I am very excited to let everyone know I am learning how to help reverse symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. I have wanted to learn this aspect of functional medicine for a very long time and did not have a good source! I hope I do now!
I have found an MD in Oregon who does a course that will help me learn for myself and help others who come to me. I am not going to promote her name until I know more. I have begun the course last week.
I hope to be able to help people more and more overcome some of the debilitating symptoms of autoimmune disorders and help people get their lives back!! Please keep watching our posts and come to our classes and we will hopefully be able to address some of the health issues involved!
There are many types of autoimmune disorders. It is estimated there are over 100 different types of disorders!! https://www.aarda.org/diseaselist/
Rheumatoid arthritisA chronic inflammatory disorder affecting many joints, including those in the hands and feet.
LupusAn inflammatory disease caused when the immune system attacks its own tissues.
Celiac diseaseAn immune reaction to eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.
Sjögren’s syndromeAn immune system disorder characterized by dry eyes and dry mouth.
Polymyalgia rheumaticaAn inflammatory disorder causing muscle pain and stiffness around the shoulders and hips.
Multiple sclerosisA disease in which the immune system eats away at the protective covering of nerves.
Ankylosing spondylitisAn inflammatory arthritis affecting the spine and large joints.
Type 1 diabetesA chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin.
Alopecia areataSudden hair loss that starts with one or more circular bald patches that may overlap.
VasculitisAn inflammation of the blood vessels that causes changes in the blood vessel walls.
Temporal arteritisAn inflammation of blood vessels, called arteries, in and around the scalp.
Because I have RA, and it is one of the most common, I will focus on an explanation of this disease. There are some rheumatologists that believe there is one main autoimmune disorder that manifests in many ways, depending on the person.
What is rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that mainly attacks the synovial tissues within the joints. Autoimmune diseases occur when the body’s immune system mistakes its own tissues for foreign invaders, such as bacteria or viruses. The confused immune system develops antibodies to seek out and destroy the “invaders” in the synovium.
RA is a systemic disease, which means it can affect the whole body. It can attack organs, such as the heart, the lungs, or other tissues like muscles, cartilage, and ligaments. RA causes chronic swelling and pain that is sometimes severe, and it can cause permanent disability.
Symptoms and risk factors
At the onset of RA, you might notice that small joints like your fingers and toes are warm, stiff, or swollen. These symptoms might come and go, and you may think it’s nothing. RA flare-ups can last just a few days or a few weeks before they disappear again.
Eventually, RA will affect larger joints, such as hips, shoulders, and knees, and the period of remission will shorten. RA may damage joints within three to six months of onset. Sixty percent of people with inadequately treated RA are unable to work 10 years after onset.
Other symptoms associated with RA include:
- low-grade fevers
- pain and stiffness for longer than 30 minutes in the morning or after sitting
- weight loss
- rheumatoid nodules, or firm lumps, beneath the skin, primarily in the hands, elbows, or ankles
RA can be hard to diagnose because the types and severity of symptoms vary from person to person. They’re also similar to symptoms of other types of arthritis, which makes misdiagnosis possible.
The cause of RA is unknown, but a number of risk factors could contribute, such as:
- lifestyle (for example, smoking)
Out of every 100,000 people, 41 are diagnosedTrusted Source with RA every year. About 1.3 million Americans have RA.
Women are about two to three times more likely to get RA than men. Hormones in both genders may play a role in either preventing or triggering it.
RA generally starts between the ages of 30 and 60 in women and somewhat later in life in men. The lifetime risk of developing RA is 3.6 percent for women and 1.7 percent for menTrusted Source. However, RA can strike at any age — even small children can get it.
RA increases the risk of heart disease or stroke, because it can attack the pericardium (lining of the heart), and cause inflammation through out the body. Risk of heart attack is 60 percent higher one year after being diagnosed with RA than it is without the disease.
People with RA may avoid exercise because of joint pain, risking weight gain and placing extra strain on the heart. People with RA are twice as likely to suffer from depression, which may be due to decreased mobility and pain.