Autoimmune Disease Symptoms To Look Out For PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 17 February 2012 00:03
We have understood for  a long time that the detection and subsequent diagnoses of autoimmune diseases are difficult. However, there are key rheumatic and physical indicators such as joint pain and fatigue, fevers, increasing skin conditions, inflammation, and much more. Kathleen McGowan of SELF magazine put together a useful list of things one can look for, in symptoms of autoimmune diseases.

If you have… A distinctive red butterfly-shaped rash on the nose or cheeks , swollen joints, sun sensitivity, skin lesions, hair loss
It could be… Lupus, an inflammatory condition that may attack tissues throughout the body. Most patients are women in their child-bearing years; African Americans have a higher risk.

If you have… Unexplained weight loss or gain; high sensitivity to heat or cold; bulging eyeballs or a puffy face
It could be… Graves' or Hashimoto's disease, in which your immune system attacks your thyroid. In Graves', thyroid hormones overproduce, speeding up metabolism. Hashimoto's reduces thyroid hormones, slowing bodily processes. Thyroid disorders strike far more women than men, possibly due to higher levels of estrogen in our body.

If you have… Joints that are extremely stiff, swollen and painful (especially in the wrists and knuckles), hard bumps under the skin of your elbows
It could be… Rheumatoid arthritis, caused by inflammation in the synovial membrane, the lining that allows joints to move smoothly.

If you have… Abdominal pain, bloating, intermittent diarrhea
It could be… Celiac disease, a digestive condition that damages the small intestine and inhibits the absorption of nutrients when eating foods that contain gluten. This malabsorption can harm the central nervous system or even cause miscarriage. Those with thyroid disease and type 1 diabetes are at greater risk.

If you have… Tingling in arms and legs, numbness in hands and feet, blurry vision, slurred speech, loss of balance
It could be… Multiple sclerosis, a disease that targets myelin, the fatty insulation around nerve fibers, disrupting the transition of signals to and from the brain and spinal cord. It's more common among people living in high latitudes, including the northern United States.

If you have… Dryness, such as in the mouth, eyes or vagina; tooth decay
It could be… Sjogren's syndrome (pronounced "show grins"), in which moisture-producing glands become inflamed. Artificial tears and saliva can help ease dryness.

McGowen did not look at Scleroderma. However,

If you have... Skin changes including swollen fingers and hands and thickened patches of skin (particularly on the fingers; and tight skin around the hands, face or mouth), exaggerated responses to cold temperatures resulting in pain or color changes in the fingers or toes (indicators of Raynaud's phenonema), suffer from acid reflux symptoms, or unexplained weight loss
It could be... Scleroderma, a group of rare, progressive diseases that involve the hardening and tightening of the skin and underlying connective tissues

There is no need to panic though. With some idea of the changes which may be occuring, do take control. Visit with your doctor to get started on the testing required to confirm or deny the presence of an autoimmune disease.

 

Comments  

 
+2 #2 Kimberly Radomski 2012-03-13 12:28
I am so sorry about your loss, my prayers are with you.
My Aunt Tereca had Scleroderma, and Psoriasis and Multiple Sclerosis..but she passed away from Lewy Body Dementia. LBD is a fatal Dementia that is fatal. Autoimmune diseases can be fatal as well.
My Mom has Lupus, Scleroderma, MS, Leukopenia, CREST syndrome and discoid Lupus. I have Sarcoidosis, MS, Lupus, Psoriasis and bliferitis as well as Eryethma Nodosum. My sister has Perniciuos anemia as well as Raynauds. I also have a FB group under the name SCLERODERMA & AUTOIMMUNE RELATED DISEASES EDUCATIONAL FORUM, where we can all share our knowlege of all these diseases. I hope you will join. xoxo Take care of you! :-)
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+3 #1 Peggy Harmeyer 2012-02-18 15:43
To those who have an autoimmune disease or have a family member with one. Move away from fear and learn more about these diseases. The more we learn the closer we will get to a cure! My Mom passed with Systemic Scleroderma and we didn't know much about this disease when she was first and we are still learning and I will never stop learning more about these diseases.
Peggy
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