Best Resources for Auto-immune Diseases in San Antonio


Layton Lyfe


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The immune system is responsible for protecting against bacterial and viral infections. Upon detection of these foreign invaders (called antigens), the immune system produces antibodies in response. Antibodies are proteins which circulate in the blood and bind to antigens in order to remove them from the body - this is the normal immune reaction. However, an autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system cannot tell the difference between foreign invaders and the body’s healthy cells. This causes the immune system to mistakenly attack the body. Common symptoms of autoimmune disease include fatigue, joint pain and swelling, skin problems, abdominal pain or digestive issues, recurring fever, and Swollen glands. It can affect one or multiple organs, and can be mild, moderate or severe depending on genetics, environment and personal health (smoking, weight and certain medications). Examples of an autoimmune diseases are Type 1 diabetes - which damages the pancreas, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) - which affects the whole body, Rheumatoid arthritis - attacks the joints, Psoriasis - thick, scaly patches of skin, Psoriatic arthritis - a type of arthritis that affects some people with psoriasis, Graves’ disease - hyperthyroidism, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis - hypothyroidism, Multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barre syndrome - affects the nerves controlling muscles in the legs and arms and upper body. The medication used to treat autoimmune diseases depends on the severity of the condition. Over-the-counter drugs can be used to relieve mild symptoms e.g. aspirin and ibuprofen. Prescription drugs can help relieve symptoms such as pain, swelling, depression, anxiety, sleep problems, fatigue, or rashes. Insulin injections for type one diabetics, and thyroid hormone replacements are available for people with an under-active thyroid. Immune suppressing medications can help control the disease process and preserve organ function e.g. chemotherapy administered at low doses. Specialists who treat autoimmune diseases are Nephrologist, Rheumatologist, Endocrinologist, Neurologist, Hematologist, Gastroenterologist, Dermatologist, Physical therapist, Occupational therapist, Speech therapist, Audiologist, and Vocational therapist.