LIFESTYLE & COMMUNITY

10 Signs And Symptoms That May Indicate You Have An Autoimmune Disease

Date September 26, 2019 02:00

Your immune system is designed to protect you from germs and other harmful agents. But in some people, the immune system malfunctions and turns against their own organs and tissues. Diseases in which the immune system attacks the body are called autoimmune diseases.

The causes of autoimmune diseases are still poorly understood, and they are notoriously difficult to diagnose. But there are some typical signs and symptoms that may indicate an autoimmune disease.

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The following signs and symptoms may appear as a manifestation of an autoimmune disease:

1. Brain fog

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Brain fog is what you often get after a sleepless night, but it may also be a sign of an autoimmune condition. If routine tasks have started to seem undoable, your thinking is hazy, and it's become difficult for you to memorize and recall things, it might be an indication of an autoimmune disease.

2. Persistent fatigue

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Fatigue is a common symptom present in various autoimmune conditions. If you get a normal amount of sleep but wake up feeling tired, and feel drowsy and tired throughout the day, the reason of your tiredness could be an autoimmune disease.

3. Digestive symptoms

Bloating, gas, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea are common symptoms of autoimmune diseases that affect the digestive system, such as Crohn's disease or celiac disease.

4. Skin problems

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Skin irritation, dryness, redness, and itchiness may have nothing to do with dry air or wrong skin care products. These symptoms could be a sign of psoriasis. Butterfly-shaped rash on the cheeks is a hallmark symptom of lupus.

5. Hair loss

Hair loss may be a sign that you're too stressed or that you're lacking certain nutrients in your diet. But it could also indicate an autoimmune condition, such as an underactive thyroid (especially if the hair loss is quite noticeable).

6. Sensitivity to heat or cold

Certain autoimmune diseases can amplify your sensitivity to low or high temperatures you used to tolerate well. Sensitivity to heat or cold may mean your thyroid is under attack of your immune system.

7. Weight changes

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Gaining or losing weight without significant changes in your diet is another common symptom of autoimmune diseases that affect the thyroid. Hashimoto's disease (underactive thyroid) can lead to weight gain, and Graves' disease (overactive thyroid) can lead to weight loss.

8. Joint pain

Joint pain can make daily activities really difficult. Temporary joint pain may be a result of trauma, but if it's persistent (or intermittent), it could be a sign of rheumatoid arthritis.

9. Tingling in the hands and feet

Tingling, numbness, and other unpleasant sensations in your hands and feet may be a sign of an autoimmune disease which affects the nerves or blood vessels. These include type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and lupus.

10. Muscle weakness and pain

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Another symptom which certain autoimmune diseases can produce is muscle weakness and pain. You may get these symptoms after just a mild exertion, such as lifting an object that isn't very heavy.

Fibromyalgia is not yet classified as an autoimmune disease (it may be, once more about this mystery illness is known), but one of its main symptoms is widespread muscle pain and weakness.

Unfortunately, many people delay a visit to the doctor and don't schedule an appointment until they are really unwell. Don't be one of them! If you have one or several of the symptoms described above, tell your doctor about it.

READ ALSO: "Harmless" Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar


This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.