In Good Health: The complexities of autoimmune disease
About one in ten people have an autoimmune disease, according to apopulation studyof more than 2.2 million people.
Autoimmune disease varies widely, and falls into subspecialties across the medical world:dermatology,gastroenterology,neurology, and more — and getting a diagnosis for an autoimmune disease can be long and difficult.
A listener, Jacob, shared this with us:
I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis last fall. The diagnostic process was strange. It involved everything from a huge battery of blood tests, to physical examinations, and even a skin biopsy to see if I had psoriasis. I’ve dealt with inflammation for most of my life so to realize it could be something like arthritis and have significant immune ramifications have been really eye-opening for me.
Autoimmune diseases affect women and women of color on a far more frequent basis. Lupus is one of these diseases, affecting African American womenthree times morethan white women.
Why is the diagnostic process for an autoimmune disease so complicated? Why are rates of disease higher for women and women of color? We gather a panel to discuss.
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