#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: What Is An Auto-immune Disease?

Q:Dr., can u enlighten us about autoimmune diseases pls. A lot of people are good through dis condition and they don’t know what exactly is wrong because in Nigerian, they don’t really call patients attention to it unlike in America. Kindly help discuss about it.

A: Hi dear, thanks for writing in. You are correct. Many people do not know about auto-immune disorders. So what is an auto-immune disease? This condition refers to a situation in which the body .for some reason, turns on itself and starts to attack itself. It sees healthy cells and tissues as unhealthy and infected cells and starts to attack these healthy cells.

Some common examples of this condition include:

Graves’ Disease in which the body no longer recognizes the thyroid gland as part of it and produces antibodies to fight it. In response, the thyroid gland produces excessive amounts of thyroid hormones.

Rheumatoid arthritis affects the lining of the joints, causing rapid cell division with thickening of the lining of the joints, causing inflammation, swelling and disfiguring of the joints.

Lupus is different from other autoimmune diseases as it does not affect one specific organ….it could affect different organs in different people with episodes of pain known as flares. In some, it affects the skin; in others it affects the joints.

Women are more likely to have auto-immune diseases. Some auto-immune diseases are more common in certain ethnic groups eg lupus is more common in African-Americans, Asian-Americans and Hispanics. A diet high in processed foods, sugar and fats have also been linked to these conditions.

These conditions cannot be cured but can be managed with pain relief, immune-suppressing drugs and eating healthy. So, east or west, there’s no escaping the amazing benefits of eating healthy and exercising J

I hope y’all had a good week? Have a great weekend J



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