What is an Autoimmune Disease?
Your immune system is designed to protect your body from germs, bacteria, and viruses. When your body senses something harmful, your cells fight to attack it in order to keep you healthy. However, sometimes, your immune system mistakes parts of your body as foreign, causing it to attack and invade your body.
If you have an autoimmune disorder, your body produces antibodies that attack your healthy cells. While some autoimmune diseases affect only one part of the body, some impact the whole body.
There are more than 80 different autoimmune diseases; however, some directly impact your thyroid. Both Hashimoto’s disease and Grave’s disease are autoimmune disorders that attack your thyroid and cause various symptoms.
Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune disease that causes your thyroid to underproduce the necessary hormones that regulate your metabolism, heart rate, and body temperature. People who have Hashimoto’s may have symptoms such as:
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Hair loss
- Unexplained weight gain
- Dry skin
If you are experiencing any of the mentioned symptoms, don’t hesitate to seek medical assistance. Treatments are available to regulate your hormone levels and eliminate the symptoms you may be feeling.
Grave’s disease is another autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. However, in contrast to Hashimoto’s, which causes the thyroid to produce too few hormones, Grave’s disease causes the thyroid to overproduce its hormones. The symptoms of Grave’s disease are often opposite those of Hashimoto’s. Some signs and symptoms include:
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Unexplained weight loss
- Increased sensitivity to heat
- Hand tremor
- Frequent bowel movements
The causes of autoimmune diseases remain unknown, however, risk factors can increase your chances of being diagnosed. Biological factors such as age and family history can increase the risk of having Hashimoto’s or Grave’s disease. Other factors such as having another autoimmune disease, being pregnant, smoking, or experiencing emotional or physical stress can also increase your risk of experiencing symptoms.
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If you are experiencing any symptoms and need further testing, our on-site laboratory services help us produce fast results. Contact us online or call us today at (210) 405-1164 to get the quality care you deserve.