An autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system of the body accidentally attacks one or several organ systems. Science has revealed that the autoimmune disease symptoms are experienced by millions of Americans and the number is on the rise.
The prognoses and symptoms vary between patients and within the individual with time. The conditions of autoimmune diseases may have various core symptoms, although the organ systems that are affected ensure appropriate diagnosis.
Autoimmune Disease Symptoms
1. Joint Ache
One of the common symptoms of an autoimmune disease in women is joint ache. This is commonly faced by patients who suffer from Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
Symmetrical joint pain which occurs suddenly gets severe and is followed with rashes and fevers. This often indicates a growing single joint ache.
Fatigue is commonly experienced by women who face the autoimmune disease. Although scientists are yet to estimate the exact reason, one of them has been attributed to inflammation due to over activity of the immune system. The sufferers usually experience periods of fatigue which is complemented with brain fog, disturbed sleep and reduced stamina. This indicates various conditions.
This is how the body staves off infection. These autoimmune disease symptoms are caused when the non adaptive immune system attacks its host. Continued fever at lower temperatures may accompany diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, although their existence is not recognized until measured with a thermometer. Usually, temperatures over 99 degrees C lasting more than 6 months should call for additional examination.
4. Other Symptoms
There are more than 100 conditions which are classed as autoimmune diseases. The possible symptoms involve rashes, allergies, and sudden changes in weight, changes in mood and personality and recurring infections. The complaints may be specific such as problems with vision or non specific like dipped mood, pains and exhaustion. As the disease can affect the different organ systems, the symptoms generally include different areas of the body.
Aspects to Consider
The autoimmune diseases share symptoms with other disorders. You can only find out by undergoing special tests from an immunologist, physician or medical professional. The main reasons why autoimmune diseases are more prevalent in women than in men include the following:
1. Immunity Differences
The levels of immunity vary according to gender. Researchers believe that women undergo greater risks of contracting the disease since their immunity levels are more sophisticated than that of men.
The inflammatory responses of women are stronger when their immunity is triggered. While this means a stronger immunity, it also makes women vulnerable to autoimmune disease symptoms in case anything goes wrong.
2. Sexual Hormones
Hormonal differences account for the higher incidence of autoimmune diseases in women. It is believed that many autoimmune diseases are triggered with the fluctuations of the female hormones during their menstrual cycle, pregnancy or when they use an oral contraception. This hints to the fact that the sex hormones play a role in triggering the autoimmune diseases.
3. Genetic Susceptibility
Scientists have suggested that since women have two X chromosomes as opposed to the X and Y of men, they have the genetic predisposition of developing a few autoimmune diseases. There are also a few evidences that problems in the X chromosome can be associated with an increasing likelihood to developing certain autoimmune diseases which have complex genetics.
4. Pregnancy History
It has been seen that the fetal cells may circulate in the female body years following pregnancy which can worsen or expedite a few autoimmune diseases.
Types of Autoimmune Diseases
The common types of autoimmune diseases comprise thyroid, systemic lupus erythematosus and Type 1 diabetes. The characteristics of under active thyroid include sensitiveness towards cold, obesity, depression and constipation. The characteristics of over active thyroid include irritability, insomnia and weight loss.
Symptoms of lupus take into account butterfly rashes across the cheeks and nose, swollen and painful joints, and sunshine sensitivity. If you experience problems of balance and coordination, you might suffer from multiple sclerosis.
The autoimmune disease symptoms cannot be cured. It is best to see a doctor who specializes in the condition you are suffering from. Making lifestyle changes can improve your condition such as improving your diet, taking rest, switching to an exercise regime and stress reduction.