Autoimmune Diseases are a group of illnesses that occur when the body’s immune system, designed to protect the body, mistakenly attack tissues and organ. Women account for more than two-thirds of the cases of autoimmune diseases. Unfortunately, having an autoimmune disease increases the risk of having another. That’s the reason it’s so important for
women to become more knowledgeable and talk about this group of
illnesses with their primary care provider.
With Celiac disease, the small intestine is extremely sensitive to gluten, which causes difficulty in digesting food. Women account for up to 70 percent of the cases.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
RA is a chronic inflammatory illness that can affect many joints, especially in the hands and feet. The disease causes a painful swelling that can lead to bone erosion and joint deformity.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
In the case of MS, the body’s immune system attacks a very specific substance: a protective coating of nerve cells, called myelin, found in the brain, spinal curve and optic nerve.
With lupus, the immune system attacks the tissues and organs, including the joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs. omen are up to 10 times more likely to have lupus than men.
There are more than 80 illnesses caused by autoimmune responses. These are the 4 most common. Unfortunately the list goes on, and there are many more — albeit less common — autoimmune conditions about which all women should be aware and discuss from time to time with their primary care provider. Thankfully, as with many health-related conditions, a healthy lifestyle and proper nutrition can help in the fight against autoimmune disease and its symptoms.
Sources: American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, M.D. Anderson, CDC, Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, Susan G. Komen, Mayo Clinic, National Institutes of Health, American Association of Clinical Chemistry