The human body is designed to fight off viruses, bacteria and parasites thanks to our immune system. An autoimmune disease prevents the body from being able to protect itself by damaging its own tissues and cells. Autoimmune disease may take place in one centralised location or throughout the entire body. The list of autoimmune diseases is very long and wide.
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A child that has autoimmune disease will display a low level of white blood cells. Fever, cough, rash, wheezing, joint pain, diarrhoea and haemoptysis (coughing up blood) are some of the symptoms of autoimmune diseases. Symptoms will vary based on the type of autoimmune disease your child has. If your child displays any of these symptoms it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
Autoimmune disease is not contagious. While there is no cure for autoimmune disease, there are specialised drugs and treatments available to help with symptoms. Depending on the type of disease your child has, he may be seen by a hematologist (blood disorders), neurologist (nervous system disorders), endochronologist (endocrine system disorders) or rheumatologist (joint and muscle disorders).
Lupus Autoimmune Disease
According to Johns Hopkins Autoimmune Disease Research Center, "Autoimmune diseases can strike any part of the body, and thus symptoms vary widely and diagnosis and treatment are often difficult." Certain types of autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, can be life-threatening if left untreated. Lupus affects mostly females and has a variety of effects on the body ranging from fatigue, fever and various other vague symptoms.
Graves' Autoimmune Disease
The most common type of autoimmune diseases is Graves' disease. Graves' disease causes the thyroid gland to become overstimulated, which results in hyperthyroidism (excessive production of thyroid hormones). Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include profuse sweating, increased bowels, tremors, rapid heart beat, weight loss, fatigue, agitation, low tolerance to heat, lack of concentration and irregular menstrual cycles in women.
Johns Hopkins Autoimmune Disease Research Center states that "autoimmune diseases are among the ten leading causes of death among women in all age groups up to 65." According to the facts, female children are more likely to suffer from an autoimmune disease than male children are. Approximately 75 per cent of all patients that have an autoimmune disease are females. If your child displays any symptoms of an autoimmune disease, you should contact your physician immediately.
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