascular disorder (heart or liver disease) for unknown reasons (idiopathic). It is characterized by inflammation of the heart muscle (myocardium), a condition called myocarditis.
7. Granulomatosis with polyangiitis
Also known as Wegener’s granulomatosis, this disease causes inflammation of the blood vessels in your nose, sinuses, throat, lungs and kidneys. Granulomatosis with polyangiitis can affect the ears, nose, throat, lungs, and kidneys. Reduces/inhibits blood flow to organs and tissues and causes damage.
8. Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple Sclerosis is a long-term disease that affects the brain, spinal cord, and the optic nerves in the eyes. This condition can cause problems/damage to vision, balance, muscle control, and basic body functions. The effects of Multiple Sclerosis are different for each sufferer.
9. Addison’s Disease
Addison’s Disease has several classifications. One of them is Primary Adrenal Insufficiency where the immune system attacks the adrenal glands. This disease can make the glands in the kidneys secrete a lot of hormones that cause muscle weakness, dark skin, decreased heart rate or blood pressure, and fatigue.
When the body is under stress (fighting infection), this lack of cortisol can result in a life-threatening Addisonian crisis characterized by low blood pressure.
Psoriasis is a long-term or chronic disease that attacks the skin. Psoriasis is considered a problem of the immune system. Triggers include infection, stress and cold. At first, this disease is only in the form of a red rash which is a sign of an overactive immune system.
Stages of Handling Autoimmune Diseases
It’s not easy to diagnose an autoimmune disease. Because every autoimmune disease has its own characteristics, the symptoms that appear can be the same. For the initial stage of this treatment, the doctor will run several tests to determine whether a person has an autoimmune disease, including the ANA (antinuclear antibody) test and a test to determine the inflammation that may be caused by an autoimmune disease.
After that, the doctor will give medication, either tablets or insulin, what kind of direct treatment is in accordance with the type of autoimmune disease suffered and a list of taboos that the patient must follow.
For example, if the detected autoimmune disease is type 1 diabetes, then the taboo given is a prohibition on consuming foods for diabetics such as foods that contain high glucose such as rice and flour-based ones such as noodles or pastry.
Autoimmune Disease Treatment
Although most of the autoimmune diseases can not be cured, but the symptoms that arise can be suppressed and maintained so that flares do not occur. Treatment for autoimmune diseases depends on the type of disease you have, your symptoms, and its severity. To treat pain, you can take aspirin or ibuprofen.
Patients can also undergo hormone replacement therapy if the autoimmune disease they suffer from inhibits hormone production in the body. For example, for people with type 1 diabetes, insulin injections are needed to regulate blood sugar levels, or for people with thyroiditis, thyroid hormone is given.
It could also take some drugs that suppress the immune system, such as corticosteroids (eg dexamethasone), used to help inhibit disease progression and maintain organ function.
Anti-TNF drugs, such as infliximab, can prevent inflammation caused by the autoimmune diseases rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.