Autoimmune Diseases

Have you had the opportunity to hear about autoimmune diseases? Are you, like millions of others suffering from one of them?

“Anonymous” Autoimmune Disease is used to identify conditions where your body’s immune system which is believed to protect the body from viruses as well as other intruders is believed to be responsible for causing or perpetuating the illness. It’s as if your body’s defense mechanism has switched off its host.

What these illnesses are all about is the evidence that the immune system of the body is responsible in some way. For instance, the skin biopsy could find immune cells at the site of a rash. Alternatively, there could be antibodies present in blood that target normal tissues. Additionally, medicines that suppress a part that is part of our immune system might provide effective autoimmune disease treatment in Wenatchee. For the vast majority of these ailments, the notion of them being autoimmune is supported by evidence however, it is difficult to prove. Certain immune-mediated diseases could be caused by an allergic reaction or infection and the abnormalities in the immune system are simply a result of an allergic reaction.

What causes autoimmune diseases to form?

The system of immune defense is incredibly complex, and years of research have revealed a few ways it malfunctions in autoimmune diseases. However, for the majority of diseases causing autoimmune disease – like those mentioned earlier – the exact reason is not known. The most popular (and generally accepted) explanation is someone with an individual genetic profile that causes an immune system that is ‘failing’ when it encounters some environmental stimulus (such as the form of an infection, or the presence of a toxin) that triggers an autoimmune condition. Most of the time we don’t know what the cause or the toxin is. Also, within a specific population (or families or even identical twins) we aren’t sure the reason why certain people suffer from the conditions while others do not. This lack of knowledge hinders the advancement of effective treatment and preventive strategies.

What can we do to treat autoimmune diseases?

The treatment is based on the specific illness, but generally, autoimmune disorders are treated by taking drugs that inhibit or modify the immune system, hoping to reduce its activity to ease the symptoms but not enough that adverse negative effects (including infections) can develop. In certain instances, the most effective treatments are discovered in the course of a chance event as back in the 1920s the use of gold salts were first utilized for rheumatoid arthritis treatment because gold was employed as an antibiotic to treat tuberculosis, and the rheumatoid arthritis condition was believed to be the result of an infection. In recent times the discovery of the existence of immunological cells (such as B-cells, which produce antibodies) or chemical signals (also known as cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factors or TNF) associated with an autoimmune condition has led to the development of therapies that target the immune system (such as rituximab, which is an anti-B-cell therapy or infliximab an anti-TNF medicine).

The Bottom Line Auto-immune diseases are a complex group of illnesses that range in severity, ranging from irritating to life-threatening. The research is ongoing and has produced remarkable breakthroughs in recent years. However, while there is effective autoimmune disease treatment in Wenatchee readily available for a majority of these ailments but cures aren’t available.