An autoimmune disease is a condition in which a person’s immune system begins to function differently than it should, causing problems in the body. In effect, the immune system is actually attacking its host when its job should be protecting it from invaders. The main issue in an autoimmune disorder is the way that the immune system sees the cells of the body. In a healthy immune system, there is no problem differentiating between foreign, invading cells and those of the host’s body. Unfortunately, if you have an autoimmune disease then your immune system actually sees some of your own cells as invaders and begins to attack them.
There are many, many different forms of autoimmune diseases. Some of them can be quite serious and result in the need for hospitalization, and others are quite mild and only cause visible symptoms that don’t damage a person’s health – an example of this being vitiligo, an autoimmune condition in which the pigment of the skin is destroyed leaving splotches of lighter skin. Some autoimmune systems will attack a single organ – diabetes is a good example of these, an autoimmune condition which affects the pancreas. More serious conditions like lupus affect the whole body and can cause a whole host of unpleasant and dangerous effects.
Doctors and researchers still haven’t fully identified exactly what leads to the miscommunication in an autoimmune disease. What is known is that some people are much more likely to develop these conditions than others. Unfortunately, women are about twice as likely to develop these conditions as men. If you think that you might be struggling with an autoimmune disease, then check out this list of symptoms. It could help you determine whether or not you need treatment.
Symptom #1: Fatigue
Fatigue is a common symptom that runs among many of the autoimmune disorders that a person can develop.
As your immune system taxes your body of energy by sending out immune cells to attack it, you will likely lose some of your energy. This can make it difficult for you to maintain your daily routine or accomplish everything that you want to get done.