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Doctor insights on: What Does It Mean If I Have Autoimmune Disorders

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I hear autoimmune disorders described as an overactive immune system. Does that mean those people can never get sick?

I hear autoimmune disorders described as an overactive immune system. Does that mean those people can never get sick?

No: To the contrary, some autoimmune diseases carry an increased risk of serious infection. Autoimmunity may interfere with the body's defense against infection. ...Read more

Autoimmune (Definition)

The immune system developed to tell our own, normal cells (self) from foreign and abnormal cells (non-self). This lets the immune system eliminate viruses, bacteria, fungi and cancer cells from our body without harming normal cells. Sometimes the immune system fails to tell self from non-self and it attacks normal cells, for example in ...Read more


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What kind of medicine treats autoimmune disorders?

What kind of medicine treats autoimmune disorders?

Immunosuppresents: Since autoimmune diseases are a diverse group of diseases which have in common activation of the immune system which leads to different complications (depending upon the disease) the best way to treat is to use medications which suppress the immune system (such as steroids and sometimes chemotherapy). ...Read more

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Why are autoimmune disorders are considered so dangerous?

They destroy tissues: Autoimmune disorders arise from an overactive immune system in which the body attacks its own tissues. The different types & the amount of destruction that occurs depends on the kinds of tissues targeted. Some affect a single organ (as in thyroiditis) while others involve multiple areas (such as lupus). If not diagnosed & treated, these disorders progressively worsen health & may hasten death. ...Read more

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Is there any particular "look" to people with autoimmune disorders?

No: I would caution everyone against these superstitious ideas. They serve no purpose, and even if there were some basis (for example, someone with advanced cancer "looks malignant" because of cachexia), the impression is less sensitive and less specific than a scientific exam. Life's difficult enough without well-intentioned lay people frightening folks for no reason. ...Read more

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For those with autoimmune disorders-how long did it take to get your diagnoses?

For those with autoimmune disorders-how long did it take to get your diagnoses?

Weeks to years: When diseases present explosively with all signs and symptoms as I have seen in some cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the diagnosis may be made in weeks to months. Other times, the disease may evolve slowly (as in scleroderma) and diagnosis may take years. ...Read more

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Do autoimmune disorders kill you?

Some can but it vari: Yes they can. It depends on the type of autoimmune disorder and the extent of activity. Each person with an autoimmune disease has a different type of involvement. It depends on the extent of activity and how well the treatment can control its activity. This something to discuss with your physician. ...Read more

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Is gluten bad for you? Can it cause autoimmune disorders?

Is gluten bad for you? Can it cause autoimmune disorders?

Well: Not a problem for most people there's a very small amount of people who have celiac Sprue gluten or gluten sensitivity or allergy ...Read more

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Is quinoa and sprouted grains okay for people with autoimmune disorders?

Unknown: Good question. There are no studies to support the benefits or the risks of quinoa and sprouted grains in people with autoimmune disorders. ...Read more

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Does the herb kalawalla (polypodium leucotamos) actually work for autoimmune disorders?

Maybe: There are some case reports (single cases) of it helping patients, but I do not know of any credible studies that have actually been done to critically answer that question. So while it might help, we can't be sure, and it might have side effects. ...Read more

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Dr. Tania Dempsey
90 doctors shared insights

Autoimmune Conditions (Definition)

The body is reacting to something that is indigenous to itself. It is acting as if it is a foreign invader , and 'fighting" it. This is not ...Read more