In my second post in this series, I discussed what Autoimmune disease is and I explained the symptoms. if you missed it you can find it here:
As you continue this journey of understanding Autoimmune disease, let me help you understand exactly what types of autoimmune disease exist so far.
Have you Clicked on the Follow Button Yet? This ensures that you get access to future posts.
Types of Autoimmune Diseases
Autoimmune patients see five doctors over 4.6 years before they get a correct diagnosis. (1)
That’s because, there are between 80 and 100 different types of autoimmune diseases, and some of them are hard to diagnose. Over 45% of autoimmune sufferers are labelled “chronic complainers” in their early years before diagnosis. (1)
Are you one of them?
There are two groups of autoimmune diseases, those that affect a single organ (organ specific), and those that affect multiple organs (Systemic). The causes of either types of autoimmunity remain unclear, several immunological mechanisms have been implicated, along with genetic and environmental factors.
Examples of Organ Specific Autoimmune Disease
Hypothyroidism, chronic inflammation of the thyroid. The immune system attacks and destroys the thyroid gland. Fatigue, weight gain and hair loss are just some of the common symptoms.
Hyperthyroidism, excessive thyroid hormone production.
Skin condition, where the skin turns over too quickly. When the cells rise to the surface, they build up and causes flaky white layers of patches of skin which are itchy.
Inflammation of the pancreas causing insulin deficiency resulting in high blood sugar, called Hyperglycaemia.
Insufficiency of the adrenal gland.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome, (IBS).
Inflammation of the bowl and colon.
Gluten intolerance which affects the small intestine.
Inflammation of the lining of the bowl.
A reduction in red blood cells because of the inability to absorb Vitamin B12.
A rare disease whereby the peripheral nervous system is attacked.
This is a common form of chronic inflammatory arthritis. It affects the joints in the spine and the sacroiliac joints of the pelvis leading to severe pain, deformity and disability.
Causes widespread pain, tenderness and fatigue.
Examples of Systemic Autoimmune Diseases include:
Inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissue.
Affects the skin, joints, kidney and brain.
This is inflammation of the joints, the urethra and the eyes.
Affects the salivary glands, and tear ducts sometimes the kidney and lungs.
For a more comprehensive list of both types of autoimmune disease visit the American Autoimmune Related Disease Association web site (2)
Continued research has provided the medical community with various treatments, both pharmacological and natural, which can help treat the symptoms as well as treat the cause, once identified.
Traditional medical doctors generally prescribe drugs to treat the symptoms, that’s how they’re trained. They look at symptoms, identify disease, then prescribe drugs to treat the disease. They may not be open to discussion or looking for a cause, because in some instances, they don’t believe that there is a cure.
However, there are Functional Medicine doctors around that have helped patients treat their symptoms and “cure” them of their condition. People have claimed to have cured their disease often through natural medicine, by treating the cause.
Here are a couple of examples:
- Dr Mark Hyman, author of the book Eat Fat, Get Thin: Why the Fat We Eat Is the Key to Sustained Weight Loss and Vibrant Health (3), who gives examples of how he has treated his patients.(4)
- Dr Amy Myers Author of NY Times Bestseller, The Autoimmune Solution: Prevent and Reverse the Full Spectrum of Inflammatory Symptoms and Diseases, explains, “The accepted philosophy is that autoimmune disorders are inevitable, that they can be managed, but neither prevented nor reversed.”
Amy admits that conventional medicine had failed her. (5)
Amy’s methodology focuses on a healthy diet and lifestyle complemented with high-quality supplements to eliminate symptoms and get off medications.
Now you understand that there are many types of autoimmune disease and there are functional medicine doctors who can help you treat and manage the condition.
Which leads me to my next question and next blog, where you will discover the type of treatment options available.
Part 4 in this 6-part series uncovers a shocking statistic, no wonder autoimmune disease is hard treat. Find out, what the treatment options are, for autoimmune disease.
Part 4: Treating Autoimmune Disease – Is There Only One Way?
If you’ve enjoyed reading this blog, please share with your family and friends on social media.
Education is important, more people need to understand and learn about this growing disease.
Stay informed, Follow My Blog Now so that you receive updates of future posts.
Check out part 4, its ready and waiting for you right here…
Thank you for following and sharing. I would love to hear your thoughts, please comment below.
You Are What You Eat, Choose Wisely.
Katherine Minett, a Blogger with Hashimoto Thyroiditis, is on a mission to educate and guide others on the importance that good nutrition has, in preventing and managing autoimmune diseases. Specifically, how to manage the symptoms of weight gain and fatigue that are commonly associated with these conditions.
Disclaimer: “Essential Nutrition Tips Blog” does not offer medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have medical concerns please consult your doctor. See Full Disclaimer.
Affiliate Disclaimer: This blog post and other blog posts on Essential Nutrition Tips Blog, may contain affiliate links to third party web sites. I may receive a small commission from sales on some products. However, the price to you remains the same. These affiliate links are a way of offsetting the costs of running my blog, Essential Nutrition Tips Blog.
American Autoimmune Related Disease Association. Autoimmune Disease Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.aarda.org/news-information/statistics/#1488234345468-3bf2d325-1052
American Autoimmune Related Disease Association. Autoimmune Disease List. Retrieved from https://www.aarda.org/diseaselist/
Hyman M. MD., (2016). Eat Fat, Get Thin: Why the Fat We Eat Is the Key to Sustained Weight Loss and Vibrant Health New York, NY: Little Brown and Company.
Hyman M. MD., How to Stop Attacking Yourself: 9 Steps to Heal Autoimmune Disease Retrieved from http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/07/30/how-to-stop-attacking-yourself-9-steps-to-heal-autoimmune-disease/
Myers, A. MD. (Sept 2016). My Autoimmune Journey and Yours. The Autoimmune Solution: Prevent and Reverse the Full Spectrum of Inflammatory Symptoms and Diseases The Autoimmune: Prevent and Reverse the Full Spectrum of Inflammatory Symptoms and Disease. (pp. 3-4). New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers.