Rare Autoimmune Disorders: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Autoimmune Disorders

What is a Rare Autoimmune Disorder?

A rare autoimmune disorder is a condition wherein one’s own immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues and organs. These rare disorders can affect any part of the body, from skin to muscles to the digestive system. Over 80 types of autoimmune disease have been identified by the National Institutes of Health, including Lupus, Celiac Disease, Sjogren’s Syndrome, multiple sclerosis, and type 1 diabetes.

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Symptoms of Rare Autoimmune Disorders

Someone suffering from an autoimmune disorder may experience muscle aches and pains, joint swelling and pain, fatigue, fevers, rashes, respiratory problems, and weight loss. Diagnosis is typically done using blood tests and/or imaging studies, such as ultrasounds, X-rays and/or MRIs.

Causes of Rare Autoimmune Disorders

Researchers continue to uncover the causes of autoimmune diseases, however, the exact cause is still not known. Experts believe vaccinations, genetics, environmental triggers, and viruses or other infections may play a role in the development of autoimmune disorders.

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Treatment and Health of Rare Autoimmune Disorders

Depending on the autoimmune disorder, treatment options may include medications, dietary changes, and lifestyle modifications. Treatment and management of autoimmune diseases will vary depending on the type, severity, and symptoms of the disorder. Additionally, patients are advised to rest and avoid activities that may further damage the body.

Patients are also encouraged to take positive steps to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to reduce the risk of complications and to better manage the disorder. This should include eating a healthy diet, keeping active, and managing stress levels. Talking with a mental health provider may also be beneficial in order to gain coping skills needed to manage conditions such as depression and anxiety, which can be related to living with a chronic illness.

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Living with a rare autoimmune disorder can be challenging and complex, but it isn’t impossible. With the right treatment and lifestyle changes, those with autoimmune disorders can manage their condition and live a happy, healthy life.

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