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Disorders and diseases classified as autoimmune disease range from commonly known conditions like Multiple Sclerosis and Chron’s Disease to the rare and little-known disorders such as Relapsing Polychondritis and Paraneoplastic Cerebellar Degeneration.
This makes it difficult to identify singular causes that apply across the board to autoimmune disease, and it makes research challenging as identifying treatments and potential cures must address each disorder as a stand-alone condition.
This guide will walk you through the current body of knowledge related to autoimmune disease, including the types of autoimmune disease, current treatment options, signs and symptoms, and coping strategies for individuals and their loved ones impacted by autoimmune disease. A multitude of organizations are dedicated to education and raising funds for autoimmune disease research, some related to specific autoimmune diseases. With 80 to 100 different specific autoimmune disorders possible, it’s not surprising that so many people suffer from one type or another.
With such a widespread range of autoimmune conditions and symptoms, practically everyone knows someone who is affected by an autoimmune disease. Like many other diseases and conditions on the rise in recent years, one question that remains is whether there’s truly an increase in the prevalence of autoimmune disease or whether the statistics are artificially inflated due to the development of more effective diagnostics or the fact that people are living longer and some autoimmune diseases tend to impact people later in life. Alzheimer’s disease, for example, is another disease (not classified as an autoimmune disease) with a sharp increase in the number of people being diagnosed each year.
In any case, the fact remains that more and more people are developing autoimmune disorders, and the impacts on daily life can be devastating. Rising prevalence of systemic autoimmune rheumatic disease: increased awareness, increased disease or increased survival?
People with a family history – Lupus, multiple sclerosis, and other autoimmune diseases tend to run in families.  It is also common for different types of autoimmune diseases to affect different members of a single family. People who have certain environmental exposures – Various events or environmental exposures may cause some autoimmune diseases or make them worse.  Sunlight, solvents, and viral and bacterial infections are linked to many autoimmune diseases.
People of certain races or ethnic backgrounds – Some autoimmune diseases more commonly or more severely affect certain groups of people more than others.  For example, type 1 diabetes is more prevalent in Caucasians, while Lupus is most severe in African Americans and Hispanics.
Many people who suffer from Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue are also found to have associated autoimmune diseases. Additionally, the statistics regarding the prevalence of autoimmune disease in females versus males is interesting.
However, it’s important to note that correlation does not imply cause, and it’s unclear whether the psychological conditions are a symptom of autoimmune disease or if the presence of a psychological condition contributes to the development of autoimmune disease. With so many specific disease types falling under the umbrella of autoimmune disease, it’s difficult to pinpoint one or even a few primary causes.
One thing we do know about autoimmune disease is that it’s not primarily genetic – meaning, being passed down or inherited from one generation to the next is not a primary indicator of disease, but it does play a role alongside other factors. While no conclusive research has identified one single cause of autoimmune disease, research has shown some correlation between various factors and an elevated risk of developing autoimmune disorders.
For instance, some scientists are concerned with the rising levels of environmental toxins in the environment, pointing to this trend as one primary cause of the rise in autoimmune disorders. Instead, Hyman says, traditional medicine approaches autoimmune disease with powerful drugs that shut down the body’s immune system, thereby reducing the symptoms associated with autoimmune disease. What’s more, the “National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals,” a study conducted back in 2005, found that the human body contains an average of 148 chemicals.
It’s difficult to pinpoint a singular set of symptoms specifically related to autoimmune disease as the autoimmune group of disorders can vary drastically in presentation.
In women, reproductive issues are commonly associated with autoimmune diseases such as endometriosis. Concentration and memory problems, along with psychological problems such as depression and anxiety, are also commonly noted as symptoms of autoimmune disease. This correlation is also one reason why nutritional experts are increasingly advising consumers to pay attention to the foods they eat and substances they expose their bodies to if they’re experiencing difficulty concentrating, memory problems, chronic fatigue or an increase in feelings of anxiety or depression. However, getting a diagnosis of an autoimmune disease may be an arduous process.  While each disease is unique, many share symptoms, and many symptoms of autoimmune diseases are the same for other types of health problems, too.
Sjogren’s Syndrome, for example, is said to be one of the three most common autoimmune diseases. Often, medications called immunosuppressives are prescribed to control or reduce the immune system’s response, and such medications may include corticosteroids such as prednisone or non-steroid drugs such as azathioprine, cyclophosphamide, mycophenolate, sirolimus, or tacrolimus.
Some people seek some form of complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM), such as herbal products, chiropractic, acupuncture, and hypnosis, to treat their autoimmune disease symptoms.  It is best to discuss your desire for CAM treatment with your doctor, who will be able to discuss the benefits and risks of attempting CAM.
One reason natural and alternative treatments for autoimmune disease are increasingly popular is that some scientists are pointing to an increase in environmental toxins as one of the leading causes of the rise in autoimmune disease diagnoses. The treatment approach, in this case, involves detoxifying the body and reducing exposure to harmful chemicals in the environment whenever possible. One example is BPA (bisphenol A), which has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960’s. Additionally, diet and exercise regimens such as the Paleo diet and strictly organic diets rich in fresh fruits and vegetables are said to be beneficial for the immune system, providing essential vitamins and nutrients the body needs to function at its best. Natural medicine and nutritional therapy as an alternative treatment in systemic lupus erythematosus. While most autoimmune diseases do not disappear, it is possible to treat the symptoms and learn to manage the disease and enjoy life.  The best plan of action is to see a doctor who specializes in these types of diseases, follow a treatment plan, and adopt a healthy lifestyle. Eat healthy, well-balanced meals – Include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk products, and lean protein sources.  Limit saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, salt, and added sugars. Autoimmune disease is also often associated with other conditions that do not fall under the umbrella of autoimmune disorders, so you’ll want to be sure to seek treatment appropriate for multiple diagnoses. Additionally, autoimmune disease may have some significant impacts on other areas of your life. For instance, endometriosis is a common form of autoimmune disease that impacts a woman’s reproductive system. Many autoimmune disorders have little supporting research offering insights into causes that would lead researchers to identifying more effective treatments. Yet, alone, each autoimmune disease has far fewer sufferers than the broad figure cited for autoimmune disease as a whole. What adds even more to an already-concerning situation is a rise in the number of people diagnosed with autoimmune disorders in the past several years. While theoretically this brings more attention to the need for additional funding support for research, these disorders are not often discussed in the media; most have yet to achieve the mainstream, well-known status of other diseases such as heart disease or Alzheimer’s disease. There has been more research dedicated to identifying the causes behind autoimmune disease in the past decade or so.
As society continues to become more environmentally-conscious and researchers identify more potential causes and promising treatments for autoimmune diseases, the outlook for these patients will continue to improve. Hypoxia increases proteolytic activities, which delays healing of minor bruising and laceration.2 Superficial injury of the periosteum and bone often results in inadequate healing followed by micro-necrosis of the bone.
Weight transmission during slip and fall in obese patient generates an additional acceleration and force, which is transmitted through extremity or pelvic bone resulting in fracture. Metacarpal (bones in hand) and phalanges (bones in fingers) are superficial and linked by thin but strong ligaments and tendons.
Falling on an outstretched hand causes severe transmission of accelerated force resulting in mostly fracture of the metacarpal (palm) bone and phalanges (finger). Unaware twist of the hand causes distribution of force in opposite direction resulting in fracture. Hairline fracture is relatively superficial and does not cross entire thickness of the bone. Fracture causes full thickness crack in the bone without any separation of the proximal or distal segment. Blood supply to adjacent fractured bone is interrupted and may result in avascular necrosis if not treated within 6 to 8 hours following injury.
Compound fracture is a complete displaced fracture with open wound seen with metatarsal fracture as well as fracture of phalanges. Acute Severe Pain- Pain immediately following injury is severe and intractable in intensity known as acute pain. Moderate Pain- Intensity of chronic pain following close reduction and surgery is often moderate in intensity. Mild Swelling- Hairline and non-displaced fracture may not show obvious swelling but patient often complaints of swelling in hand and fingers. Soft Tissue Injury- Tendon injury such as tear or dislocation of tendon causes difficulties in finger movement. Joints of the Hand- Metacarpo-Phalangeal Joint or Inter-Phalangeal Joint is often stiff following fracture. Stiffness- Stiffness is observed because of prolonged joint immobility, which is secondary to pain and fracture. Mal-alignment of fracture End-Proximal and distal phalanges may align and heal in angle resulting in crooked finger when fracture is healed. Restricted Joint- Patient is often unable to move fingers at Metacarpo-Phalangeal joint or Inter-Phalangeal joint. Cause of Joint Movement Restriction- Joint stiffness is caused by prolonged immobilized joint with cast or braces.
Tender Area- Examination of the fractured site of the palm and finger indicates tender and painful area.

Fracture of Metacarpal Bone (Palm)- Patient is unable to grab the object in hand with fractured metatarsal bone.
Fracture of phalanges (Hand)- Patient will be able to hold the object in palm when fracture involves one or two fingers. Fracture of phalanges- Finger in few cases may cross over and lie on top of adjacent finger. Fracture of metacarpal bone- Fracture of 4th or 5th metacarpal bone causes depressed knuckles over head of 4th and 5th metacarpal bone.
Fracture of metacarpal bone and phalanges are observed as a proximal and distal fragment in plain X-Ray. X-ray picture will indicate type of fracture such as oblique, horizontal, vertical or comminuted. MRI is often not necessary to diagnose fracture of hand and fingers if X-Ray shows the clear picture of fracture.
White blood cell count (WBC) - WBC is increased if infection is associated with fracture of metacarpal bone and phalanges. Patient is advised to continue with exercise following surgery as well as following removal of cast and braces. Treatment prevents swelling of the soft tissue and stiffness of the palm and finger joints. Reduces hematoma and swelling of the tissue over fractured metacarpal (palm) bone and phalanges (finger). Tablets are available as 200 mg, 600 mg and 800 mg, Daily dosage is 1600 to 2400 mg per day. Opioids are prescribed for acute and chronic pain, when NSAIDs are not effective or NSAIDs are contraindicated because of side effects.
Norco is preferred if higher dosage like 30 to 60 mg of hydrocodone is prescribed for pain treatment so tylenol dosage is kept below 2 gram.
Severe pain if not responding to NSAIDs and opioids, then the chronic pain is treated with frequent cortisone injections. Procedure is also performed prior to physical therapy so as to relieve the pain to achieve aggressive physical therapy. Close reduction is performed by pulling wrist and finger in opposite directions under x-ray guidance.
Close reduction is performed by pulling forearm and hand in opposite directions under x-ray guidance. Failure of close reduction follows surgical treatment and overall delay in healing of fracture.
Fracture of Phalanges- Proximal pin is inserted in metacarpal bone and distal pin is inserted in distal fragment of the fracture bone. Fracture of Metacarpals- Proximal pin is inserted in radius or ulna and distal pin is inserted in distal fragment of fracture metacarpal bone. External fixator is used to pull two fracture segments until the end lies together in normal anatomical position.
In few cases cast is applied over hand, wrist and forearm to prevent wrist joint and finger movements.
Bleeding and hematoma resulting from laceration of blood vessels while placing pins in fractured segments. Fracture associated with symptoms of pinch nerve like tingling, numbness and muscle weakness are treated with open reduction and internal fixation.
Proximal and distal end of the fracture metatarsal bone are manually aligned with each other.
Steel plate is placed against the fractured segment to prevent separation of the fragments. Healing of intra-capsular fracture of metacarpal bone and phalanges results in arthritis of the joint in few cases. Osseous union of the proximal and distal bone is often delayed for prolonged time in patients who are chronic smoker and continue smoking during healing.
Minimally invasive finger fracture management: wide-awake closed reduction, K-wire fixation, and early protected movement. Guillain-Barre syndrome is an uncommon disorder in which your body's immune system attacks your nerves.
The exact cause of Guillain-Barre syndrome is unknown, but it is often preceded by an infectious illness such as a respiratory infection or the stomach flu.
In its most severe form, Guillain-Barre syndrome is a medical emergency requiring hospitalization. Guillain-Barre syndrome often begins with weakness, tingling or loss of sensation starting in your feet and legs and spreading to your upper body and arms. Most people with Guillain-Barre syndrome experience their most significant weakness within three weeks after symptoms begin. Call your doctor if you have mild tingling in your toes or fingers that doesn't seem to be spreading or getting worse. Guillain-Barre syndrome is a serious disease that requires immediate hospitalization because of the rapid rate at which it worsens. Severe, early symptoms of Guillain-Barre syndrome significantly increase the risk of serious long-term complications. The first step in diagnosing Guillain-Barre syndrome is for your doctor to take a careful medical history to fully understand the cluster of signs and symptoms you're experiencing. A spinal tap (lumbar puncture) and nerve function tests are commonly used to help confirm a diagnosis of Guillain-Barre syndrome. This procedure involves withdrawing a small amount of fluid from your spinal canal at your low back (lumbar) level. Often before recovery begins, caregivers may need to manually move your arms and legs to help keep your muscles flexible and strong.
Although most people eventually recover fully, a diagnosis of Guillain-Barre syndrome means confronting the possibility of long-term disability or paralysis. Talking with a mental health provider can play a critically important role in helping you cope with the mental and emotional strain of this illness. While it’s becoming an increasing problem impacting the lives of millions of people each year, there’s a lot we don’t know about autoimmune disease.
While these disorders all share some general characteristics in that they involve the body attacking its own tissue in some manner, they vary drastically in specific signs and symptoms – as well as the severity of the impact on the patient’s daily life and longevity.
This guide contains more than 150 high-quality, reputable resources with the most credible research and information available on autoimmune disease today. This points to the difficulty in both identifying specific autoimmune disorders in patients and the challenge in pinpointing effective treatments given the wide range of diseases that may contribute to autoimmune disease symptoms. There are many diseases that most people are familiar with that fall under the umbrella of autoimmune disorders, but they may not realize it.
It’s a far-reaching group of devastating conditions with severity ranging from mild annoyances to life-threatening or terminal disease. But researchers have attributed at least some of this increase to longevity; since Alzheimer’s disease is generally a late-in-life condition, the fact that people are living longer will naturally lead to more people eventually developing the disease.
For this reason, these conditions are sometimes included in lists of autoimmune disease types. There are a few specific autoimmune diseases that are actually more common in men, including Type 1 diabetes, ankylosing spondylitis and autoimmune myocarditis, suggesting that there are multiple factors weighting the sex bias in different scenarios. Research has identified a correlation between autoimmune disease and other conditions such as Fibromyalgia, Thyroid Disease and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and research has also delved into correlations between autoimmune disorders and psychological conditions such as schizophrenia, depression, anxiety and a variety of other conditions.
Combined with the fact that a mere 24 of 80 or more possible disease types have reliable epidemiology studies, and you’re facing a serious lack of conclusive data to point you in the right direction to identify cause. Other primary contributing factors are possibly environmental factors or genetic mutations that may contribute to the development of improper autoimmune function at some point during the lifespan. But this treatment approach introduces its own set of problems, putting patients at risk for acquiring life-threatening infections and even cancer by reducing the body’s ability to defend itself. Additionally, common symptoms of autoimmune disease commonly mimic those of other conditions, leaving clinicians with a complicated puzzle to interpret in making a correct diagnosis. While it’s not clear whether the correlation points to a common comorbidity or acutal cause, research indicates that these symptoms commonly coexist in patients with autoimmune disease and, in fact, these conditions are often listed as symptoms of autoimmune disease.
Further, there are some autoimmune disorders that are especially challenging to diagnose due to a myriad of symptoms often attributable to other conditions, or a co-morbid condition exists that clouds the true autoimmune symptom picture. Yet, few people have heard of it and physicians rarely think of it when patients are describing symptoms, which can mimic anything from multiple sclerosis to acid reflux, according to a 2008 article in The New York Times. As research links more and more everyday substances and chemicals to increased risk of disease, consumers are increasingly turning to natural and organic products to minimize their exposure to potentially harmful chemicals. Once commonly used to make baby and children’s products, such as baby bottles, small plastic utensils, bowls and plates, “BPA-free” is now a key marketing concept for these products as more parents are educated on the risks of exposing their children to BPA.
As treating multiple diagnoses often means more medications, it’s critically important to take a list of all medications you’re taking to each doctor’s visit and obtain all your medications from the same pharmacy to reduce the risk of adverse drug interactions.
In addition to problems such as pain interfering with daily functioning, autoimmune disease can impact fertility.

This painful condition not only makes it impossible to live a normal life in the most severe cases, but sometimes makes childbearing impossible. Because autoimmune disease is an umbrella term that refers to a large group of 80 to potentially 100 distinct diseases, each carrying its own set of symptoms and possibly causes, each condition requires its own distinct body of research. In fact, many of the diseases that are included in this category are considered rare; some are extraordinarily rare. In fact, according to WebMD, one out of every 12 women and one of every 20 men will develop an autoimmune disease at some point during their lifetimes. If you or a loved one has an autoimmune disease, be sure to talk with your doctor about the right combination of diet and lifestyle, natural and traditional treatments to keep you functioning at your best. Direct impact over hand and fingers causes fracture of metatarsal bone and phalanges because of lack of soft tissue cushion of subcutaneous tissue and muscles. Sports injury induces high-energy impact, which often results in fracture of bones in palm and fingers.
Swelling is caused by hematoma (blood clot), tissue edema and protrusion of bony fragments protruding out of the skin and soft tissue.
Conservative treatment of fractures of the proximal phalanx: an option even for unstable fracture patterns.
Ultrasound-guided continuous median nerve block to facilitate intensive hand rehabilitation. Metacarpophalangeal and interphalangeal joint arthrodesis: a comparative study between tension band and compression screw fixation. Luckily, Guillain-Barre syndrome is relatively rare, affecting only 1 or 2 people per 100,000. There's no known cure for Guillain-Barre syndrome, but several treatments can ease symptoms and reduce the duration of the illness. In some cases, signs and symptoms may progress very rapidly with complete paralysis of legs, arms and breathing muscles over the course of a few hours. In about 60 percent of cases, an infection affecting either the lungs or the digestive tract precedes the disorder. Specifically, the nerves' protective covering (myelin sheath) is damaged and this interferes with the signaling process, causing weakness, numbness or paralysis. A potentially deadly complication of Guillain-Barre syndrome is that the weakness or paralysis can spread to the muscles that control your breathing. Most people with Guillain-Barre syndrome recover completely or have only minor, residual weakness or abnormal sensations, such as numbness or tingling.
Its signs and symptoms are similar to those of other neurological disorders and may vary from person to person. This cerebrospinal fluid is then tested for a specific type of change that commonly occurs in people who have Guillain-Barre syndrome. Mixing the treatments or administering one after the other is no more effective than using either method alone.
After recovery has begun, you'll likely need physical therapy to help regain strength and proper movement so that you'll be able to function on your own. In severe cases, Guillain-Barre syndrome can transform you from healthy and independent to critically ill and physically helpless — suddenly, and without warning. And those who do develop these complications must adjust to lasting, limited mobility and a dependence on others to help manage daily activities. In some cases, your therapist may recommend family counseling to help you and your loved ones adjust to the changes caused by Guillain-Barre syndrome. Ask your doctor or mental health provider to recommend a support group for people and families coping with Guillain-Barre syndrome.
Causes are difficult to pinpoint based on the current body of research, for instance, especially given the fact that the term autoimmune disease actually refers to a group of 80 to 100 distinct disorders. In a room filled with just ten people, the odds are good at least one person will recognize many of the diseases that are considered autoimmune disorders.
Although they are not actually autoimmune disorders in themselves, they are so often associated with other autoimmune diseases that they are worth noting.
According to Johns Hopkins Autoimmune Disease Research Center, hormones are suspected to play a – possibly critical – role in this trend, although there are multiple factors that may contribute to the development of autoimmune diseases. BPA is an industrial chemical – one of thousands more that are used in the creation of products you encounter every day.
Because it’s most prevalent among women of childbearing age, this is a devastating potential consequence for many sufferers of autoimmune disorders. And unfortunately, it’s rare diseases that often lack adequate research funding to develop life-saving and life-altering treatments.
Plates are shaped to maintain anatomical curves of finger (phalanges) and hand (metacarpal) bones.
But scientists don't know why such an infection can lead to Guillain-Barre syndrome for some people and not for others. You may need temporary help from a machine to breathe when you're hospitalized for treatment.
Plasmapheresis consists of removing the liquid portion of your blood (plasma) and separating it from the actual blood cells. High doses of immunoglobulin can block the damaging antibodies that may contribute to Guillain-Barre syndrome. You may need training with adaptive devices, such as a wheelchair or braces, to give you mobility and self-care skills.
Although migraines are uncomfortable and interfere with the normal life, they do not produce long-term damage. Fracture of the metacarpal bone is observed in palm and fracture of the phalanges is located in fingers or thumb.
The blood cells are then put back into your body, which manufactures more plasma to make up for what was removed. It's not clear why this treatment works, but scientists believe that plasmapheresis rids plasma of certain antibodies that contribute to the immune system attack on the peripheral nerves.
However, no one knows exactly why some people are more prone to headaches than others- Expansion or narrowing of cerebral vessels (aneurysms, vascular stenosis respectively), which can cause intense headache secondary to the various chemical modifications at this level (the chemical changes can cause inflammation, swelling and pain)SymptomsThe symptoms of migraine can vary from case to case, often being preceded by some warning signs (aura).
The characteristic symptoms of aura appear usually about 30 minutes before the migraine attack itself and they are characterized by headache that increases in intensity and visual disturbances (patient sees blackheads or perceives intense light flashes).
Fracture of the bones in palm and fingers are caused by direct impact, forceful twist or high-energy muscle contraction in opposing directions. Migraines are different from other types of headaches because they occur on one side of the head (hemicrania continua), namely on the right or on the left side, but it can vary from one episode to another.
Other more serious diseases such as tumors or cerebral infections can have symptoms similar to that of migraines.
Sensory disturbances (numbness, tingling) in the hands, arms or face may also occur.In rare cases the patient can not describe in words the sensations experienced, sometimes a sudden weakness on one side of the body being formed. The headache appears on one side of the head (hemicrania continua),very often behind the orbit, although pain can change location and move to the other side of the head or to generalize on both sides.
In the case of children complaining of headaches, it is very important to call a pediatrician with experience in treating such diseases (most common pediatric neurologist). Most experts recommend using NSAIDs, initially, before using other medicines that may have more side effects.The initial treatment of migraine depends on the severity and frequency of the symptoms and the frequency of the migraine attacks. A recent medical study showed that women with premenstrual migraines take frovatriptan (Frova) for 6 days (beginning two days before menstruation).
It is important that your doctor should be informed about the use of such therapies.Acupuncture is a method that involves using fine needles which are inserted in the skin and which are designed to focus and direct the energy flow to vital organs.
Burdock (petasites officinalis) is also used to treat and prevent migraine attacks.Treatment if the disease worsensIf symptoms of the migraine persist despite the treatment, it is recommended a medical reevaluation in order to establish a new medical treatment. If you have tried several regimens and symptoms remain persistent, additional investigations are needed, such as MRI or CT, so as to rule out other possible diseases that can cause similar symptoms. The goal of the treatment is to reduce the number of migraine attacks and also to reduce their intensity by using effective drugs with fewer side effects.
In the case of mild migraine headaches, medicines less powerful that can be bought without medical prescription  are used in the beginning.
If symptoms persist or intensify, treatment strategy will be changed, and stronger medications will be used.
The headaches that relapse are different from the initial  ones and occur at the same time with the disappearance of the effect of the medication that was used, and requires a new administration. Over time, the headache will recur whenever the person in question will interrupt the treatment.
If the recurrence of migraine attacks is associated with the presence of depression or anxiety, it is important that the doctors who treats you should be informed about it.Outpatient TreatmentThere are several ways by which you can control the symptoms associated with recurrent migraines.

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