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Understanding Autoimmune Disorders

More than 24 million people in the United States have one of 80+ identified autoimmune disorders, which are conditions in which your own body turns on itself to fight off a perceived threat. The end result is that the very system that’s supposed to protect you from disease — your immune system — ends up causing moderate-to-severe problems in otherwise healthy tissues and organs.

At Magnolia Medical Center, our team of integrated health care experts is uniquely qualified to diagnose and treat autoimmune disorders. Thanks to our understanding of the interactions between genetics, the environment, hormones, and more, that can lead to autoimmune malfunctions, we can help you better manage the problem.

Here’s a look at how autoimmune disorders develop and what we can do about them.

Behind autoimmune disease

There’s a lot we still don’t understand about the human body, and autoimmune disorders certainly qualify. After all, what can prompt the system that’s tasked with fighting off disease to attack your body?

The human immune system isn’t a single entity, but a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect your body from harmful invaders. Under normal circumstances, this system serves you well, fighting off infection and disease and developing antibodies that provide you with ongoing protection.

When an autoimmune disorder develops, your immune system mistakenly identifies a part of your own body as a danger and attacks healthy tissues in an effort to rid you of the “threat.” 

While we still don’t understand the exact mechanism that sets off your immune system, ongoing research has uncovered links to:

On this last point, one study found that women are more than twice as likely to develop an autoimmune disorder than men, which is likely tied to hormones and environmental toxic exposures.

The bottom line is that there are many contributing factors, and it’s often an interaction between these factors that ignites the problem.

The most common autoimmune diseases

Of the more than 80 types of autoimmune disease, there are a few that are more common than others, which include:

As you can see by this list, autoimmune disorders can be serious and have life-altering consequences.

Diagnosing and treating autoimmune diseases

Autoimmune disorders can be tricky to diagnose, since there are so many different types and there’s no single test that can confirm a malfunction in your immune system. That said, our team has extensive experience with these types of health issues, and we perform extensive evaluations for each of our patients to get to the bottom of the problem.

Thanks to our understanding of all the potential contributing factors, we spend considerable time reviewing your:

We even discuss whether stress may play a role in causing your disease to flare, which allows us to tailor your treatment program.

When it comes to managing your autoimmune disorder, our approach depends upon our findings. Rest assured, we address the problem from every angle, which includes:

If you’d like to gain the upper hand on your autoimmune disorder, please contact our office in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, to set up a consultation. You can even request an appointment right now through the website.

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