Autoimmune Diseases and Fibromyalgia

Autoimmune Diseases and Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome can be a disease that stands alone or they could be a symptoms of an underlying illness. Many persons that suffer from some autoimmune diseases often find themselves suffering with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. What is an autoimmune disease? Basically, autoimmune diseases occur when there is a malfunction of the immune system and the body mistakenly attacks its own cells, tissues and organs. So, the autoimmune disease will determine which area of the body is affected.

Let us examine a few autoimmune diseases that have been known to accompany fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue suyndrome.

  • Lupus.
    Lupus is chronic and inflammatory. It can affect many organ systems including the skin, joints and internal organs. Some symptoms of Lupus include: fever, fatigue, malaise, which is just the medical term for a generalized state of not feeling well, skin rashes, often butterfly-shaped, sensitivity to sunlight and joint pain or swelling.

    Lupus can range from mildly symptomatic to severely debilitating. It is chronic but treatment options work well and the prognosis for those with Lupus is generally very good. For more information on Lupus, check out The Lupus Foundation of America.

  • Multiple Sclerosis.
    MS is a central nervous system disease (a disease found in the brain, spinal cord, and spinal nerves) that damages the myelin, which is the protective tissue surrounding the nerves.affects the central nervous system.

    Repeated bouts of inflammation, which is just a large area of cells attacking themselves, create scar tissue, or sclerosis, along the covering of the nerve cells. This results in messages between the brain and the nerve pathways becoming impaired.

    Symptoms of MS include: weakness, tremor, or paralysis of one or more of the extremities, numbness, tingling, decreased coordination, loss of balance and/or vision.
    Both fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are strong MS mimics. So, a neurologist is should rule out MS and not automatically assume that the symptoms are from FMS or CFS. In fact, CFS can cause brain lesions also, which neurologist find this to be a sign of MS. So, a complete medical history, careful examinations, and proper testing is essential for an accuate diagnosis.

    If you want to get the 411 on this disease, why not check out the website of the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America, or MSAA.

  • Crohn’s Disease.
    Crohn’s Disease is a chronic disorder which causing inflammation of digestive tract. The digestive tract is also referred to as the gastrointestinal tract, or GI tract. This disease usually affects the area known as the ileum. That’s where the small and large intestine meet. Symptoms include: abdominal pain, weight loss, fever, diarrhea, foul-smelling stools and clubbing of the fingers and toes.

    You can learn more about Crohn’s Disease at the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) web site.

  • Diabetes Mellitus, or Type I Diabetes.
    There are several types of diabetes. Type I Diabetes is autoimmune because the body prevents itself from producing insulin or attacks the insulin that it does produce. Insulin is a necessary pancreatic hormone that controls the body’s response to sugar, turning into usable fuel.

    Type I Diabetes is referred to by many names. Here are a few:
    • Diabetes Mellitus,
    • Juvenile Diabetes,
    • and Insulin-Dependent Diabetes.
    Symptoms of this disease include: excessive thirst and/or urination, initial weight loss despite an increase in appetite, fatigue, and nausea. Diabetes is one of the most common diseases worldwide. There are many sites which contain information on it. I recommend that you start with the ADA’s (American Diabetes Association) site.

  • If you want to read more about these autoimmune diseases, here are a few books I recommend:

    You Should Also Read:
    Understanding Autoimmune Diseases
    American Autoimmune Related Diseases Organization
    Autoimmune Diseases Online

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