Without your immune system, you would not survive for long. It protects your body from diseases by fighting off pathogens. Although you might feel a little run down now and then or even catch the flu or a cold, your immune system works hard to keep you healthy. However, in some cases, the immune system does not function properly, and its antibodies can send your body into overdrive. The trigger is unknown, but your immune system mistakes a healthy tissue for a disease and tries to fight it off by attacking itself. This creates an autoimmune disease. It might sound scary, but there are common autoimmune diseases that millions of Americans live with every day. Through awareness, diagnosis, and treatment, people live with these ten common autoimmune diseases.
A common autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid gland is Graves' disease. It occurs when the immune system produces antibodies, which overstimulate the gland to release excessive amounts of thyroid hormones into your blood; this is also known as hyperthyroidism. The symptoms of Graves' disease include tremors, sweating, rapid heart rate, and weight loss. Another side effect of Graves' disease is the protruding of the eyes from the sockets. If you notice these signs, your thyroid might be working harder than usual. There are medications available to treat Graves' disease. The removal of the thyroid gland and other non-surgical advancements are possible, too.
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