Definition of Autoimmune disease

Yes, I know, I promised over-lap syndrome, but first you must have an understanding of Autoimmune disease. I know that you may feel it has nothing to do with you, but you could be mistaken.

An autoimmune disease is an illness that occurs when the immune system attacks it's own body, that's right it's own. Instead of lack of immune system, it instead goes into overdrive in it's 'seek and destroy mission' of invaders such as infectious agents or possibly anything the body interprets as foreign.

Many of those who suffer Autoimmune disease have unusual antibodies circulating their blood that target their own body tissues. More women are affected by these diseases, than men, and it is believed that it may be the estrogen of some females that predispose them to autoimmune disease, possibly even increasing their chance of developing other simultaneous autoimmune diseases in additon to the first one, this term is known as piggy-backing.

This is a very basic explanation and it is not meant for the purpose of self diagnosis, nor to imply that anyone here at Ben's Friends who comments on or discusses these disorders or diseases claims to be a Doctor or medical professional.

Please write down all symptoms you are experiencing at the time when you notice them, keep an on-going list, and take that list to your next Doctors visit. Most of my on-going research tells me that most autoimmune diseases take on the average of seven years to be diagnosed, in that time significant damage can take place within the body. Could it be that time frame of seven years is because we do not think that the beginning symptoms are not significant?

Erg. Seven years is a LONG TIME for an autoimmune disease to wreak its havoc.

Your suggestion of writing symptoms down is great, SK. I also suggest taking photos of anything unusual, like swelling, and date it. My last rheumy refused to believe me about swelling, despite the photo, because I wasn't swollen on the day of my visit. I guess he expects our bodies to perform for him, at his convenience? At any rate, photos can speak a thousand words, can't they?

I suspect that at some point doctors/researchers will discover that fibro is related in some way to autoimmune diseases. There seems to be some connection, despite the obvious lack of damage. Maybe it's the gateway in to acquiring the autoimmune diseases, much like trauma oftentimes is?

Again, you're right, SK, folks do need to pay attention to all symptoms, even weird little ones that seem to be unrelated. For instance, you can get psoriasis between your toes. You might think you don't have any, and you do. Hence, you could be a candidate for Psoriatic Arthritis. Recording the odd things might save you grief later on, diagnosis wise.

Good post! Thanks, SK.

Thanks for posting this information!