Autoimmune diseases (when the body’s immune response turns against healthy cells) are on a sharp increase in the U.S., and they are sometimes harder to pinpoint with traditional blood tests. In fact, the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association said there are currently more than 23 million Americans with an autoimmune illness, and that number is likely much higher due to limited epidemiology studies.
Also, some doctors are not fully equipped to deal with autoimmune diseases, so patients are often diagnosed as simply being overworked or under stress, according to Canadian Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Lisa Poloniato-Marchese. Here are six lessons learned about autoimmune diseases…
1. Some Thyroid Disorders are Autoimmune
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition that causes swelling of the neck gland that controls many of the body’s functions, according to WebMD. The presence of this condition often leads to hypothyroidism, which is underproduction of thyroid hormones to regulate body function.
This thyroiditis can take years to become a full-blown problem, added the online health source. Symptoms include fatigue, constipation, muscle aches, depression, and even hair loss. However, one of the telltale signs of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is a goiter, which is one or more growths in the thyroid gland.