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80 Types of Autoimmune Diseases

After 22 years as an RN, I now write about medical issues and new medical advances. Diet, exercise, treatment, and lifestyle are important.

The way your body works with autoimmune disease.

The way your body works with autoimmune disease.

Autoimmune Disorders

Did you know there are many more than 80 types of autoimmune disorders? So I promise not to list all of them. I will briefly cover the more common autoimmune diseases that I haven’t written about in the past. Some of the most well-known autoimmune diseases are Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjogren’s Disease, and Systemic Lupus, so there is a wealth of information on the internet. You can read detailed information on those diseases.

In a normal person, the body’s immune response protects them from invading diseases and infections. In a person with an autoimmune disorder, things have gone haywire. Your body doesn’t recognize invaders from your healthy tissue, your white blood cells or T cells attack healthy organs. They can virtually affect every part of your body. These diseases usually attack women, particularly prevalent in African-American and Native-American women.

Many autoimmune disorders have similar symptoms, which makes a diagnosis that much more difficult. Often this process is frustrating, as your first symptoms are fatigue, muscle aches, and low fever.

The diseases sometimes flare-up and sometimes go into remission. Most autoimmune diseases affect women more often than men, but men seem to become very ill more frequently.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis is another chronic inflammatory disorder that affects not just your joints, but many other organs as well. This disease is different from osteoarthritis as it affects the lining of your joints. This may result in the painful joints, bone erosion and deformity of the joints.

The symptoms of this disease include:

  • Tender, warm, swollen joints
  • Joint stiffness that is usually worse in the mornings and after inactivity
  • Fatigue, fever and weight loss

It can also attack your lungs, your heart, your eyes, skin and blood vessels. While there have been new drugs placed on the market, this can be a very debilitating disease.

The earlier the inflammation can be stopped the better. Aggressive treatment with medications is important. Prednisone, NSAIDs, methotrexate, hydroxychloroquine, sulfasalazine, leflunomide, cyclophosphamide, and azathioprine, all typical medications for this disease.

Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is another autoimmune disease characterized by an inappropriate immune response to dietary proteins found in wheat, rye, barley (gluten and gliadin).

This response leads to inflammation of the small intestine and it damages and destroys the villi that line the intestinal wall. These villi are projections (small folds) that increase the surface area of the intestine and allow nutrients, vitamins, minerals, fluids, and electrolytes to be absorbed into the body.

When the villi are destroyed, the body is much less capable of absorbing food and begins to develop symptoms associated with malnutrition and malabsorption. When the body is exposed to the gluten and gliadin proteins, it forms antibodies that recognize and act against not only the grain-proteins, but also against constituents of the intestinal villi. As long as the patient continues to be exposed to the proteins, he will continue to produce these auto-antibodies.

Celiac disease is most prevalent in those of European descent, probably inherited, can affect anyone at any age. It is thought to be an inherited tendency that is triggered by an environmental, emotional, or physical event.

The possible symptoms include:

  1. abdominal pain and distention
  2. anemia
  3. bleeding tendency
  4. bloody stool
  5. bone and joint pain
  6. changes in dental enamel
  7. diarrhea
  8. fatigue
  9. greasy foul-smelling stools
  10. oral ulceration, weakness
  11. weight loss.

Children with this disease may experience delayed growth and development. It is estimated that 1 in 133 people in the US have celiac disease but only 3% have been diagnosed.

Patients with celiac disease must follow a lifelong gluten-free diet .Once all forms of wheat, rye, and barley have been removed from the diet the patient improves.

It is important to detect and treat celiac disease as soon as possible, especially in young children. Celiac disease should be considered in infants who are not thriving, since foods with gluten are common Celiac auto-antibodies may begin to develop shortly after a child switches from milk to solid foods. In most cases the patient can lead a normal life by adhering to the diet.

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Fortunately there are many gluten free foods available today.

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Systemic lupus is one of the diseases where your body attacks the skin, joints, blood cells, kidneys, brain, and other organs. The sun, infections and certainly medications can trigger a flare up. A "butterfly rash" is a facial rash, resembling the wings of a butterfly unfolding across both cheeks with a red rash.

While this is not considered a genetic disease, it does tend to run in families. More women than men get lupus, and the percentage is higher for African Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans. Over 50 million people have lupus, which tends to be diagnosed between the ages of 15-44 years of age.

The most common symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Joint pain, stiffness, and swelling
  • Butterfly-shaped rash on the face that covers the cheeks and bridge of the nose or rashes elsewhere on the body
  • Skin lesions that appear or worsen with sun exposure (photosensitivity)
  • Fingers and toes that turn white or blue when exposed to cold or during stressful periods (Raynaud's phenomenon)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Dry eyes
  • Headaches, confusion and memory loss

Many patients also have Sjogren's Disease, which causes dry eyes, mouth, and nose. The symptoms are treated, but it is difficult to diagnose or treat.

There is no cure for this systemic lupus and the only medication treatments. Plaquenil, prednisone, NSAIDs, Methotrexate, and finally we have Benestyl, which is just for systemic lupus. This is the first new drug-specific to lupus in fifty years.

Bisphosphonates therapy is another way rheumatologists are treating lupus patients. They are using medications that protect the bones, as drugs like prednisone end with osteoporosis.

This is What Happens When You Have an Autoimmune Disease


This is in a group of rare, progressive diseases that involve hardening and tightening of the skin and connective tissues — the fibers that provide the framework and support for your body. Localized scleroderma affects only the skin. Systemic scleroderma also harms internal organs, such as the heart, lungs, kidneys and digestive tract. Scientists estimate that about 250 people per million have some form of scleroderma.

The most prevalent signs of this disease include Raynaud’s phenomenon, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), which in addition to acid reflux you may have trouble absorbing nutrients. Your skin changes and may include swollen fingers and hands, thickened patches of skin, particularly on the fingers; and tight skin around the hands, face or mouth. The skin will appear shiny because it is so tight.

I have a friend with this disease, and she must wear a restrictive binding on her left arm from the top to her wrist, which means she always wears long sleeves. That is not much fun living in Florida.

This disease affects not only your skin but also your blood vessels and internal organs; there are sub-categories defined by what area of the body is being attacked.

One is called CREST and results from an overproduction and accumulation of collagen in body tissues. Native Americans get this disease 20 times more often than the general population, and it is more common with Afro-Americans as well.

It occurs 4 times more often in women than men. While there is no known cause, exposure to silica dust, common in coal mines and rock quarries, some industrial solvents such as paint thinners and certain chemotherapy drugs may exacerbate the disease.

There is no cure and treatment is typically the same as that for lupus patients, corticosteroids, Plaquenil, and anti-inflammatory medications.


This is another uncommon connective tissue disease, which is characterized by muscle inflammation and progressive weakness. This is particularly true in skeletal muscles, which control movement, involving those closest to the trunk of the body first. It most commonly occurs in 30 to 50-year-old people.

Signs usually develop gradually over weeks or months. The weakness is symmetrical; affecting both the left and right sides of your body, and tends to gradually worsen. Polymyositis is in a group of diseases or disorders of the muscles called inflammatory

Periods of remission are possible. Treatment to strengthen muscles should start early as there is no cure. Other symptoms may include difficulty swallowing, speaking, mild joint or muscle tenderness, fatigue and shortness of breath.

Treatment is corticosteroids, (which often start at very high doses then taper down), Cytoxan, cyclosporine and sometimes intravenous therapy of Immunoglobulin containing healthy antibodies from blood donors.

There are several investigation drugs also being tried at the present time. These patients will need physical and speech therapy, plus a dietetic assessment.


Raynaud’s Disease

Raynaud's disease is a condition that causes some areas of your body such as: your fingers, toes, the tip of your nose and your ears, to feel numb and cool in response to cold temperatures or stress.

In Raynaud's disease, smaller arteries that supply blood to your skin narrow, limiting blood circulation to affected areas. It is more common in cold climates, and it also affects women more than men. This disease frequently is present along with other autoimmune diseases.

During an attack of Raynaud's, affected areas of your skin usually turn white at first. Then, the affected areas often turn blue, feel cold and numb, and your sensory perception is dulled. As circulation improves, the affected areas may turn red, throb, tingle or swell. There are two types of Raynaud’s disease; primary and secondary. The secondary is considered the more serious disease and usually appear after 40 years of age.

The causes of this disease are numerous; other autoimmune diseases, carpal tunnel syndrome, repetitive trauma, smoking, chemical exposure and certain medications including some blood pressure treatments

Juvenile Rheumatoid ArthritisIts

It is the most common type of arthritis of those under 16 years of age, affecting 50,000 in the US. It’s a chronic condition causing joint swelling, inflammation, pain, swelling, redness, and stiffness. It may also affect the eyes and internal organs. About 1/5th of patients have an enlarged spleen.

There are 3 categories:

  • Pauciarticular- about 50% of the cases are this type and most common in girls under 8 years old
  • Polyarticular – about 30% of the cases and it affects 5 or more joints, especially in the hands and feet.
  • Systemic – about 20% have this type and if affect both joints and internal organs. These children may have frequent fevers and rashes that come and go rapidly.

Doctors can diagnose this disorder once a patient has had the symptoms for at least 6 weeks. These symptoms may include morning stiffness, limping, reluctance to move an affected joint, joint pain and swelling.

Patients with systemic JRA may have intermittent fever, rash, swollen lymph nodes, and in some cases liver, spleen, (very rarely) lung involvement and eye inflammation.

The cause of this autoimmune disease is also unknown. Its tendency may be inherited but it is believed that a triggering event is required for it to emerge. Several types of blood tests and x-rays are done to aid diagnosis.

There is no cure so treatment is to relieve the discomfort of the symptoms. It is a heart-breaking disease to see children suffer.

Autoimmune Pancreatitis

The term "autoimmune pancreatitis" was first used in Japan in 1995 to describe a newly recognized form of chronic pancreatitis. Since then, Mayo Clinic has played a major role in identifying, describing and treating the disorder in the United States.

Mayo Clinic researchers have identified 2 types of this disease, including one that can develop as young as 12 years of age.

It is diagnosed from several tests, with the most accurate being a core biopsy. Symptoms of autoimmune pancreatitis often improve dramatically after a short course of corticosteroids. But, relapses are common, and some patients require additional or long-term therapy.

Multiple Sclerosis

This is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system. It causes Inflammation and the destruction of myelin. Myelin surrounds nerve fibers and acts like insulation on a wire preventing “short-circuits” that diverts a nerve signal from having its desired effects.

The “demyelination” process interferes with nerve impulse transmission, affects muscular control, and causes a variety of sensory, motor, and psychological symptoms.

Again, the cause is unknown, but it is thought to be an autoimmune process triggered by a virus. Environment factors cause this disease, and it has a genetic predisposition also.

The first symptoms usually occur between ages 20-40. It affects women more frequently than men, it is more common in Northern European Caucasians. It is important to manage the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, as well as, treating the disease before permanent damage causes symptoms.

Interferon, corticosteroids and several other medications are used. There is no cure, just medications to treat symptoms.

Autoimmune Disease: How to Stop Your Body From Attacking Its

Graves Disease

Graves’ disease is the most common cause of overactive thyroid gland. It is caused by an auto-antibody that acts like thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin which causes the thyroid to produce excessive hormones.

It is usually seen in women over 20 and may cause symptoms and signs such as weight loss, increased appetite, hand tremors, heat sensitivity, sweating, nervousness, and in some patients, protruding eyes.

Patients often have a higher heart rate and an enlarged thyroid (goiter). Radioactive iodine uptake in measured amounts is swallowed and considered a critical component for treatment.

I had a friend with this disease, and they finally "killed" her thyroid as she didn't respond to treatment. The symptoms made her miserable in the meantime. She was treated with the chemicals the thyroid normally produces.

Wegener’s Granulomatosis

This is another uncommon autoimmune disease that affects about 1 in 20,000 people. Again, there is no known cause or cure.

Symptoms are due to inflammation that can affect many tissues in the body, including blood vessels (vasculitis), which makes it a very serious disease. It affects the upper (sinuses and nose), and lower (lungs), respiratory system and frequently involves the kidneys, lungs, eyes, ears, throat, skin and other body organs.

Other symptoms include nasal membrane ulcerations and crusting, saddle-nose deformity, inflammation of the ear with hearing problems, inflammation of the eye with sight problems, cough (with or without the presence of blood), pleuritis, (inflammation of the lining of the lung), rash and/or skin sores, fever, lack of energy, weakness, fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, arthritic joint pain, night sweats, and blood in urine which may or may not be indicated by a change in urine color.

Diagnosis is eventually established by clinical and laboratory findings, such as the ANCA blood test, other blood, and urine tests, x-rays, and tissue biopsy.

Treatment varies based on patient symptoms and disease activity. Corticosteroids and Cytoxan are the initial treatments, then Methotrexate or Azathioprine.


There Are So Many More Diseases

My intent was to give you an overview of some of the better known autoimmune diseases. If you have one of the diseases I'm sure you know a good deal more about it than what I wrote, but if you have symptoms listed in one of the descriptions, I hope this article will help you. Of course, you will want to be seen by a doctor, and remember, your symptoms are real, not in your head as many of us were told before we got a diagnosis.

Living with a chronic illness isn't easy, but it is certainly better when you get it diagnosed, which lets you find out what you can do to improve your health.

There is so much literature available on the internet, in books that may be of help. I wish you all to be in the best of health!

Autoimmune Diseases

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on August 18, 2020:

Hi Charlene,

I am sorry to hear about your family members. They probably have different diseases. Thank you for your comments.

Charlene Gallant from Cape Town, South Africa on August 18, 2020:

My hubby and my mommy have autoimmune...manifested differently in each of them. Thank you for an informative read.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 21, 2019:

Hi Patricia, I appreciate you stopping by, commenting and sending angels. Blessings to you.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on July 21, 2019:

Very detailed and informative information Pamela. Sadly I am too familiar with several of these diseases Hopefully in the future CURES will come Thank you for sharing Angels are headed your way this afternoon ps

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 20, 2019:

Hi Susan, I hope you get te gastroparesis under control. There are so many autoimmune diseases. I appreciate your kind comments. Blessings to you.

Susan Hazelton from Northern New York on July 20, 2019:

I have a couple of autoimmune diseases. The thyroid has been removed and the medication is keeping me under control. I have rheumatoid arthritis which gives me a pain now and then. I also have gastroparesis which we are trying to bring under control with diet and medication. I won't mention any more but I have to say this was an excellent hub. I enjoyed reading it so much I went back to the beginning to read it again.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 31, 2018:

Hi Jane, Yes, that is the problem with autoimmune diseases. Our bodies do attack our own cells. There may even be more than 80 disease, but that is the number I found in my research. Thanks for yur comments.

Jane Woods on July 31, 2018:

According to normally our Immune system attacks foreign invaders but with Autoimmune Diseases, our immune system attacks our healthy cells thereby making our body vulnerable to attacks and infections. There are at close to 80 types of autoimmune diseases.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 16, 2017:

I am so glad you found a treatment that worked for you.

Carrie-Ann Moth on September 03, 2017:

I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in October 2011, at the age of 44. I woke up one morning with numbness in my lower back and legs, I couldn't feel my feet touching the floor. I saw my doctor and had an MRI to see if I had a disc problem, it was negative and she told me she feared MS. I was sent to a neurologist, had two more MRIs, and was told that night that I have four lesions on my spine MS. I tried every shots available but nothing worked. In 2015, my neurologist and I decided to go with natural treatment and was introduced to NewLife Herbal Clinic natural organic MS Herbal formula, i had a total decline of symptoms with this treatment, the numbness, terrible back pains, stiffness, body weakness, double vision, depression and others has subsided. Visit NewLife Herbal Clinic official website www. newlifeherbalclinic. com or email info@ newlifeherbalclinic. com.

This treatment totally reversed my condition! I am strong again!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on October 14, 2013:

DanaTeresa, I haven't written too many hubs about autoimmune diseases lately, but I try to keep up with the medical updates. I do a lot of research just like you, just looking for answers. I want to be off the prednisone as I have many side effects from taking it for so long. I hope my hubs help you with some new information, and I appreciate your comments.

Dana Strang from Ohio on October 13, 2013:

very interesting. I did not realize Celiac was an autoimmune disease. How could I have missed that with all the research I have done. It makes sense to me now why I have a gluten intolerance (though not celiac). I have a lot of other autoimmune issues (possible lupus and sjogrens). .. I will be checking out your other related hubs.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on October 13, 2013:

Denise, It is amazing how many autoimmune diseases are out there. I am glad you enjoyed the hub and appreciate your comments.

Denise Handlon from North Carolina on October 13, 2013:

Pamela, what an excellent resource of autoimmune disorders. I have psoriasis, and it has been a major journey to diagnose and get it under control; my granddaughter has raynaud's disease - she started having this at age 11 or 12. Up/U/I/and sharing.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 05, 2013:

conradofontanilla, Thanks for adding this good information. I'm glad I don't drink soft drinks. Diet plays such an important role in these diseases, but it does not seem like the doctors are very aware. I appreciate the comments.

conradofontanilla from Philippines on June 05, 2013:

Lupus is a free radical disease that affects the kidneys. Antioxidant foods, vegetables and fruits should be taken, those with blue, red and violet skin like lolla lettuce. Soft drinks exacerbate lupus or food with preservatives like bacon treated with nitrite.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 05, 2013:

Patricia, I am so sorry to hear about your loved ones. It is not easy living with any autoimmune disease. I have lupus, so I know there are challenges with any of these disease. I especially hate to hear of a child or young person that suffers. Prayers for your family and angles sent to you this morning.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on June 05, 2013:

Hi...Sadly I am familiar with many of these mainly because a family member or friend has been plagued by them.

My daughter and grandson both have autoimmune diseases on top of other illnesses. My grandson had JRA early on and it has progressed.

But as you probably have heard me say both he and his Momma just keep on keeping on.

Thank you for sharing this information...knowing about them can help both those who suffer from them and those who have loved ones who do to have a better understanding of them

Angels are on the way to you this morning ps

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 04, 2013:

Pinto, That must have been very hard on you and your family. Thank you for sharing your comments and personal experience.

Subhas from New Delhi, India on June 04, 2013:

Hi Pamela! I have seen one of my friends sister dying of liver autoimmune disease. You have covered the whole arena quite nicely.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 04, 2013:

Suzzette, I am so sorry to hear you have angioedema as I know that is a tough disease. Scientists have a long way to go to find cures for these types of diseases. There is not nearly enough money spent on autoimmune disease research. It seems cancer, heart- and many other diseases get the spotlight. I appreciate your comments and wish you good health in the future.

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on June 04, 2013:

Very interesting and informative article, Pamela. I enjoyed reading this. I have idopathic angioedema, which is not fun either. I have been tested for all these diseases you mention above, but fortunately I don't have any of them. The angioedema is bad enough. When the body system goes hay wire it is a nightmare. My angioedema is controlled with medication, but when a cycle starts it is horrible. Mine is systemic and my inside organs can swell. That is really the worst. And it is symetrical so when something on one side of the body swells, the other side automatically swells later too. I guess we all have to suffer from something, but it is no picnic when this happens. Much more needs to be done in researching cures for these autoimmune diseases. I know that cancers, AIDs, etc get the research money. But, at this point, cures and vaccines for these diseases need to be found also. Too many people suffer from these and some do lead to death. Thanks for sharing your knowledge of this with us.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 04, 2013:

Thanks for a very complex discussion concerning the problem of these autimmune disorders.

conradofontanilla from Philippines on June 04, 2013:


It may be easy to "keep our body's systems healthy," if all diseases were caused by germs. However, there are now diseases not caused by germs like rheumatic heart that is called an autoimmune disease. One reason is that we have changed out diets and life styles. These have produced cascades of free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that earlier on could be neutralized by the body's built-in antioxidants. Refined sugar produces free radicals, so do soft drinks and hamburgers and bacon and bologna. Smoking produces a lot. But conventional medicine have not cope with free radicals and ROS or is pressured to ignore them by Big Pharma. I have several Hubs on this theme. For example, rheumatic heart. It starts as a fever due to infections from germs, one of them the bacterium Streptococcus pyogenes. This attacks muscles and valves of the heart. The immune system attacks the bacterium; macrophage, a component of immune system, shoots this bacterium with nitric oxide, which is a free radical produced by the inducible nitric oxide synthase, indicated as NO/iNOS. This kills the bacterium but also hits the healthy cells in the vicinity of infected cells. NO/iNOS mutates the chromosomes of healthy cells. Such mutation, particularly in the DNA, results in tumor or scars called stenosis in the valves of the heart. This stenosis allows back flow of blood, a symptom of rheumatic heart disease. So we see that it is NO/iNOS, a free radical, that caused the stenosis, not the bacterium. However, conventional medicine says that the stenosis is probably an allergic reaction to the bacterium. This is the view of Dr. Michael DeBakey, MD considered a famous cardiac surgeon (DeBakey, M. MD. and A. Gotto, MD. The Living Heart. 1977).

It is only recently that advances in free radical research has shown the existence of NO/iNOS that has been spurred by the discovery that the endothelium-derived relaxation factor (EDRF) produced by the inner lining of the artery dilates the artery. This was discovered by Robert Futchgott. Ferid Murad found that nitroglycerin produces a substance, nitric oxide that is similar to EDRF. Then Luis Ignarro found that EDRF is nitric oxide. Their work explains why nitroglycerin dilates arteries; they received the Nobel Prize i medicine in 1998. Yet up until now there is a stiff resistance on the part of conventional medicine to the concept that free radicals and ROS cause disease. That is why conventional medicine cannot find a cure for cancer that is caused by free radicals and ROS.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 04, 2013:

midget, That is for sure. I appreciate your comments.

Michelle Liew from Singapore on June 03, 2013:

This is why we should always keep our body's systems healthy. Thanks for sharing, Pamela!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 28, 2013:

ib radmasters, I wrote this hub quite some time ago and I think there are probably more autoimmune diseases than 80. There is a new drug for lupus (Bentysa) that actually treats the disease. Most diseases just have the symptoms treating but not the underlying cause of the disease. I think that is why so many people are trying alternative medicine. Thanks for your comments.

Brad Masters from Southern California on February 28, 2013:


80 AI diseases and no cures.

Surely there must be more than 80 AI three years after your hub was posted.

I had Eczema since I was a child and today they are treating it pretty much the same way.


Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 27, 2013:

conradofontanilla, I have used antioxidants for a few years now. They have helped with some of the symptoms I think, but I have changed what I eat also. It is good for people to understand the importance of antioxidants. I am glad you made these comments. Thank you so much.

conradofontanilla from Philippines on February 27, 2013:

Lupus and arthritis are listed as caused by free radicals. Antioxidants like vitamin C, 1000 to 2000mg and E should help. Vitamin C is water based and E is fat based so you get protection from both kinds of free radicals. You also get antioxidants from fruits and vegetables.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 27, 2013:

bansheeonfire, I understand why you would be sad, but this is not your fault. Your daughters need to be treated by a good rheumatologists in my opinion. There is a new treatment for Lupus (Benstya) that actually treats the disease. Up to this point the only treatment was to relieve the symptoms. I have also found some relief by changing my diet to mostly vegetarian with some fish and chicken. I try not to eat processed food and I don't know if this will help your daughters, but it is worth a try. Lupus causes arthritis, which means pain in the joints. Hashimotos should be controlled with thyroid medication.

I am no expert on these diseases, but can only share my personal experiencer. I have sjogren's disease, which I think you listed. There is no treatment but using moisturizing eye drops and toothpaste for dry mouth helps. Also sugarless gum, drinking water and getting to the dentist is important. Dry mouth causes tooth decay, so using moisturizers is helpful. As I said, I am not a doctor and I hope my comments have been helpful. I will pray for you and your family as I know this is a difficult time to say the least.

bansheeonfire on February 26, 2013:

I was diagnosed with Graves 8 months after the birth of my third child. I knew statistically speaking that this meant my children were at a higher risk of developing an auto-immune disease, however, I figured it would be either Graves or Hashimotos...I never imagined the nightmare that layed ahead. Three years ago my oldest daughter started complaining of feeling bad. Our doctor said she was just stressed, a high maintenance kid, type A personality who internalized everything. Finally this past October I could not deny that something was seriously wrong as the weight was dropping off of her and she looked like the walking dead. But we kept getting the same response from her doctor. I finally demanded labs. My daughter was diagnosed with Hashimotos, JRA, Lupus and Srodjens and a possible positive on Scleroderma (Im not sure why possible?). My second oldest child has complained of knee pain for 2 years. Our doctor sent her to PT and said it was a lazy child problem...But now she is complaining of her ankle and shoulders too, and she is so tired. Once again I demanded labs. She has the same diseases as her sister...Now I sit here looking at my younger two children wondering if they are ticking time bombs. Thinking of my older two children and I wonder why? What did I do wrong that they are so incredibly sick? They were only supposed to be at a high risk for an auto immune thyroid problem. They are so young. I just don't understand. And why both of them and so many diseases? I'm so sad and upset.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 15, 2013:

conradofontanilla, I have thought about free radicals being at least a big part of the problem also, yet some have the problem and some in the family do not. I have read some of Dr. Dean Ornish's work, but am not familiar with Dr. Clayton. I really hope your conclusions are accurate. I think the DNA Human Genome project has given scientist a better understanding of the body and disease. I look forward diseases being treated in a more natural way as there is certainly a price to be paid when taking a lot of pharmaceuticals. Thank you so much for your very informative comments.

conradofontanilla from Philippines on February 14, 2013:


I have a strong suspicion that autoimmune diseases are caused by free radicals and their derivatives. That is why they have similar symptoms. There are two prevailing explanations of autoimmune. One is propounded by Dr. Dean Ornish, MD who says that the immune system recognizes the "self" . There are parts of the body that are "not-self" but the immune system recognizes them also as "self" and attacks them. Dr. Ornish's ideas adopts the dialectic materialism as basis which is metaphysics. Another ideas is "misidentify" by Dr. Charles Clayton, Jr. MD who says that the immune system misidentifies some parts of the body and attacks them. I have yet to come across cases where the enzyme had not been very specific. However, there are diseases that are identified as autoimmune that are definitely caused by free radicals like arthritis, diabetes, heart diseases, rheumatic heart, cancer, osteoporosis, lupus. Conventional medicine snubs the free radical theories of diseases that is why it cannot identify so-called autoimmune diseases as caused by free radicals. So, it is not that these diseases are difficult to diagnose; the reason is that the wrong framework is being used.

The American Medical Association and Big Pharma will not recognize free radicals as causes of disease because a lot of protocols (coronary arterial bypass graft surgery, angioplasty, amputation owing to gangrene) and drugs (chemo, heart disease medications, cancer medications) will be made obsolete.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 28, 2013:

Lorna, I am so glad to hear from you and to know your father has slightly improved. I still wish you the all the best for your whole family.

Lorna Lush on January 28, 2013:

Pamela, Sorry for such a late reply! My E-mails did not notify my that you had replied.. Thanks for the kind words. I am glad to say that so far dad is looking after himself a little better (taking care of his diabetes more etc.) and is seeking furthur help from a country doctor. Hopefully things look more positive in the near future! I will look into finding a rheumatologist for him and in the meantime try and look for some support with my brother. Thanks for the advice. =)

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 16, 2013:

Lorna, You sure have a heavy load to bear. The health care your father has received some horrible. Rest, ice and anti-inflammatory drugs might help the tendon tear. Usually they do an MRI to see how severe the tear it and treat it accordingly. As for the auto-immune diseases, a rheumatologist is the type of doctor who knows how to diagnose these diseases. I don't know anything about medical care in Australia, but I would hope he could see a rheumatologist. I'm sure taking care of your brother and your own children is a handful. I hope your mother stays on her medications. I think stress is a major factor for someone with several diseases. I hope your father gets better and I wish you the best. I am not a doctor, so I don't really have any other advice, except to seek out a better doctor. I wish I could help more. If you have any other family members, I would try to get some help from them also. I wish you the best.

Lorna Lush on January 15, 2013:

Hi there,

My name is Lorna and I live in Australia, I'm a young mother of 2 at & 19 and my dad has an autoimmune disease. (he is almost 65 years old) It's frustrating to see that there is not much help out there for such a horrible disease that KILLS! By looking at this blog I have the impression that my dad has more symptoms than just one type of this disease, I did not read them all but he has the same symptoms as Scleroderma & Polymyositis. He also has type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure and I am pretty sure he has been diagnosed with asbestosis aswell among other things.. He is a VERY sick man and the hospitals around here don't seem to care and have even "chucked him out" telling him there is nothing else they can do for him after he had suddenly broken a tendon in his leg joining to his hip (he still does not even know how this accured). He was left at home on the floor in horrible pain which he describe as "was worse than the bends", and wasn't even able to sit up and only prescribed with panadine forte!

Although he is more mobile now on his crutches and is on stronger pain relief, he does not look after himself as much as he should because he is so busy running around for his family! I believe he needs more support and help from hospitals and Doctors that actually know a thing or two about the disease. It frustrates me because I feel so helpless because of my poor knowledge, all I feel I can do is take care of my 12 year old brother for him (who has autism) & occasionally my mother (who has schizophrenia).

I hope and Pray that a cure will be found and that more Doctors and hospitals have more knowledge of this horrible disease! My father is the glue to my family and has always been there for not only us kids but everyone he knows he helps out! It's time for me and others to be there for him..

If you have any advice and/or information I would be extremely greatful!


Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on October 09, 2012:

zebra, I am sorry to hear about your daughter. I hope you have a good rheumatologist. They have a new drug specifically for lupus called Benestya, which is very effective. It is the first drug that treats the disease and not just the symptoms. I hope this is helpful information to you. I believe prays can heal also. Thank you for your comments. on October 09, 2012:

It is so nice of Pamela to try and help people with autoimmune diseases, my daughter has lupus very bad and i pray for her ever day.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 26, 2012:

Myz, Many people have autoimmune diseases that go un-diagnosed. I am glad that you don't know anyone with one of these diseases. I appreciate your comments.

Life Under Construction from Neverland on September 26, 2012:

very rich in details and information Pamela. I never knew this thing before and haven't known a family or friend with this disease. All in all, what a great hub.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 28, 2012:

chera, You have really had a horrible time for quite a while. Many of the symptoms sound like lupus, as it can attack any body system. First, you need to be evaluated by a very good rheumatologist, and believe me they aren't all good. If you are seeing one I would get a second opinion. The adult chicken pox may have left you more vulnerable to get shingles but that involves a rash that is very painful and I don't believe it accounts for your joint and muscle pain. I have lupus and fibromyalgia, along with some other autoimmune diseases but your symptoms are more than fibromyalgia would cause, and they don't all seem to be related to your spine and back problems either. I am not a doctor and can't give medical advice, but I do hope you will find a good rheumatologist. Diet can have an impact on health also and leaning toward being a vegetarian or as close as you can get may help some of your symptoms.

Please let me know how you are doing. I know its awful to go undiagnosed, as I experienced that also. I wish you better health in the future.

chera on April 27, 2012:

I'm sooo GLAD to have found your Hub! Ive suffered with autoimmune issues for nearly 10 years now (I'm 37)and still do not believe to have been accurately diagnosed. As crazy as this might sound, I honestly believe my problems were GREATLY worsened, or maybe even caused after a HORRIBLE case of Adult Chicken Pox, so bad that I was in the hospital for 12 days. Like most of you, I have been diagnosed with a multitude of conditions, all with overlapping symptoms. However, over the past 2 years I've been hospitalized several times due to recurring facial cellulitis, kidney problems and chronic infections that they can't seem to identify the cause. I think though, that these times are directly related to an autoimmune condition coming out of "remission". I am ALWAYS exhausted,joint & muscle aches sometimes with terrible pain, have not had a period in 14 months, skin all over most of my body in which appears red/purple splotched, wide-spread lymphadenopathy that comes and goes etc... I KNOW this isn't just Fibromyalgia, mild scoliosis, and Cervical/Lumbar disc issues.

During these times of infection, my WBC count is always normal or low. However, my RBC count is CHRONICALLY Low, as well as my Hemaglobin, Hemacrit, & MCHC. My MCV count is Chronically High, as well as my Eosinophil count. My AST & ALT are elevated also.

I know the elevated eosinophils are not due to allergies because I've been allergy tested twice, both completely negative. I've also had complete sinus surgery for the removal of recurring polyps twice.

Does any of these results sound familiar???

I am trying to find a direction in which to point my far, I've not gotten any answers relying soley on them.


Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 07, 2012:

Winsome, I think this article surprised many people as we tend to hear more about cancer and heart diseases. Thanks for your comments.

Winsome from Southern California by way of Texas on April 07, 2012:

Hi Pamela, good to see you and congratulations on your more than 1000 fans. I can see why, your article is very illuminating and keeps me from being ignorant in casual conversations. Who knew there were so many variations. =:)

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 02, 2012:

Jasper, I am glad you found the hub helpful. I appreciate your comments.

jasper420 on March 02, 2012:

Very intresting info! Great hub I learned alot from reading this!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 10, 2011:

TahoeDoc, I am glad the surgery was successful for you. Ulcerative colitis is such a difficult disease. I also have been on steroids for years and know all the side effects. I agree that all people with these diseases deserve a hug. Thanks so much for your comments.

TahoeDoc from Lake Tahoe, California on November 10, 2011:

Hi- Great hub. I'm a doctor AND a patient who also suffered from ulcerative colitis. This is an autoimmune disorder (an inflammatory bowel disease, along with Chrohn's disease) that causes severe gastrointestinal distress and results in inflammation and bleeding from the intestines. I suffered through years-- and 2 pregnancies-- with this disease. I took steroids (wrote my only really personal hub on prednisone- still have 'brittle bones after this) and anti-immune infusions for a long time. I feel so fortunate that I was able to be 'cured' of my UC with surgery. I thank my lucky stars that a surgeon was skilled and caring enough to get me ready for surgery and was able to remove my diseased colon-- which was slowly killing me and would have eventually developed colon cancer. I'm so glad that was an option for me after I tried every other option available to me. Yay! surgery! My life will never be 'normal', but I'm so glad that I got an autoimmune disease that could be 'cured' or at least greatly improved. I really do appreciate that many people will suffer for a long time with their autoimmune disorders and I'd like to send big hugs to them all, I "get it". I've been there.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 09, 2011:

julie, M. E. is a neurological disease. It is an injury to the central nervous system triggered by an infectious disease or a chemical. It is not an auto-immune disease. It is a muti-system disease. I hope that answers your questions. Thanks for your comments.

julia on November 09, 2011:

i was very interested in your page but did i see M.E.mentioned? is that an auto-immune disease?

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 01, 2011:

Lady Guinevere, I am so glad you found the answer to your question. Thank you so much for your comments.

Debra Allen from West By God on January 31, 2011:

I asked the question of hubbers to write a hub on AIDS that was not HIV related and no one did, but then I found this one. Excellent and thanks although I asked the question just a few months ago. I voted it up and useful and will share it on my facebook and twitter accounts.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 31, 2011:

Heart of a Lion, It is very difficult to have a disease that affects so many parts of your body. I have several different diseases and of gone through some of the same things, with multiple surgeries. I found that I'm doing a little bit better since I've been eating a more vegetarian diet. I wish you the very best and I hope you start to get well and get your life back. Thank you for your comments.

Heart of a Lion from Portland Oregon on January 31, 2011:

I do hope more people will begin to see how debilitating autoimmune diseases are. My grandmother had Guillian-Barre Syndrome and i was diagnosed with Mixed Connective Tissue Disorder a few years ago. The symptoms and health issues that arise are so diverse and its a "whole body" disease. Any tendons,muscles,organs,skin,joints and blood vessels can be under attack at any given moment. I lost a kidney while I was pregnant and then lost my gallbladder and appendix less than a year later. It is a roller coaster I didn't want to be on but I got a free ticket!!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 24, 2011:

izetti, Best of luck with the third rheumatologist. I tried different ones also as it isn't that easy to find a really good rheumatologies, and I wanted one that would listen to my concerns and give me answers. I am really happy with mine. I would like it if you would keep me posted as to how you are doing. If you do apply for disability I would be glad to privately share how I got approved the first time. I have no plans to write a hub about it. Thanks for writing back and have a great day!

L Izett from The Great Northwest on January 23, 2011:

thanks Pamela. I am seeing my 3rd rheumatologist next month because I am determined to find one that will work with me trying to use natural stuff. I'm on low dose prednisone too. I know a little about lupus because my dr's weren't sure if I had lupus or RA before I was officially diagnosed so I did research on both. I am glad t not have lupus because I do want to have another child and lupus is much harder on pregnant women than RA, which sometimes goes into remission with pregnancy. THanks again for great info and my prayer and thoughts will be with you too.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 23, 2011:

izettl, The medications for rheumatoid arthritis are available but many have many side effect. Prednisone also has some bad effects. I have been on it for lupus for 20 years, a low dose now, but if you can find another way, try to get off it. I hope your health improves. Disability is a whole other topic and one to discuss with your doctor. I hope you have a good rheumatologist. My thoughts and prayer will be with you.

L Izett from The Great Northwest on January 23, 2011:

This info is so important because people don't realize how many autoimmune diseases are out there. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and people ask me how I got and they are surpriesd to know I was very healthy and active before I got it so many of these come on without notice, but some unknown provocation. I have had it for over a year and am trying natural ways to at least tame it, but also Prednisone juse so I can walk and take care of my 3 yr old. I can't bring myself to take the stronger pharmaceuticals yet. When I first got diagnosed, people said there are great meds for it, but I haven't seen that so far. These meds can cause other autoimmune diseases and cancer, etc.

Another issue I find is with working. I know I can't work right now, but not sure if I'm totally disabled. It's such a tough spot to be in. Great hub and tahnks for writing it.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 23, 2011:

Sue, I didn't know you had MS so I wish you the best possible health. Living with chronic illness isn't easy as I well know, but living one day at a time, enjoying what you can makes it much more tolerable. I appreciate your comments.

Susan Hazelton from Northern New York on January 23, 2011:

Pamela, this is a wonderful hub about autoimmune diseases. I can't believe I haven't read it before. You have included an unbelievable amount of information. I have MS, don't like, wish it would go away, know it won't. You are absolutely correct in advising that help be gotten as soon as you know. If you wait too long the symptoms become so much harder to control. Thanks for the sharaing of information.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on December 07, 2010:

medical blog, Generally this is true but sometimes if you are taking a prednisone dose pack you will rebound if you have a disease like lupus which happened to me. I do appreciate your comment.

medical blog on December 06, 2010:

The most important thing to do in a course of prednisone is to keep the course of treatment as brief as is possible. If the course is less than two weeks a prednisone taper is usually not needed.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on October 22, 2010:

Gropen, Thank you so much for your comment. Much appreciated.

Gropen AnimaVita on October 21, 2010:

Pamela, you have a lot of high quality articles. Congratulations

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 18, 2010:

drpastorcarlotta, I appreciate your comments very much.

Pastor Dr Carlotta Boles from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC on September 17, 2010:

I am glad you did your research, the more knowledge we have the more insight on what's going on. Thank you my friend for your wonderful, informational Hubs!!!! YES!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 04, 2010:

Tanxla waxir, I am glad you found this hub useful and thanks for your comments.

tanxla waxir on September 04, 2010:

i m very pleased to have this info..............

i ll book mark this


Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 12, 2010:

Baileybear, I will check that book. Thanks for sharing your issues and I will look forward to reading your hub.

Baileybear on June 12, 2010:

I found a book called The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook by Clair Davies - for self-treatment for soft-tissue pain relief. I massage the muscles in my neck to help relieve the pinched nerves going down to my hands etc. I found certain foods make my symptoms much worse - I plan to write about it all soon

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 12, 2010:

Baileybear, I am sorry to hear you are having such serious problems. Since I have autoimmune diseases I know how difficult it is and I have found my diet seems to have more of an impact that I would have thought. I am on a lot of medicine as I imagine you are. I have improved over time and trying to keep a positive attitude helps me. If you can do some slow stretches holding the stretch for a count of 20 it might help. I do that. I wish you the best of luck.

Baileybear on June 12, 2010:

Informative article. I had undiagnosed celiac disease for years - started with anxiety and depression, progressed to pain disorder then thyroid autoimmune disease (which reversed when went gluten free). I have problems with muscle tightness and trapped nerves made worse by certain foods- I'm kind of wondering what next?

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 07, 2010:

Chottie, I am not a doctor but I have a few ideas and I will email you. I sure hope your mother starts to get well quickly. She certainly has had a rough 5 years.

chottie on June 06, 2010:

Maybe someone can help me.

Over the past 5 years my mom (56 years old) has become increasingly allergic to foods, cleaning supplies, perfumes, creams, makeup etc. Even the tiniest bit of food or exposure to certain scents can give her a tingling pressure feeling in her head, which then turns into a massive migrane/throwing up and this can last for days. To date the only foods that she can eat without becoming seriously ill are lettuce, carrots, potato, and fish. Benadryl can sometimes help her a bit if she starts to have a reaction.

She has been to many allergists (results saying that she is not allergic to these foods) and she has had a CT scan (which showed nothing wrong).

I am so worried for her. She has lost over 50 pounds! We can't figure out what is wrong. Before this she wasn't allergic to very many things.

If anyone has any ideas, I would be extremely grateful.

Thanks so much.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 19, 2010:

Coolmon, Thanks for your comment,

Coolmon2009 from Texas, USA on May 19, 2010:

Good information, I will bookmark this one for reference. It is so many of them, kinda depressing. Thank you for this very useful article :)

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 28, 2010:

Habee, Thanks for your comment. Raynauds is fairly common. I hope you don't have too many problems with it.

Holle Abee from Georgia on March 27, 2010:

My rheumatologist thinks I have Raynauds. Great info in this hub!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 20, 2010:

Frogyfish, What a cute name for an avatar. I'm glad you enjoyed my hub. There is so much information out there about autoimmune diseases that I could only cover what I thought was a reasonable amount for this one. Thanks for your comment.

frogyfish from Central United States of America on March 20, 2010:

A lot of good explanatory info here. Thanks for lots of hard work to put out the great hub.

BTY I came to another of your hubs and 're-followed you'. So you may ignore my question previously made. THANKS!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 11, 2010:

Jen, Thank you for your comment. Autoimmune diseases are really tough to diagnose quite often. Your aunt might consider getting the shingles injection. Unfortunately insurance won't pay and it is about $200 but that is such a painful disease it would be worthwhile. Good luck with getting to the bottom of your problems.

Jen849 on March 11, 2010:

Thanks for this informative review of autoimmune conditions. My aunt has several autoimmune disorders, which one of them involves recurrent outbreaks of shingles. I have had recurrent outbreaks of impetigo and hsv1 for almost 20 years now. My current doctor is very concerned about this and just had me go through a battery of autoimmune testing.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 26, 2010:

2besure, Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub.

Pamela Lipscomb from Charlotte, North Carolina on February 26, 2010:

This is a very thorough informative hub on auto-immune disease. I will put in my favs, for sure.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 26, 2010:

Tubbs, Thanks for the comment.

Korsita Korchenko from Louisiana on February 25, 2010:

WoW!! A great deal of those I've never even heard of!! Lots of great information Pam.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 25, 2010:

Steve, I am sorry to hear you have Graves disease and hope the symptoms are under control. It seems to be common for autoimmune diseases to run in families even though they haven't proven that with DNA studies to my knowledge. Thanks for your comment.

Lily, I am sorry you have had such problems. Many thyroid diseases are caused by autoimmune disease. Can't they control your symptoms with Synthroid? That is common for hypothyroid disease as I have some family members with that disease. Thank you for your comments.

Lily Rose from A Coast on February 25, 2010:

I have Hashimoto's (Hypothyroidism) - was diagnosed just a few months ago and have been trying to figure out the best way to treat and manage it - it really sucks! I believe radiation therapy messed up my thyroid. Apparently, Hypothyroidism & Hashimoto's is one of the most undiagnosed autoimmune diseases. Glad it didn't go undiagnosed in me, but wish to heck I didn't have it! Thanks for this very informative hub.

Steve 3.0 from Cornwall UK on February 25, 2010:

I have Graves Disease (hyperthyroidism). There are several other autoimmune disorders in my family and some of my friends have one as well. They seem to be more common now but I wonder if some of these weren't diagnosed years ago? Will have to do a hub on my experience one day.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 25, 2010:

Ted, Thank you so much for your comment.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 24, 2010:

MPG and Nikki, Thank you for your comment. There are several types of thyroid disease and many are autoimmune. Nikki, I was not familiar with Myalgic Encephalomeytitis and will check those website.

Thank you both for your comments.

Nikki Dee on February 24, 2010:

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis may also be an autoimmune disease. Due to a lack of research the causes of this devastating illness (often mistakenly known in the US as "chronic fatigue syndrome") are as yet uncertain. New research is being carried out by the Whittemore-Peterson Institute in Nevada (see: Further information about the illness is available from the Canadian Nightingale Research Foundation (, from the National Alliance for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (, and in this detailed report written by Professor Malcolm Hooper in the UK:

Maria Giunta from Sydney, Australia on February 24, 2010:

Pamela, what an excellent and informative hub. I have a low thyroid problem which is controlled by hormone drugs I take every day (if I didn't take them I'd sleep all day and put on loads of weight). I think the prevalence of autoimmune diseases is on the increase but at least these days there is more understanding about them. Thanks for a great read.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 24, 2010:

She-rah, I am sorry to hear you went through so much starting at such a young age. I would be interested in what you are doing with the natural healing. I have lupus, sjogrens' disease, fibromyalgia, and a number of other conditions. It was suggested many times that I must be depressed, etc as they could not find the cause and I had some pretty clear symptoms of lupus but it took years, so I know how that feels. I am so glad you shared your story with me. I write hubs about these diseases so people can recognize their symptoms and get help early in the beginning stages instead of years too late. Thanks.

She-rah from Petersburg, IL on February 24, 2010:

Unfortunately, there are so many similar symptoms of autoimmune disorders that it's extremely difficult to find the exact one or ones without hundreds of tests. I was diagnosed as suffering from depression and a hypochondriac many years ago so every time a new doc opened my medical records, they automatically just tried to give me antidepressants and told me to get mental help. They finally had me believing that maybe I was a hypochondriac and I called mental health on myself where they told me that I was definitely not one because I suffered from treatable infection after unusual infection for years starting at the age of 10. I no longer believe that hypochondriacs even exist or at least the condition is overly diagnosed because doctors can't find what is really wrong. It took docs 24 yrs to diagnose the real condition or multitude of conditions that I have now and because so many docs thought I was a hypochondriac, I also have liver disease and a seizure disorder from all of the drugs they forced down me without knowing what was really wrong. I can no longer tolerate any chemical/prescription drugs because of my liver disease and can't even take children's benadryl without having a seizure. I've spent about 15yrs doing my own research on natural meds to keep myself functional and trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I had to demand the testing and was immediately sent to an Immunologist for an emergency visit when my test results came back. My knew doc was finally able to diagnose me after suffering from the autoimmune disorder, without proper treatment for 24 yrs. He has no idea how I didn't die from anaphylactic shock without epinephrine injections and treatment. I'm the 10th medically documented woman diagnosed with this condition since 1921. Getting ready to write a hub on my experience with this and my major NATURAL treatments that have helped me to survive. I'm currently in remission and have some pretty great side effects from natural treatment, which is nice. I never want another person to have to go through the lifelong battle of this condition and others because of ignorance,arrogance, and doubt in patience that exists in the medical industry. Thank you for such an informative hub and getting word out about autoimmune disorders!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 23, 2010:

Hanna, That's true. There is a new medicine for Lupus that will be on the market soon that actually treats the disease versus just the symptoms. Most of these disease there is no treatment for the disease itself. Learning as much as you can about the disease is most important but learning to live within those boundaries is not so easy.

HealthyHanna from Utah on February 23, 2010:

You've done it again. Great hub. I have done some very in-dept research into autoimmune problems myself, as it is such a wide spread problem without a 'cure'. Learning to live with it is the best I have found so far. Understanding the type and symptoms you have is the very first step.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 22, 2010:

James, I don't think anyone knew there were so many including me until I did my research. Thanks for your comment.

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