Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Some Facts On Auto Immune Disorders Charlotte Residents Will Find Informative

By Ann Lewis

When a bacterial organism, a virus or a protozoan gains entry into the body, the immune system is activated to fight it off. The same also occurs when we suffer from cancerous and inflammatory conditions. In some cases, however, element in our own tissues activate the system and cause auto immune diseases. There are a number of facts on auto immune disorders Charlotte residents need to be aware of if they have been diagnosed with the condition.

To date, there are at least 80 autoimmune diseases that have been identified. In the united states alone, close to 50 million people are affected. For reasons that still remain obscure, these types of diseases are more common in women than men. Diagnosis is a bit challenging mainly due to the fact that they have similar patterns of presentation. A significant proportion of patients have more than one type.

Type 1 diabetes is perhaps the most well-known type. In this condition the immune system is activated and produces autoantibodies that are directed at the active cells of the pancreas. These cells produce an important regulatory hormone known as insulin. When the cells are destroyed, insulin will not be produced and the affected individual starts suffering from sustained episodes of high blood glucose levels that has to be controlled by injectable insulin for their entire life.

Another commonly encountered condition is rheumatoid arthritis. The antibodies that are produced here target and destroy the inner lining of small joints of the toes and fingers. The result is chronic inflammation that is associated with swelling and pain. If intervention does not take place early, the joints may be damaged permanently and function impaired. Management is mainly through the use of anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressant drugs.

Inflammatory bowel disease affects the large and the small intestines. There are two main types of this condition: ulcerative colitis and Chrons disease. The latter type is more aggressive. The cause of the problem is the presence of antibodies that attack the mucosa and muscular layers leading to inflammation. Patients will usually complain of diarrhea, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, weight loss and fever among others. Immunosuppressant drugs help to reduce symptom severity.

The nervous system may also be affected by a number of autoimmune condition. Multiple sclerosis is a condition that affects peripheral nerves causing loss of the protective coat known as myelin. The symptoms include visual impairment, weakness, muscle spasms, pain and lack of coordination. Myasthenia gravis affects the nerve endings and impairs proper function of muscles. Pyridostignime is the drug of choice. Gullain Barre Syndrome, GBS is another example.

Graves disease and Hashimotos thyroiditis are examples of autoimmune conditions that affect the thyroid gland. In the case of Graves, the immune system produces autoantibodies that cause thyroid gland stimulation. The result of this is increased thyroid hormone in circulation a condition also referred to as hyperthyroidism. In Hashimotos, antibodies attack the gland leading to reduced hormone production (hypothyroidism).

Many other systems may be affected. The skin may be involved in the case of conditions such as psoriasis, scleroderma and vitiligo. Multiple systems are involved in the case of systemic lupus erythematosus. Regardless of the type, treatment is based on immune system suppression. Other drugs may be administered as well for symptomatic relief.

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