Look around you. If you’re alone, think about the last five people you saw. Statistically speaking, one of them has, or will develop, an autoimmune disease. Perhaps you yourself have been diagnosed with one. It’s a sobering thought, isn’t it?
Just the same, there’s no need to panic and think that every symptom is leading you to an autoimmune disease. If you think you or your loved one may be at risk, it’s time to get educated about the facts.
The Lowdown on Autoimmune Disease
Autoimmune disease occurs when your body starts attacking itself. This happens when your body rightfully defends itself against foreign invaders and trauma, but the defense is overly enthusiastic.
When you get a cold, have surgery, or experience any kind of trauma, your body sends out cytokines to start the process of inflammation. It increases your white blood cells to attack foreign invaders and heal wounds.
Unfortunately, good tissue and organs may be harmed in the midst of friendly fire. This happens when your body cannot differentiate between the foreign invaders and its own tissue. The result is long-standing inflammation and, eventually, autoimmune disease.
However, there’s no need to panic every time you catch a cold or scrape your knee. The majority of the time, your body will take care of it just as it should. In addition, there are certain genetic components involved that may predispose certain people to autoimmune disease.
Let’s take a look at eight warning signs that you shouldn’t ignore.
8 Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore
If you suspect you have autoimmune disease, take a look at these most common symptoms.
1. Joint or Muscle Pain
This is often one of the most telling signs. If you experience persistent pain in your joints or muscles, it could be a sign that your body is experiencing excess inflammation.
2. Weight Loss and/or Rapid Heartbeat
Your thyroid plays a big role in maintaining your metabolism and heart rate. If you experience ongoing changes in either, it might be a warning sign that your thyroid is under attack.
3. Butterfly Rashes or Other Skin Rashes
One tell-tale sign of lupus is the butterfly-shaped rash on your nose and cheeks.
4. Feeling Fatigued
Fatigue to some degree is normal for most people. However, those at risk for an autoimmune disease often experience an almost indescribable fatigue, where it feels almost as if the cells and muscles of the body are starving for air.
5. White Patches on the Inside of Your Mouth
These white patches may signal that your body is overrun with candida, a yeast that occurs naturally in small amounts to aid with digestion. However, if you experience an overgrowth of candida it can lead to a compromised immune system.
6. Blood Clots or Multiple Miscarriages
If you have experienced either of these symptoms, you know that all is not as it should be. They are possible signals of a number of autoimmune diseases. Getting diagnosed is of utmost concern.
7. Brain Fog
The byproduct of an attack on a foreign invader is often chemical waste, such as ammonia. Excess ammonia causes you to be unable to think clearly and may even lead to anxiety and insomnia. If you experience difficulty concentrating for an extended period of time, it may be a sign that your body is fighting a long-standing battle with bacteria that could lead an autoimmune disease.
8. Numbness or Tingling
Numbness or tingling, especially in your hands or feet, is a common sign of autoimmune diseases such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Not all numbness and tingling is a result of autoimmune disease, so working with a medical professional to find out the true cause is imperative.
Now That You Know the Facts…
Education is the first line of defense in the battle against autoimmune disease. With that in mind, we’ve designed a guide to help you live, and live well, with autoimmune disease. Living Well with an Autoimmune Disease is your guide to taking a whole body approach to healing. Download your free copy as our gift to you!