What Is Autoimmune Disease: The Basics

My clinical practice focuses on autoimmune disease. My website will also serve as a large resource for anyone suffering from autoimmune disease.

This post is just an introduction into what Autoimmune disease is, a very basic introduction at that.

For more information and in depth analysis please click here.

What is Autoimmune Disease?

Autoimmune disease is defined as a loss of self-tolerance, resulting in immune reactions that are directed against self (or host) tissue [1].

There are several proposed mechanisms as to how autoimmune disease comes to be, including [1]:

  • Genetic factors
  • Toxins (dietary, drugs/medications)
  • Hormonal factors
  • Digestive/Gut Factors
Autoimmune_environmental Triggers

How Prevalent is Autoimmune Disease?

Autoimmune disease affects about 3-5% of the population. It’s true the prevalence of autoimmune disease is far less than other major diseases like heart disease (affects 11.5% of the population) and diabetes (affects 14% of the population) [2],[3].

What is significant is the effects on quality of life and overall health implications of some of these diseases. and mortality associated with autoimmune diseases.

Types of Disease

Autoimmune disease is a complex process. Not only are there more than 100 distinct autoimmune diseases, they all present differently with various influencing factors.

We now know gender, age, ethnicity and even geographical location affects these types of diseases [1]. Their respective effects vary from one disease to another.

We have different ways of classifying these diseases:

  • Organ specific disorders: conditions that see targeted attack against a particular organ or tissue
    • Examples include Addison disease, Pernicious anemia, Hashimoto thyroiditis, Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PCB)
  • Systemic Disorders: conditions which have a more widespread effect, where one diagnosis may affect multiple locations throughout the body
    • Examples include: SLE, Rheumatoid arthritis, Systemic sclerosis

How can Autoimmune Disease be Treated?

Conventional medicine targets the immune system, generally focusing on anti-inflammatories. Although effective for most, these meds can cause serious side effects and most importantly doesn’t cover all the bases. A lot more can be done to manage and treat autoimmune disease.

Natural interventions can also work on balancing the immune system but also focus on all the other contributing factors. The objective of this website is to highlight how we can manage autoimmune disease. Education plays a huge role!

 

Please dig a bit deeper, check out the rest of my Autoimmune Page.

Check out my site, you’ll learn about the contributing factors and how we can most effectively treat autoimmune disease.

References

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