About Autoimmune Diseases
What is autoimmune disease?
Autoimmune diseases are a range of conditions where we attack our own bodies. This is when our body’s immune response attacks what it was designed to protect. This can happen in any part of the body, from the skin, to internal organs, to the central nervous system.
There are over 100 different autoimmune diseases. According to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA), there are over 100 autoimmune diagnoses in existence.
The list of diagnoses is vast and is continuing to grow: https://www.aarda.org/diseaselist/
Autoimmune Diseases Disproportionately Affect Women. Women disproportionately are diagnosed with autoimmune diseases. In a study by DeLisa Fairweather and Noel Rose, it is identified that 78% of the population with autoimmune diseases are women.
DeLisa Fairweather, Noel R. Rose. Women and Autoimmune Diseases. Emerg Infect Dis. 2004 Nov; 10(11): 2005–2011. doi: 10.3201/eid1011.040367
They often occur in families, or in clusters. Family members are susceptible to autoimmune conditions if there is a relative with one of them. In addition, people who have one autoimmune disease are at risk of additional diagnoses. In one estimate, about 25% of people are diagnosed with more than one autoimmune disease.
Cárdenas-Roldán, J., Rojas-Villarraga, A., & Anaya, J. M. (2013). How do autoimmune diseases cluster in families? A systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC medicine, 11, 73. doi:10.1186/1741-7015-11-73
Cojocaru, M., Cojocaru, I. M., & Silosi, I. (2010). Multiple autoimmune syndrome. Maedica, 5(2), 132–134.
Living with an autoimmune condition can be a scary, unsettling, and uncertain time. From seeking a diagnosis, to learning to live with the condition, and even working with life changes after decades of the condition.
Finding a supportive community of strength is an important part of improving your quality of life with these conditions.
Being your own self-advocate is the first step of the process of living and thriving with the condition. Understanding the range of what can be done, and what you can do to influence your new life makes all the difference.
Contact me if you are ready to build a life of wellness in all dimensions of life, of your own design. Know that you have the right, and the power to life a life of your own design.
Dr. April Moreno
Autoimmune Quality of Life Coach