Health

Pay Attention To These 40 Autoimmune Issues

Myasthenia gravis causes weakness in the skeletal muscles.  Myasthenia gravis affects nerve impulses that help the brain control the muscles. When the communication from the nerves… Trista - December 11, 2019
Some autoimmune disorders, such as Myasthenia gravis, impact the nerves. Shutterstock

Myasthenia gravis causes weakness in the skeletal muscles. 

Myasthenia gravis affects nerve impulses that help the brain control the muscles. When the communication from the nerves to the muscles is impaired, signals cannot direct the muscles to contract. The most common symptom is muscle weakness that tends to get worse with activity and improves with rest. Other symptoms include trouble talking, facial paralysis, fatigue, and difficulty breathing due to muscle weakness. This neuromuscular, autoimmune disease occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. In this particular condition, antibodies attack the neuromuscular junction. Damage to the neuromuscular membrane reduces the effect of the neurotransmitter substance acetylcholine, which is a crucial substance for communication between nerve cells and muscles. The exact cause of this autoimmune reaction is unclear. 

Pernicious anemia is more common in older adults compared to younger people. Shutterstock

Pernicious anemia is a rare, autoimmune disease. 

This particular autoimmune disease causes the deficiency of a protein made by stomach lining cells, known as an intrinsic factor needed for the small intestine to absorb vitamin B-12 from food. Without enough of the vitamin B-12, an individual will develop anemia, and the body’s ability for proper DNA synthesis will be altered. Anemia is a medical condition in which the blood is low in normal red blood cells. Vitamin B-12 is a required nutrient that helps allow proper red blood cell production and function in the body. The progression of pernicious anemia is generally slow and can often be challenging to diagnose. That is due to the common symptoms of fatigue, weakness, headaches, and weight loss associated with various other health issues. In more severe or prolonged vitamin B-12 deficiency cases, individuals may experience neurological symptoms that include depression, memory loss, or dementia. 

Lambert-Eaton syndrome is an autoimmune disease that attacks the neuromuscular junctions. Shutterstock

Lambert-Eaton syndrome affects the way your nerves and muscles communicate. 

Neuromuscular junctions are the areas where your nerves and muscles connect. Usually, your nerve cells pass signals along to your muscle cells, and these signals help your muscles move. Lambert-Eaton syndrome is where the immune system attacks those neuromuscular junctions. This disruption can make it difficult to move your muscles as you normally would. Lambert-Eaton syndrome is often associated with a specific type of cancer, small cell lung cancer. This syndrome may result from your body’s efforts to fight underlying cancer.

In some cases, the syndrome develops following another autoimmune disease, and in other cases, the cause is unknown. Symptoms can include weak muscles, eyelid drooping, fatigue, trouble breathing, and difficulty speaking and swallowing. Since the exact cause is not fully understood, it is not entirely clear how to prevent this disease. 

Cogan syndrome causes inflammation in your eyes and ears. Shutterstock

Cogan syndrome is a rare autoimmune disease. 

In the case of Cogan syndrome, it is believed that your immune system created antibodies that attack the tissue in your eyes and ears. It often starts as inflammatory eye disease and can cause your cornea’s tissue to be inflamed. You may also experience waterline eyes, red, painful eyes, and sensitivity to light. Also, you may experience signs of inflammation in your ears. Additional ear symptoms include hearing loss, dizziness, or ringing in your ears. The exact cause of Cogan syndrome is unknown. It can impact both men and women. While Cogan syndrome is treatable, you may experience periodic flare-ups for many years. If left untreated, over time, it can lead to permanent vision and hearing loss. 

This disease is autoimmune disease, causing inflammation and weakness in muscles. Shutterstock

Polymyositis develops gradually over time. 

Polymyositis is an inflammatory muscle disease that affects the muscles closest to the trunk of the body. Eventually, people with polymyositis have trouble rising from a sitting position, climbing stairs, or lifting objects. In some cases, muscles that are not close to the body’s trunk become affected as the disease progresses. Polymyositis rarely affects individuals younger than 18 years of age. It is more common in women. The condition occurs when the immune system cells infiltrate and attack muscle tissue. The cause of polymyositis is unknown. However, it is thought that heredity plays a role. Initial symptoms might include shortness of breath, fever, weight loss, or a patchy rash around the eyes. In some cases, your muscles may ache and be tender to the touch. Muscle weakness is usually gradual and can occur over three to six months. 

Susac’s syndrome is a rare, autoimmune disease. Shutterstock

Susac’s syndrome attacks blood vessels in the body. 

With Susac’s syndrome, the immune system attacks the smallest blood vessels in the brain, retina, and inner ear become blocked, causing these organs to suffer due to decreased blood flow. Although rare, it is more commonly found in females. You may experience a variety of symptoms from your brain, eyes, and inner ear. Symptoms can include severe headaches, slurred speech, loss of peripheral vision, and dizziness. All three parts of this disease may not appear at the same time. It may take weeks, months, or even years for all three parts to show up, and some patients never have more than two of them. Susac’s syndrome occurs when one’s immune system attacks the endothelial cells; the cells that line our blood vessels’ inner walls. When they are attacked, the endothelial cells swell up and partly or completely shut off blood flow through the vessel. The resulting lack of oxygen and nutrients causes the affected organs to suffer. 

Kawasaki disease causes swelling in the walls of the arteries throughout the body. Shutterstock

Impacting primarily children, Kawasaki disease occurs in phases. 

Kawasaki disease is an autoimmune disease that creates inflammation in the walls of medium-sized arteries throughout the body. The inflammation tends to affect the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart muscle. It can also affect lymph nodes, skin, and the mucous membranes inside the mouth, nose, and throat. Kawasaki disease signs and symptoms usually appear in three phases. Symptoms of the first phase can include high fever, rash on the body, and irritability. In the second phase, symptoms can include joint pain, vomiting, and abdominal pain. In the third phase of the disease, signs, and symptoms slowly go away unless complications develop. The exact cause of Kawasaki disease is unknown. However, three risk factors are known to increase the child’s risk of developing Kawasaki disease, including age, sex, and ethnicity. 

The immune system works in mysterious ways. Pixabay

Why does the immune system cause these diseases?

The immune system is the guard that protects our body from diseases and infections. Have you ever imagined that the immune system which safeguards your body from ailments can become a villain and turn against your body? Yes, that’s what happens when you get autoimmune diseases. Your immune system loses the ability to fight off the viruses and becomes vulnerable to diseases and infections. The immune system starts producing antibodies that attack the body tissues rather than fighting the disease. The above mentioned were some of the major autoimmune diseases that everyone must be aware of to fight them and safeguard the immune system. Never remain negligent to uncertain signs of your body. If you have been experiencing any unexplained symptoms and changes in your body, you must immediately consult your doctor and get the right medications before it gets too late.

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