10 Warning Signs of Autoimmune Disease
Autoimmune diseases impact more than 50 million Americans so you may be wondering if you have one. For women under the age of 65, it ranks among the top 10 causes of death.
What Are Autoimmune Diseases?
Maybe you have heard about autoimmune diseases but never quite understood what they really are. Autoimmune diseases affect different organs but the common factor is that they all cause the body to begin attacking itself. Indeed, there is a genetic component to autoimmune disease, so check your family’s medical history.
10 Warning Signs of Autoimmune Diseases
If you think you have an autoimmune disease, it is important to know the warning signs. Here is a list of things to look for, particularly if you have a combination of the following:
1. Rapid, unexplained weight loss –
One of the first signs of trouble. Although many would like to lose weight, rapid weight loss without dieting or exercise can be a sign of a problem.
2. Rapid, unexplained weight gain –
Another sign. Just like unexplained, rapid weight loss, rapid weight can also be a sign of something going wrong inside, like an autoimmune disease.
3. Dry eyes or dry mouth.
Some medications can leave the mouth dry. But, if your dryness in the eyes or mouth cannot be attributed to medication, there could be a problem.
4. Decrease ability to focus.
If all of a sudden, you cannot stay focused on daily tasks, there might be a problem like an autoimmune disease.
5. Joint pain that is abnormal.
If all of a sudden, you notice pain in joints that you did not know you had, it might be a good idea to get checked out.
6. Frequent rashes.
Rashes are the body’s way of showing that something is wrong.
7. Numb hands and feet.
Numbness and loss of feeling in your extremities can mean that the body is fighting itself and you should see your healthcare provider.
8. Extreme fatigue and feeling tired all the time.
Yes, everyone has moments of feeling tired and even fatigue. But if the two become your norm, the body might be using all of its energy to fight itself.
9. Unexplained abdominal pain.
Pain in the abdomen usually means there is a problem. If the pain is accompanied by changes in stool, too, an autoimmune disease could be to blame.
10. Hair loss.
Hair loss that cannot be explained alone or in combination with any of the above systems could signal an autoimmune disease, too
It is important to understand what autoimmune diseases are and the warning signs. Given that so many suffer from autoimmune diseases, increasing your knowledge could help you seek treatment sooner and it may be more effective.