By Rita Baron-Faust

Empowers girls to make educated judgements approximately autoimmune problems greater than 50 million americans, such a lot of them girls, be afflicted by a constellation of mysterious, usually misdiagnosed ailments which can bring about incapacity, disfigurement, and dying. referred to as "autoimmune diseases," they come up while the immune procedure assaults fit tissues in virtually any region of the physique, and contain lupus rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's affliction, scleroderma, and Graves' sickness. Now Jill Buyon, a physician engaged on the leading edge of study into those ailments, and Rita Baron-Faust, an award-winning scientific journalist, arm girls with the data they should receive actual diagnoses and the absolute best remedies. within the Autoimmune Connection readers know about the hot groundbreaking discovery of the hyperlinks among the several autoimmune ailments and why ladies usually tend to advance them. The authors provide the main up to date info on prognosis, remedies, and dangers for ladies with a number of autoimmune sickness.

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Extra info for The Autoimmune Connection : Essential Information for Women on Diagnosis, Treatment, and Getting On with Your Life

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I was offered a play, Indiscretions, and I thought I’d be able to do it because the character was a diabetic, and the first and the third acts took place in her bedroom . . I figured I’d be lying around a lot. It didn’t turn out that way. In the second act of the play, there was a three-story spiral staircase that went up to a catwalk . . we would sit up there until we heard the cues and start back down. By the time I got up to the catwalk I was sobbing every night—the pain was so terrible. So I kept tissues, powder, and a lipstick and a mirror up there so I could fix my face before I went back down.

Older DMARDs—such as azathioprine (Imuran), D-penicillamine (Cuprimine, Depen), minocycline (Minocin), cyclosporine (Neoral ), and gold salts (Myochrysine, the first DMARD)—are effective but are used less frequently. In women with early, milder disease, sulfasalazine (a sulfa drug that has anti-inflammatory properties) can quickly relieve symptoms—sometimes within a month—and has been shown to slow the progression of the erosions of RA seen on x-rays. It’s an oral medication and requires some periodic monitoring with lab tests to detect low levels of white blood cells (leukopenia).

But inflammation itself doesn’t start out to be destructive; it is actually the body’s defense mechanism. When there’s an injury or invasion, the immune system sends specialized white blood cells to the area to destroy anything foreign and repair damage. For example, when you get a cut, the immune system dispatches a repair crew of white blood cells to the scene to destroy harmful bacteria and heal the damaged tissue. The work done by the repair cells initially makes things red and swollen— inflamed.

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