Research has shown that autoimmune diseases are on the rise in the United States. The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association estimates that approximately 50 million Americans suffer from autoimmune diseases, which is more than cancer and heart disease combined. Despite this rise in disease, it is still extremely common for patients to suffer for months or years before receiving a proper diagnosis.
An autoimmune disease is a condition in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells in your own body. This reaction can lead to tissue damage and inflammation either locally or systemically (throughout the whole body). While little is known about why autoimmune diseases occur, we do know that autoimmune diseases are often genetically linked. When a patient suffers from an autoimmune disease, it increases their risk for developing additional autoimmune conditions.
Due to the genetic component, autoimmune diseases also run in families. If you have someone in your family that has an autoimmune condition, you are not only at risk for acquiring that condition, but you are also at risk for developing a number of other autoimmune conditions. Because of this, early detection and treatment are essential for preventing these conditions or from slowing progression of tissue damage and symptoms.
Autoimmune diseases are more common than most people think. Many patients are diagnosed with an autoimmune disease without knowing that that condition falls under the category of autoimmunity. Some of the main conditions that have been identified as autoimmune diseases include:
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
If you or someone you know if looking to receive treatment for their autoimmune conditions, call our office today to schedule an appointment with one of our knowledgeable physicians.