An autoimmune disease develops when the immune system begins attacking healthy cells. Affecting up to 50 million Americans, this disease can affect one or more different types of body tissues. This can result in either an abnormal organ growth, or the organ poorly functioning.
There are many types of autoimmune diseases, specifically upwards of 80 types. However, amongst all types of autoimmune diseases there are similar symptoms which they share. An individual can have more than one type of autoimmune disease, and it cannot be cured by treatment. It is common for these diseases to fluctuate between remissions and flare-ups. This means that the individual experiences little or no symptoms during remission; however during flare-ups their symptoms worsen. A staggering 75% of autoimmune disease patients are women, and these diseases are known to run in families.
In this article, a few of the most common autoimmune diseases will be mentioned. Rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and celiac sprue disease are some of the most common types of these diseases. Rheumatoid arthritis is the inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissue, whereas systemic lupus erythematosus affects many organs including the skin, joints, kidneys, and the brain. Lastly, celiac sprue disease is a reaction to gluten which can be found in foods such as wheat, rye, and barley.
Currently there is no cause for autoimmune diseases; however as previously mentioned it is known to run in families. With regards to common symptoms they share, these include fatigue, fever, and feeling ill. As these diseases fluctuate between remission and flare-ups, symptoms are more apparent during the flare-up stage. A variety of organs and tissues are affected by autoimmune diseases, including joints, muscles, skin, blood vessels, and connective tissue. To diagnose autoimmune diseases, it must be identified what antibodies the body is producing. This is because the immune system produces antibodies against the body’s harmful invaders; however with autoimmune diseases the body produces antibodies against some of the body’s own tissues. Several tests are completed during this diagnosis process, including antinuclear antibody tests, and complete blood counts. An antinuclear antibody test looks for antinuclear antibodies which attack the nuclei of the cells. Complete blood counts are done to measure the amount of red and white blood cells, which are affected when the immune system begins attacking these cells.
When treating autoimmune diseases, treatments do not cure these diseases however they help to control the process of the disease while decreasing symptoms. Recommendations to alleviate symptoms include eating a balanced and healthy diet, exercising regularly, getting lots of rest, and taking vitamin supplements. If these approaches do not work, medical interventions include hormone replacement surgery, blood transfusions, anti-inflammatory medication, and pain medication.
The Canadian government recognizes the challenges faced by a family unit with a member who has autoimmune disease and has incentives in place to reduce their tax burden. At Disability Credit Consultants we specialize in obtaining disability credits for individuals and families supporting members with autoimmune disabilities. If you are supporting a family member who has auditory processing disorder you may qualify for the Disability Tax Credit. There are several steps involved in claiming the credit, and certain conditions need to be met.
Call Disability Credit Consultants at 1-855-752-0288 to find out more.