Autoimmune Disease: 5 Warning Signs You Can’t Ignore
Autoimmune disease affects 20 million people in the USA alone and is 2 times more common in women. Of those 20 million people suffering, millions don’t know they are suffering or have been given an incorrect diagnosis.
Autoimmune disease occurs when the body’s immune system gets confused and starts attacking healthy cells rather than bacteria and viruses. We still don’t know exactly why this happens, although recent research is leading some scientists to think that environmental factors and Western diets play a role.
There are over 80 different types of autoimmune disease with a wide range of symptoms that can range from mild to severe making it difficult for traditional doctors to catch and diagnose it properly.
You may have heard of some of the common types of autoimmune illnesses:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Celiac disease
- Hashimoto’s disease
- Type 1 diabetes
While there is no cure, Naturopathic Doctors approach autoimmune illness by recognizing the symptoms, modifying the environment and making lifestyle changes to manage the symptoms of autoimmune disease.
Here are 5 early warning signs of autoimmune disease you may be experiencing:
Unexplained rashes on your skin are one of the early symptoms of inflammation in your body. Red, blotchy, itchy or scaly rashes that come and go could be an early warning sign of autoimmune disease. Acne and eczema are signs of an underlying hyperactive immune system.
Aches and Pains
Do you experience unexplained body pains? Persistent and unexplained muscle and joint pain could be a sign of Hashimoto’s, Lupus or Rheumatoid arthritis. If you have pain that can’t be explained by your recent workout, you should pursue bloodwork and x-rays to rule out an autoimmune illness.
If you always feel tired and like your brain is lagging behind despite getting enough sleep, you could have an underlying autoimmune disorder. Anemia, a type of low blood count that develops when there is inflammation in the body, can be one of the earliest signs of an autoimmune condition.
Do you experience bouts of diarrhea and bloating? Many people ignore their digestive issues and write them off as related to that fast food burger you had for lunch. But frequent abdominal discomfort can be a warning sign of autoimmune conditions like Crohn’s and Celiac disease. Left untreated, these conditions can do serious damage to the digestive tract.
Do you feel like your metabolism has shut down? Hypothyroidism affects as many as 1 in 8 women in their lifetimes and I see women every day who suffer from it. That is why I always test for thyroid antibodies to address thyroid function and prevent further thyroid disease.
If you suffer from one or more of these conditions, it is time to stop ignoring them. And don’t listen to anyone who tells you there is no treatment for it. Book and appointment so we can get the proper testing done and start treating a potential underlying autoimmune disease before it does more damage.
– Dr. Jordin Wiggins, ND
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