An autoimmune condition, simply enough, is when the body fights itself. The immune system attacks healthy cells and tissues, resulting in chronic pain and discomfort, both physical and mental. At Swetech Medical Center, we use osteopathic medicine to diagnose and treat your autoimmune disease, so you have control over your body again and can live a full life.
Types of Autoimmune Conditions
Graves disease is a malfunction of the thyroid gland. This common condition, and the leading cause of hyperthyroidism, is characterized by the release of surplus thyroid hormones. The result is a faster metabolism, signified by symptoms like weight loss, anxiety, and sweating. Grave’s disease is the opposite of hypothyroidism, also known as Hashimoto’s disease.
When the immune system strikes the thyroid gland, it can prevent the gland from making enough thyroid hormones, causing hypothyroidism. This condition is known as Hashimoto’s disease. Symptoms include weight gain, fatigue, depression, and joint and muscle pain. This autoimmune condition is the opposite of hyperthyroidism, also known as Grave’s disease.
Lupus is an autoimmune condition that occurs when the tissues and organs are attacked by the immune system, including the skin, heart, joints, brain, and blood cells. A common characteristic of lupus is a butterfly-shaped facial rash on the cheeks and nose, though not all patients will exhibit this sign. When the rash is not present to help confirm diagnosis, the presence of lupus can be difficult to determine because the symptoms can easily be signs of other health problems.
Fatigue, joint pain, fever, headaches, shortness of breath, and chest pain are all warning signs of lupus, and these symptoms can vary in severity depending on the patient. Lupus can stay dormant but anyone who lives with this autoimmune condition knows that flare-ups and the accompanying symptoms can occur anytime and take them out of remission.
The nerve damage caused by multiple sclerosis can potentially render a patient permanently disabled. This autoimmune condition disrupts the communication between the body and the brain, affecting the nerves and leading to symptoms like tremors, impaired coordination, and numbness or weakness in the arms and legs. MS can also cause vision problems and fatigue, compounding all the physical limitations of this disease.
The severity of MS depends upon the nerves that are affected by this condition and how great the damage is to those nerves. Some people with multiple sclerosis experience chronic symptoms that prevent them from living a full life. Others have a less severe case of MS. Ultimately, multiple sclerosis is a serious autoimmune condition that deteriorates the body and its abilities, though with treatment the progress of the disease can sometimes be slowed, lengthier periods of remission may be possible, and flare-ups may be recovered from more quickly.
A chronic inflammatory disorder, arthritis is an autoimmune condition that disturbs the lining of the joints. This disease can cause painful swelling, joint stiffness, bone erosion, and joint deformity, often visible via nodules on the joints, particularly the hands. Much of arthritis, however, is not visible and can only be seen on x-rays, though the symptoms of this disease can target the body beyond the joints, affecting sight, skin, respiration, and more.
There are several forms of this autoimmune condition, including degenerative arthritis (osteoarthritis), inflammatory arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis), infectious arthritis, and metabolic arthritis.
Treatment for Autoimmune Diseases in Clinton Township, Michigan
Autoimmune conditions also include type 1 diabetes, psoriasis, Sjogren’s syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, Guillain-Barre syndrome, and more. At Swetech Family Medicine, we carefully consider all symptoms, as well as lifestyle and health history, to deliver a well-rounded and accurate diagnosis and customized treatment plan. Our goal is to treat autoimmune conditions at their source and beyond. Wellness is about learning how to manage your disease and structure your life so you can be healthy inside and out in all ways.
While many autoimmune conditions are incurable, there are ways to manage them. Contact Swetech Medical Center or Swetech Urgent Care in Clinton Township to discuss holistic treatment for your chronic health problems.