6 Signs of an Autoimmune Disorder

It can be difficult to know when you have an autoimmune disorder, and especially which disorder you have. The team at Harmony Clinics wants to share more about the signs you should watch for, so you know when to book an examination with us. Knowing you have an autoimmune disorder can spare you from suffering lifelong symptoms that can be mildly irritating to utterly debilitating. 

Autoimmune disorders

Autoimmune disorders are mysterious, and usually lifelong conditions that can affect your life in various ways. Autoimmune disorders are not one disorder, but a set of about 80 different disorders that usually produce some common symptoms. If you have an autoimmune disorder, it means that your immune system identifies part of your body as a foreign agent and attacks it. 

The cause of these disorders remains unknown, but we do know you’re more likely to have one if it occurs in your family, and environmental factors play a role as well. Women are also at higher risk of having an autoimmune disorder than men. 

#1 Fatigue 

Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of most autoimmune disorders. It entails constant exhaustion and difficulty completing basic tasks. Even with proper rest, you feel tired and sluggish. You have difficulty performing physical exercise, and you experience brain fog in circumstances where you need concentration. You may even experience frequent headaches.

#2 Joint and muscle pain

Certain autoimmune disorders specifically target your joints and muscles. Some of these disorders include rheumatoid arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica, multiple sclerosis, and fibromyalgia. These disorders can cause inflammation and pain in your wrists, fingers, knees, feet, ankles, hips, and shoulders.  

#3 Red and swollen glands

A condition called lymphadenopathy presents with enlarged, swollen, and tender lymph glands. This is a common symptom of autoimmune diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and sarcoidosis. Since lymph nodes can be found throughout your body, you can expect to see swelling anywhere on your body as well. The swelling won’t go down until the underlying disorder is treated. 

#4 Fever

If you experience a fever, it’s most likely the causes of the flu. However, both autoimmune and autoinflammatory disorders are non-infectious causes of fever. Although they’re rare causes of fever and fever-like symptoms, they must not be ruled out if the fever occurs frequently. The best way to tell if you have an autoimmune disorder is when you experience a fever, along with the other symptoms associated with this disorder. 

#5 Hair Loss

When you have an autoimmune disorder known as alopecia, you will experience hair loss. People experience this disorder differently, and the amount and frequency of hair loss can vary significantly. You may lose hair in only a few spots, all the hair on your head, or even all the hair on your body. Sometimes the hair will grow back for good, but others experience frequent hair loss. 

#6 Skin rashes

Skin rashes are often seen as a result of the autoimmune disorders lupus and dermatomyositis.  A sign of lupus is a rash over your cheeks and nose that we like to call a “butterfly rash.” You may also experience a circular rash or a scarring rash on your scalp. Dermatomyositis causes rashes on your hands, around your eyes, and across your back and chest. 

If you see any or some of these symptoms, make an appointment with Harmony Clinics. You can call our office, or book online

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