What is an Autoimmune Disorder?
The immune system is a collection of special cells and chemicals that fight infection-causing agents such as bacteria and viruses. An autoimmune disorder occurs when a person’s immune system mistakenly attacks their own body tissues.
Autoimmune disorders are broadly grouped into two categories — ‘organ-specific’ means one organ is affected, while in ‘non-organ-specific’ disorders, multiple organs or body systems may be affected.
There are around 80 different autoimmune disorders ranging in severity from mild to disabling, depending on which system of the body is under attack and to what degree. For unknown reasons, women are more susceptible than men, particularly during their childbearing years. It is thought that sex hormones may be at least partly responsible.
Examples of an Autoimmune Disorder
- Autoimmune disorders can affect nearly every organ and system of the body. Some autoimmune disorders include:
- Diabetes (Type I) — affects the pancreas. Symptoms include thirst, frequent urination, weight loss and an increased susceptibility to infection.
- Graves’ disease — affects the thyroid gland. Symptoms include weight loss, elevated heart rate, anxiety and diarrhoea.
- Inflammatory bowel disease — includes ulcerative colitis and possibly, Crohn’s disease. Symptoms include diarrhoea and abdominal pain.
- Multiple sclerosis — affects the nervous system. Depending on which part of the nervous system is affected, symptoms can include numbness, paralysis and vision impairment.
- Psoriasis — affects the skin. Features include the development of thick, reddened skin scales.
- Rheumatoid arthritis — affects the joints. Symptoms include swollen and deformed joints. The eyes, lungs and heart may also be targeted.
- Scleroderma — affects the skin and other structures, causing the formation of scar tissue. Features include thickening of the skin, skin ulcers and stiff joints.
- Systemic lupus erythematosus — affects connective tissue and can strike any organ system of the body. Symptoms include joint inflammation, fever, weight loss and a characteristic facial rash.
Listen to the Doctors Clinic call and find out how you can support your body’s immune system.
This call includes a discussion about the Sisel product Avenger.
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Last Updated on March 27, 2023 by Katie Sisel Distributor