Your immune system is a complex network of proteins, cells, tissue and organs that help the body fight infection and other diseases. Under normal circumstances, when your body is invaded by bacteria or a virus your immune system launces an army of cells to attack any foreign invaders.
With an autoimmune disorder, your immune system cannot always tell the difference between a foreign cell or your body’s own cells often releasing autoantibodies to attack healthy cells. Depending on the disorder, specific areas of the body may be attacked. Type 1 Diabetes can damage the pancreas while Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) can attack the whole body.
There are still many things we do not understand about autoimmune disorders. Women are two-to-one times more likely to suffer from an autoimmune disorder than men. Some ethnic groups are more susceptible to specific conditions: Blacks and Latinos have a higher occurrence of Lupus. Some autoimmune disorders, such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS), tend to run in families.
Scientists are still searching for the cause of autoimmune disorders. Genetics, diet, infections, and exposure to chemicals might be involved. Symptoms like fatigue, muscle aches, swelling, and redness could be signs of an autoimmune disease. Symptoms might come and go over time making a diagnosis a lengthy process.
While there are over 80 known autoimmune disorders, here are some of the more common:
- Type 1 Diabetes in which your immune system attacks insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) causing pain stiffness, redness and warmth in your joints.
- Psoriasis/Psoriatic Arthritis causes skin cells to multiply and build up too quickly causing inflamed scales of plaque on the skin.
- Multiple Sclerosis damages the protective sheath surrounding your nerve cells. This damage can slow the transmission of messages between your brain and the rest of your body.
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) can impact your entire body or specific organs. Attacks on the skin are common but often Lupus will target joints, kidneys, your brain or heart.
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease is an inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
- Graves’ Disease attacks the thyroid gland causing an overproduction of hormones.
- Sjögren’s Syndrome attacks the glands that provide lubrication to the eyes and mouth.
Pain and fatigue being some of the more prevalent symptoms of autoimmune disorders, any one of the conditions above could impact your ability to complete an 8 hour work day. If an autoimmune disorder has reduced your ability to work or even complete simple day to day tasks, you might consider filing for Social Security Disability. Binder and Binder has represented thousands of individuals with autoimmune disorders. We understand that focusing on how your condition has limited your ability to function normally can help win your case. Let us deal with the government!