Diagnosing an autoimmune disease can be a long process. Autoimmune disorders of all types share similar physical symptoms while also being unique entities.
There is a long and varied list of autoimmune disorders, some of which are listed below:
Autoimmune disorders affect many different areas of the body therefore require a variety of physician specialists to accurately diagnose and treat the many physical symptoms. Here are some of the many specialists and the autoimmune conditions they treat:
The diagnostic testing for autoimmune disorders are fairly limited in scope. The primary indicator for an autoimmune disorder lies in antibody blood testing.
One important point of which to be aware is that elevated antibody levels can be the sign of a common infection in the body. It is the responsibility of the ordering physician to rule out an infection before proceeding with an autoimmune disorder diagnosis.
Depending upon the screening test results, a treatment plan will be developed. There are many options available, keeping in mind that an autoimmune disorder is a chronic condition that is symptomatically treated, not cured.
Drug therapy can include:
Alternative therapies sometimes include: acupuncture, chiropractic care, herbal treatments and hypnosis.
The main goal of treating all autoimmune disorders is to reduce the symptoms and keep the patient comfortable, control the progression of the disorder and maintain the patient's ability to naturally fight any exposure to potential antigens. Working collaboratively with the PCP and involved specialists in developing a comprehensive plan of care will offer the patient a variety of treatment options.