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Understanding Autoimmune Disorders: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Body's Internal Battle



Introduction

Autoimmune disorders are a perplexing category of diseases that occur when the immune system, which is designed to protect the body from foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses, mistakenly attacks its own healthy cells. The immune system has a specific loss tolerance to self known as immune dysregulation. This malfunction can affect virtually any part of the body, leading to a wide range of symptoms and complications. Let's delve into the intricacies of autoimmune disorders, exploring their causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options.


What Are Autoimmune Disorders?


Autoimmune is dis-ease of the immune system. It encompasses a diverse group of conditions characterized by the immune system's defensive response against the body's own cells effecting the body's tissues. There are over 80 recognized autoimmune diseases, each with its own unique set of symptoms and targets. Some common examples include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, Hashimoto's, Graves disease, psoriasis, Crohn’s, Sjogren’s, and inflammatory bowel disease.


Causes of Autoimmune Disorders:


The cause of autoimmune disorders occur when your immune system gets confused and your own tissues get caught in friendly cross-fire. Your body is fighting something — an infection, a toxin, an allergen, a food or the stress response — and somehow it redirects its hostile attack on your joints, your brain, your thyroid, your gut, your skin, or sometimes your whole body. The immune systems confusion results from what is referred to as molecular mimicry. The functional medicine approach finds out which molecule the cells are mimicking. It addresses the root cause of the issue which allows the healing process to begin!




Symptoms of Autoimmune Disorders:

The symptoms of autoimmune disorders vary widely depending on the specific condition and the organs or tissues affected. However, some common symptoms may include:

- Fatigue

- Joint pain and stiffness

- Muscle weakness

- Skin rashes

- Fever

- Digestive issues

- Numbness or tingling

- Hair loss

- Difficulty concentrating

-Increase allergens (Histamine response)


Diagnosis

Diagnosing autoimmune disorders can be challenging due to the broad spectrum of symptoms and the overlap with other medical conditions. Healthcare providers typically conduct a thorough medical history review, and a variety of diagnostic tests, including blood tests to detect deficiencies, antibodies and inflammation markers, imaging studies, and tissue biopsies.


Treatment Options


Conventional options

Autoimmune disorders using a conventional approach does not focus on finding the root cause to the immune disregulation. However the provide various treatments that aim to alleviate symptoms, suppress the immune response, and prevent further damage to tissues and organs. Treatment strategies may include:

- Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are commonly prescribed to manage symptoms and reduce inflammation.

- Lifestyle modifications: Adopting a healthy lifestyle.

- Biologic therapies: Biologic drugs, such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors and interleukin inhibitors, target specific components of the immune system to dampen the inflammatory response.


Functional Medicine Approach

Conventional medicine works well for the beginning stage when the body requires immediate relief. However for healing this should be a short term solution. The focus of the functional medicine approach is to address an over reactive immune system by creating a detailed and specific individualistic plan tailored to your unique body. The functional medicine approach helps to relieve symptoms and addresses the root cause of your immune dis-ease to optimize recovery. It is important to have a multidisciplinary approach working along side the primary care physician for a successful treatment plan.





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