An autoimmune disease is a disorder where the immune system mistakenly starts to attack parts of your body, considering them foreign. According to research, autoimmune diseases are one of the top 10 causes of death in women in all age groups up to 64 years. There are more than 80 different autoimmune diseases, but some symptoms are common for all of them.
It’s very important to recognize the first signs as early diagnostics help to extend life, raise its quality, and lower the number and heaviness of aggravations. We researched the signs that something is wrong with your immune system and when it’s time to see a doctor. Let’s see if you are in a risk group.
1. Headaches, brain fog, attention deficit problems
Headaches, brain fog, and other specified symptoms can seriously harm our quality of life. These symptoms can be associated with stress or a lack of sleep, but they are also signs of a dysfunction in our immune system (lupus or anemia, for example).
2. Acne, psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema, butterfly rashes
Skin problems can be very disturbing as it is impossible to look great if you have to hide your skin under loads of clothes. If the usual remedies do not help, plan a visit to a doctor as these signs can be caused by hemolytic anemia, psoriasis, scleroderma, and other disorders.
3. Allergic asthma
There are some doubts that asthma can be associated with autoimmune disorders. But there is a lot of research that suggests an autoimmune basis for this disease.
4. Fatigue or hyperactivity
These symptoms are the most common to almost all autoimmune conditions and usually a big sign. You may find out that normal things take more energy and leave you empty. Or perhaps you wake up more tired than before you went to sleep, even if everything was fine before.
5. Muscle pain and weakness, stiffness, pain
Weak muscles and pain can make everyday activities such as walking up stairs or carrying heavy things harder. These symptoms may come and go or be constant, but this is also a sign that should not be ignored as it can be caused by autoimmune hepatitis, Hashimoto’s disease, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other diseases.
6. Stomach cramping, gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation
Digestion issues are very debilitating. They can be a sign of such autoimmune diseases as celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disorders, and others.
7. Weight gain or loss
Some autoimmune diseases affect our thyroid. This organ controls a lot of metabolic processes in our body. If it starts to produce excessive hormones or does not produce enough hormones, people can lose or gain weight.
8. Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
“Pins and needles” are not serious symptoms if they come and go and do not cause pain. If it happens several times a week and you notice other symptoms, it can be a sign of more serious problems.
9. Hair loss
If our immune system starts to attack our hair follicles, it results in hair loss. The process starts with inflammation of scalp skin. It can also affect hair on other parts of the body.
10. Low-grade fever
An unexplained fever without any other symptoms is often ignored. But this is one of the most difficult symptoms to treat. The problem is that a fever can be linked to many diseases, and autoimmune ones are among them.
Do not despair if you have noticed any of these symptoms. There can be other reasons for them. But the first thing you should do is visit a doctor. It is better to be safe than sorry!
Do you have any friends or relatives who are in a fight against an autoimmune disease? How was it diagnosed? Were the symptoms similar to those described in the article? Please share your experiences in the comments to help others be aware!