Autoimmune diseases are silent battles that many deal with, the most common autoimmune diseases are Rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. The key, prevalent factor among all autoimmune diseases is inflammation. Basically, when you have an autoimmune disease, your body is mistaking your healthy cells for bad cells- the body works to flush out the good cells. Symptoms can be debilitating and can be exasperated in times of stress, especially around the holidays!
- When an intruder invades your body — like a cold, virus or bacteria on a thorn that pricks your skin — your immune system protects you. It tries to identify, kill and eliminate the invaders that might hurt you.”
- Inflammation is the underlying mechanism, not the symptom,” said the La Mesa-based physician. “Inflammation is our army at war. It’s the means by which the immune system gets rid of not-good cells, like cancer cells.
- When we get the patient’s blood work, we look at positive RA factor and other markers,” Malinak said. “RA causes swelling of the tissue, which is usually paper-thin but becomes a spongy material. You need to see a few joints swollen like that to know it’s RA. The gist of it is, RA is easily noticed.
“There are more than 80 autoimmune diseases, and they affect different parts of the body. All are chronic, but the symptoms range from mild to debilitating. The level of severity can ebb and flow even within one person. Most autoimmune diseases can be treated, but none have a cure.”