Autoimmune Specialist Brisbane Northside
Patients are increasingly suffering from autoimmune problems that require referrals to specialists from our GPs. Humans have an immune system comprised of unique cells that fight germs, virus, and foreign entities that can attack the body. However, there has been a notable increase in individuals afflicted with autoimmune diseases over the last 50 years. Autoimmune diseases are caused when the immune system mistakenly identifies healthy tissues as a threat to the body. As a result, the immune system attacks the healthy tissues instead of the harmful ones. This can cause heat and pain in the body part affected.
The Causes of Autoimmune Diseases
Over the years of research, there has been an estimate of 80-100 autoimmune disorders discovered. The most popular ones are rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, alopecia, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, myasthenia gravis, are some of the most known autoimmune diseases. A protein leakage in the gastrointestinal wall is observed to be one of the root causes of autoimmune diseases. This happens as the body’s response to aging, excessive consumption of alcohol and tobacco, stress, poor diet, and toxins like heavy metals.
Once antibodies are developed against the leakage in the gastrointestinal wall, cytokines are produced and cause local inflammation.
The Different Autoimmune Specialists
There is no single doctor for autoimmune diseases. Usually, the general practitioner would be referring a patient to a specialist who can better address the condition. Some autoimmune specialists are as follows:
- Chiropractor (musculoskeletal system)
- Dermatologist (skin conditions)
- Endocrinologist (glands)
- Gastroenterologist (digestive system)
- Hematologist (blood)
- Nephrologist (kidney)
- Neurologist (nervous system)
- Rheumatologist (arthritis and related diseases)
Individuals at Risk for Autoimmune Diseases
- Women of childbearing age. Apart from women being at greater risk compared to men, autoimmune diseases often start during the childbearing years.
- Family history. Some autoimmune diseases are passed on to generations due to genetics and inheriting the illness can be possible.
- Environment. Exposure to chemicals or environmental factors can trigger or worsen autoimmune diseases.
- Ethnicity. There are autoimmune diseases that are more common in certain groups. An example would be Lupus, which is common to African-American and Hispanic people.
- Symptoms of Autoimmune Diseases
If an individual is experiencing any of these symptoms, especially a combination of them, it might be best to be checked by a general practitioner for evaluation:
- Muscle pain or weakness
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Poor heat or cold tolerance
- Irregular heartbeat
- Rashes that are recurring on the nose and cheeks
- Difficulty concentrating
- Hair loss
- White patches on the skin or inside the mouth
- Abdominal pain
- Bowel movement issues
- Miscarriages (for women)
- Numbness of hands and feet
Addressing autoimmune diseases is a multi-faceted approach. Apart from strengthening the immune system, right nutrition, lifestyle change, and medication should also be incorporated. Educating oneself on the triggers is also vital in managing the diseases.
At Ubuntu Medical, we also do women’s health