According to John Hopkins Medicine, there are more than 100 distinct forms of autoimmune illnesses, and 23.5 million Americans are thought to be affected. “A person’s immune system attacking healthy cells and tissues is what is known as an autoimmune illness. The immune system serves as our own personal army, whose duty it is to ward against intruders. If the army begins fighting its own, we will be forced to deal with the fallout,” explains Dr. Suman Radhakrishna, the infectious disease director of Dignity Healthy California Hospital. “Because of their mild symptoms, autoimmune disorders are sometimes difficult to detect. However, by being aware of the warning signals, one may diagnose the condition more quickly and begin treatment.” Dr. Radhakrishna discusses risk factors for autoimmune diseases as well as warning signs to watch out for.
1 — Those Who Are at Risk for Autoimmune Diseases
According to Dr. Radhakrishna, “Some of the risk factors for developing autoimmune diseases include female sex ( 80% in females), genetics, previous diagnosis of an autoimmune disease (rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and others), certain infections (COVID, Epstein Barr virus, Group A Strep infection), smoking, obesity, and exposure to toxins.”
2 — What Effects Can an Autoimmune Have on Daily Life and General Health?
Dr. Radhakrishna affirms that autoimmune illness may have an impact on both overall health and health quality. “A person may feel exhausted and unable to function or carry out everyday tasks due to pain, exhaustion, lack of appetite, nausea, and fever. A person may become paralyzed and dependent on dialysis due to irreversible damage to organs including joints, kidneys, and the brain.”
3 — Tiredness
Dr. Radhakrishna says “fatigue is an almost universal problem that both patients and physicians find to be highly irritating. The severity of this symptom is extremely difficult to gauge, and there are other conditions other than autoimmune disorders that may also produce tiredness. All of us often suffer sleep deprivation and stress, both physical and mental, which normally get better after the stressor is eliminated and the sleep deficit is restored. However, it is essential to talk to your healthcare practitioner if tiredness continues along with other symptoms.”
4 — Joint Pain and Swelling
“Joint discomfort and swelling, which are often seen in the hands and big joints, may be a sign of an autoimmune condition,” says Dr. Radhakrishna. “It’s also typical to have morning stiffness that gets better over the day. It is unusual to have trouble gripping the brush while brushing your hair. Early detection and intervention may stop debilitating arthritis and preserve quality of life.”
5 — Rash
According to Dr. Radhakrishna, “Rash on the skin – This condition may only affect the body’s exposed skin in the sun. It may be flaky and psoriasis-like, sporadic, or chronic. Talk to your doctor if you see a rash that keeps coming back or is bothersome.”
6 — GI Problems
Dr. Radhakrishna says that “Due to inflammation of the digestive system, abdominal discomfort and digestive problems including diarrhea and constipation, nausea, vomiting, and appetite loss may be rather prevalent. As a result, weight fluctuations may occur.”
7 — Fever and Swollen Gland
Swollen glands and sporadic fever are frequent symptoms. Again, these symptoms are general and are often seen. If things keep happening, please see your doctor.