Updated: Apr 7
With autoimmunity we talk about prevention a lot. The reason for this is that we know that once you have one autoimmune disease, you are likely to get another. In fact 5 is the average.
When we talk about prevention with autoimmunity what we usually mean is running a test looking for autoantibodies all around the body. What this does is throws up markers for autoimmunity that may still be silent, i.e you haven't yet got symptoms. When this happens we work with the person in an individualised fashion to push these areas of autoimmunity back down the spectrum. The aim being to push back symptoms to either lessen symptoms if they do develop, or stave them off for longer, ideally you would stave them off so that symptoms never develop and this can happen, but it doesn't happen in everyone.
It is important with autoimmunity that we are open and honest with patients, so that they can make fully informed decisions. This also allows you to take back control of your health and make decisions that suit you. We are all different but what I usually see is that taking back some control helps not only physically but mentally too.
Some people come to me when they have 1 autoimmune disease so we work to keep it that way, some have 3 or 4 and we work on maintenance of these and push back further areas. Others haven't been diagnosed with anything but have symptoms, here we aim to push you down the spectrum before a need for a diagnosis. Some of you may not have symptoms but know you have a family history of autoimmunity. The earlier you get in there the better, but I can work with people at all stages.
If you want to understand more about the autoimmune spectrum read my previous post here...
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