What is an Autoimmune Specialist? And When Should I See One?
An autoimmune specialist is a doctor that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune diseases. The immune system is designed to protect the body from harmful substances. When an individual’s immune system mistakenly starts attacking its own cells and tissues, it can lead to a wide range of conditions affecting various organs and systems in the body.
These autoimmune diseases can be very dangerous if not identified promptly, since they act very differently depending on the organs and systems they are targeting. The specific role of an autoimmune specialist in Denver can vary, as the nature of these conditions can differentiate widely between the areas it’s impacting and the patient’s overall health.
What Diseases Do an Autoimmune Specialist Deal With?
There are a number of diseases that autoimmune specialists work to diagnose and treat. Some of the common conditions are rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and type 1 diabetes. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that primarily impacts the joints, causing pain, stiffness and swelling. Lupus is a disease that affects multiple organs, including the skin, joints, kidneys, heart, lungs, and more.
Autoimmune diseases can impact a number of areas. Type 1 diabetes is a common condition where the immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells, leading to insulin deficiency and dangerous blood sugar levels if not monitored. Celiac disease is another disorder that gets triggered by the consumption of gluten, and can damage the small intestine. Conditions like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) where the immune system attacks the gastrointestinal tract – leading to chronic inflammation. These are just a few of the more common examples, but there are many other autoimmune diseases that a specialist may deal with.
When is it Time to Visit an Autoimmune Specialist?
If you are experiencing symptoms that are persistent or unexplained, it might be time to check in with an autoimmune specialist. Things like joint pain, fatigue, skin rashes and recurring fevers shouldn’t persist over time, making it advisable to see a healthcare professional. If your symptoms are more complex or involve multiple systems, a specialist can use an in-depth evaluation to determine an underlying cause. Specialists are trained to recognize patterns and provide targeted care.
If you’ve already been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, it’s important to work closely with a specialist that’s an expert in managing these conditions. Making sure you are engaged with the right treatment plan for your condition is important because these autoimmune diseases can impact various parts of the body. If you’ve received a diagnosis or treatment plan for a condition but are uncertain about the diagnosis, an autoimmune specialist can also provide additional insights and recommendations to ensure you’re getting the right treatment.
Regular monitoring and management by specialists are imperative to getting the correct care. For more information on autoimmune conditions and how a specialist can help you, reach out to our expert at Dr. Harrison’s Center of Functional Medicine today.