DIAGNOSTIC HOMOEOPATHIC DOCTOR
Licence No.KZN00041D Practice No. 0805033 Reg No: A01252
The immune system, is a complex network of special cells and organs that defends the body from germs and other foreign invaders. It has the ability to tell the difference between self and non-self: what is self [you] and what is not-self [foreign]
A flaw can make the body unable to tell the difference between self and non-self. When this happens, the body makes auto-antibodies that attack normal cells by mistake. At the same time special cells called regulatory T-cells fail to do their job of keeping the immune system in line. The result is a misguided attack on your own body. This causes the damage we know as autoimmune disease. The body parts that are affected depend on the type of autoimmune disease. There are more than 80 known types.
Often, the first symptoms are fatigue, muscle aches and a low fever. The classic sign of an autoimmune disease is inflammation, which can cause redness, heat, pain and swelling. The diseases may also have flare-ups, when they get worse, and remissions, when symptoms get better or disappear. Treatment depends on the disease, but in most cases one important goal is to reduce inflammation. Allopathically, corticosteroids or other drugs are prescribed that reduce your immune response.
Normally the immune system's white blood cells help protect the body from harmful substances, called antigens. Examples of antigens include bacteria, viruses, toxins, cancer cells, and blood or tissues from another person or species. The immune system produces antibodies that destroy these harmful substances. What causes the immune system to no longer tell the difference between healthy body tissues and antigens is unknown. One theory is that some microorganisms [such as bacteria or viruses] or drugs may trigger some of these changes.
In patients with an autoimmune disorder, the immune system can't tell the difference between healthy body tissue and antigens. The result is an immune response that destroys normal body tissues.
In allergies, the immune system reacts to an outside substance that it normally would ignore. With autoimmune disorders, the immune system reacts to normal body tissues that it would normally ignore.
An autoimmune disorder may result in:
Organs and tissues commonly affected by autoimmune disorders include:
One can have more than one autoimmune disorder at the same time. Examples of autoimmune [or autoimmune-related] disorders include:
Symptoms of an autoimmune disease vary based on the disease and location of the abnormal immune response.
Symptoms that often occur with autoimmune diseases include:
Tests that may be done to diagnose an autoimmune disorder may include:
The goals of treatment are to:
Which treatments are used depends on the specific disease and your symptoms.
Complications depend on the disease. Side effects of medications used to suppress the immune system can be severe, such as infections that can be hard to control. If treating with homoeopathic medicines - there are usually no side-effects noted.