The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Saturday, December 20, 2014

African-Americans and Autoimmune Diseases -- 6 Symptoms to Look For!

Autoimmune Disease

What is an autoimmune disease?

Everyone's body has a natural immune system that kicks in to protect it from infections and diseases. When this is out of whack, an autoimmune disease develops, creating a condition where the body actually attacks healthy body cells. For some reason, African Americans have a higher risk for developing autoimmune diseases, and about 75 percent of people with autoimmune diseases are women.

How do you know when you have an autoimmune disease?

Here are six symptoms to look for that may indicate you have an autoimmune disease.

#1 - Joint pain or pain and weakness in the muscles
#2 - Rashes and hives
#3 - Numbness or tingling in hands and feet
#4 - Dry mouth, skin and eyes
#5 - Hair loss
#6 - Inability to concentrate

Common symptoms to watch for

In many cases the first symptoms people recognize are fatigue, muscle aches and a low fever. Inflammation is a very common sign of an autoimmune disease and can cause redness, heat, pain and swelling. Signs on the skin can include butterfly-shaped rashes.

When to see a doctor

If you have one or more of these symptoms ongoing, you should see a doctor. Autoimmune disease is treatable, usually with medication called corticosteroids which are designed to reduce inflammation. There are up to 80 types of autoimmune diseases, so it is important to see a physician to get a correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Read more at www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/autoimmunediseases.html
DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practitioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.
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