In healthy individuals, the immune system protects the body against a host of harmful substances (antigens), which includes toxins, various bacterial and viral strains, as also cancer cells.
Substances called antibodies are produced by the immune system to fight the antigens. But under certain circumstances the antibodies end up attacking healthy body tissues and organs instead of fighting disease causing pathogens.
When the immune system of the body launches an aggressive response against body substances and tissues, it is commonly referred as an auto immune disease or disorder. The immune system initiates this attack because it mistakenly identifies certain body parts as antigens, and in the process ends up attacking healthy body cells.
Certain organs and tissues of the body, like the thyroid glands as also the tissues which line the lungs and the kidney, are more likely to be attacked by the immune system in the event of an auto immune disorder. Other body parts which are normally affected by an autoimmune disease or disorder include the skin, muscles, connective tissues, joints, blood vessels and red blood cells.
7 Symptoms of Autoimmune Disease
Medical researchers have been able to identify nearly eighty different types of autoimmune disorders. Individuals who suffer from an autoimmune disorder will generally exhibit a variety of symptoms. Typical symptoms exhibited by individuals diagnosed with an autoimmune disease have been described below.
Individuals, who suffer from an autoimmune disorder, constantly complain of extreme tiredness. Under normal circumstances, the feeling of tiredness or fatigue disappears after taking adequate rest. But when a person feels exhausted persistently, despite taking adequate rest, it is a clear warning sign that all is not well with their health.
Joint and Muscle Pain
An autoimmune disorder can trigger constant muscle and joint pain. The muscle and joint pain brought about by an autoimmune disease can typically be described as a dull, burning or aching pain.
Along with muscle pain, extreme weakness of the muscle may also be experienced. Typically patients who suffer from autoimmune disorders complain of muscle weakness or loss of strength in their arms and legs.
Vulnerability to Infections
The chances of contracting infections are much higher in individuals who are detected with an autoimmune disorder. Such individuals may frequently suffer from sore throat, ear infections, yeast infections, bladder infections, sinusitis and cold. These people also take a greater time to recover from their infection.
Autoimmune diseases can cause the body glands, particularly the glands situated under the arms, near the throat and the legs, to become painfully inflamed.
Changes in Blood Pressure
People with autoimmune disease experience sudden and inexplicable changes in their blood pressure reading. While most patients of autoimmune disease experience very low blood pressure, some people may suffer from very high blood pressure. The changes in blood pressure are often accompanied by palpitations, dizziness and vertigo.
Low Grade Fever
Low grade fever is another indicator of an auto immune disorder. People with autoimmune disease may have a persistent low grade fever or their body temperature reading always lie between the 98 and 100 degree Fahrenheit mark. Recurrent allergies, candida yeast infections, pre menstrual syndrome, excessive anxiety or depression and disturbed sleep are some of the other common symptoms of an autoimmune disorder.