An Autoimmune disorder is a condition when a person’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells and tissues as a defensive response.These conditions have many symptoms, but the most common one is inflammation. Thankfully, making necessary lifestyle changes and taking the right medications can help manage this inflammation caused by the disorder.
What Is the Role of Inflammation in Autoimmune Disorders?
When the immune system attacks a certain part of the body, inflammation takes place. Redness, swelling, and pain occur when white blood cells move to an injured area to transport blood.
Inflammation has two types: acute and chronic. Acute inflammation heals a wound or fights off an infection, making it a helpful immune response. In contrast, chronic inflammation can be more dangerous since it is usually involved in autoimmune disorders. The body isn’t fighting off infections or healing wounds with this form of inflammation, which is why the pain and discomfort last much longer.
What Are Common Autoimmune Disorders That Cause Inflammation?
Inflammation is common in people with autoimmune disorders. Here are some health conditions that cause pain and swelling:
Lupus causes joint pain. It also affects various areas of the body, which is why it often results in fatigue, rashes, and muscle pain. Additionally, this condition is connected to fibromyalgia, which is a condition that causes pain throughout the body.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
Pain and inflammation in joints are present in rheumatoid arthritis, particularly the joints in the feet, hands, and wrists. Worse, this condition usually affects multiple joints at once, which can cause significant pain.
- Ankylosing Spondylitis
This health condition targets the spine, which causes back pain and stiffness. Joints in the hands, feet, hips, and shoulders are also affected. Since the pain caused by ankylosing spondylitis worsens with rest, this pain can be managed with physical therapy and exercise.
What Are the Ways to Treat or Relieve Inflammation Caused by Autoimmune Disorders?
- Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers
People experiencing pain and inflammation caused by autoimmune disorders can find relief by taking over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers. Additionally, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly used to minimize inflammation. Unfortunately, they have serious side effects like stomach ulcers and kidney damage, which is why consult a primary care doctor first before taking them. This is especially true if you have kidney problems or your autoimmune condition affects your digestive system.
- Dietary Changes
Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet could help prevent autoimmune flare-ups. However, ongoing research is needed to determine how dietary changes reduce overall body inflammation.
- Exercise or Physical Therapy
Besides inflammation, autoimmune disorders can cause muscle or back pain. This autoimmune-related pain can be relieved with regular exercise and physical therapy. For instance, exercise has been shown to decrease pain, reduce fatigue, improve strength, and boost physical function. It’s an effective response to manage the symptoms of lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.
Autoimmune disorders can disrupt your routine and affect your overall quality of life. While there is no permanent cure for autoimmune disorders, standard treatments are available that can control the overactive immune response. This means they can manage the symptoms, relieve pain, and reduce inflammation caused by these health conditions. To learn more about your treatment options, contact your general doctor.
Receive the personalized healthcare you need by reaching out to our physicians. At Garden State Medical Group, we offer chronic care management services to manage your conditions long-term. Get in touch with us to start a telemedicine call!