A good immune system is supposed to protect the body from any free radicals and other things that could make it sick. While it would be ideal, this may not always be the case. There are conditions wherein the immune system mistakenly attacks the body, rather than protecting it. Those diseases are referred to as ‘autoimmune disorders.’
When you suffer from an autoimmune disorder, the immune system mistakes a part of your body as foreign. It then releases proteins known as autoantibodies to attack those healthy cells. If you suffer from an autoimmune disorder, medical checks with your doctor are called for.
You can then read more to learn about the best insights for managing your condition.
Get To Know The Symptoms Of The Disease First
No management of any disease can ever be done successfully if you don’t even know what the symptoms are. While there are over 80 different types of autoimmune diseases, the symptoms are similar. Being aware of what those symptoms are allows you to manage your disease better.
To start with, the early symptoms of an autoimmune disease include:
- Skin rashes;
- Hair loss;
- Achy muscles;
- Tingling and numbness in the hands and feet.
In managing a patient’s autoimmune disorder, there’s such a thing as symptom management. This means that the medication you’re given may only help with pain, swelling, and stiffness, and not treat the disease from the core. However, symptom management is still very important to have an overall better outlook on your autoimmune condition’s severity.
Undergoing Drug Therapy
Typically, a rheumatologist heads the team of doctors that’ll help the patient manage their autoimmune disorder. More specialists will be on board the team, depending on the disease’s severity, such as the extent of organ damage. For instance, nephrologists for the kidneys, dermatologists for the skin, and hepatologists for the liver.
Doctors typically want to start with an aggressive drug therapy treatment, using a wide array of drugs for your treatment. The common types of drug medications used are:
- IVIg (Intravenous Immunoglobin): A blood product type made out of antibodies. As its name implies, this medicine is administered to the body through an IV, to get the immune system back on track.
- Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): To help ease some symptoms like pain, stiffness, and swelling.
- Corticosteroids: Extremely powerful drugs used to fight inflammation by suppressing the immune system.
Eat A Healthy Diet
The human body is fueled by what it takes in. So, it follows that if you want to improve your immune system’s function, a healthy diet is also required. Being that the food you eat has a tremendous effect on the gut, it therefore follows that disease management should include being more mindful of your diet.
Autoimmune diseases, while different from each other, are also bound by a common thread: intestinal permeability, or leaky gut syndrome. When this happens, the body’s intestinal wall allows more harmful things to escape the body, causing an immune response.
Here are some tips to maintain a good diet:
- Address any food sensitivities you may have, such as those to dairy and gluten.
- Eliminate refined and processed foods, like white flour, refined oils, and syrups.
- Include fermented foods in your diet, such as kefir, yogurt, and kimchi.
- Get rid of unnecessary sugar intake, or stick to natural sugar like fruit instead.
If you’re a smoker, then you have to know that soon after diagnosis, quitting your smoking habit is a must-do. Exposure to specific toxic components of cigarette smoke can cause genetic mutations in the body.
Smoking a cigarette may have been one of the contributing factors to your autoimmune disease, particularly if you suffer from Systematic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), the most common form of lupus.
Keep Your Own Supply Of Oral Medications
Once you’ve been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, one of the most common symptoms you’re going to feel is pain. So, to stay on top of your disease management, keeping your own supply of the medication needed in your home is necessary. Acetaminophen, in particular, works well for pain.
The insights above are meant to serve as a guide and supplemental information on what you should do to help yourself or a friend or family member who has an autoimmune disorder. It’s best to see your doctor for sound medical advice and to educate you further about autoimmune disorders.
The exact and specific causes of autoimmune disorders are yet to be known. There are, however, ways to treat and manage them for a better quality of life.