Living with an autoimmune disease can be very frustrating and difficult. It is highly misunderstood by medical professionals and the public alike. Treatments vary, and in some cases rely entirely on behavior changes.
In an effort to making living with -- or loving someone with -- an autoimmune disease just a little bit easier, here are six important things to know about these health conditions and what you can do about them.
1. Autoimmune diseases essentially cause a person's body to fight itself.
We all have an immune system, comprised of the cells and organs that fight off germs and other foreign invaders. In a healthy person, the body immediately understands the difference between cells that are your own and therefore safe and cells that are foreign and need fighting off. In people with an autoimmune disease, the immune system is flawed in a way that causes it to attack normal cells.
2. There are many types of auto-immune disorders. Some of these conditions are Celiac disease, Crohn's disease, endometriosis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, narcolepsy, psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.