Autoimmune Disease Specilaist Laconia NH

Fundamentally, autoimmune disease results when the body's immunological defenses target its own tissues as foreign, as though they were a virus or other type of pathogen.

Lake Side Animal Hospital
(603) 524-2553
552 Laconia Road
Tilton, NH

Data Provided by:
Eliza A DeEry
(603) 527-2970
85 Spring St
Laconia, NH
Specialty
Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Disease, Critical Care (Intensivists)

Data Provided by:
Andrew P b Kane
(603) 527-2819
80 Highland St
Laconia, NH
Specialty
Family Practice, Emergency Medicine

Data Provided by:
Nino Usanetashvili
(603) 524-3211
80 Highland St
Laconia, NH
Specialty
Internal Medicine

Data Provided by:
Daniel H Kallmerten
(603) 527-2819
80 Highland St
Laconia, NH
Specialty
Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine

Data Provided by:
Marcia H Schneider
(603) 527-2819
80 Highland St
Laconia, NH
Specialty
Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine

Data Provided by:
James H Clifford
(603) 527-7114
85 Spring St
Laconia, NH
Specialty
Family Practice

Data Provided by:
Paul F Racicot
(603) 527-2819
80 Highland St
Laconia, NH
Specialty
Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine

Data Provided by:
Elikem Kpenu
(603) 524-3211
80 Highland St
Laconia, NH
Specialty
Internal Medicine

Data Provided by:
Beth Taylor
(603) 527-2819
80 Highland St
Laconia, NH
Specialty
Family Practice, Emergency Medicine

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Autoimmune Disease

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By Kris Kucera

When Newsweek declared autoimmune disease (AD) one of the top 10 health stories of 2003, AD finally got the attention it richly deserves. Three years later, many contemporary media reports continue to warn about the rising rate of autoimmune disease and the apparent link between it and various environmental culprits. That may sell newspapers and capture viewers’ attention, but the connection between the two is extremely complicated and anything but settled.

Fundamentally, autoimmune disease results when the body’s immunological defenses target its own tissues as foreign, as though they were a virus or other type of pathogen. The location of this defense typically identifies the specific AD: In Type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks the pancreas’ insulin-producing cells; in multiple sclerosis (MS), the nerve cells’ fatty sheaths; in Grave’s disease, the most prevalent AD, the thyroid; in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the joints; and in systemic lupus erythematosus, the joints, kidneys, heart, lungs, brain, blood, or skin. While formidable, that list only covers the most talked about ADs. The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association tallies up another 75. As Virginia Ladd, executive director of AARDA, puts it, “All ADs share a common disease pathway, but they manifest in diverse bodily locations with different intensities, from moderate to severe.”

Now the math: According to the National Institutes of Health, roughly 23.5 million Americans have 24 of the 80 recognized ADs (the other 56 lack sufficient research for inclusion), making the prevalence of autoimmune disease greater than cancer (9 million) and roughly equal to heart disease (22 million).

Far from politically correct, AD truly discriminates—more than 75 percent of its patients are women. Discounting accidents, homicides, and suicides, an analysis from the Department of Community Medicine at the University of Connecticut Health Center’s School of Medicine in 2000 lists AD as a the seventh-leading cause of death among females ages one to 14, the fifth-leading cause of death among females ages 15 to 44, and the seventh-leading cause of death among females ages 45 to 65.

Given these numbers, it’s easy to conclude that the national rate of AD has increased; it’s just not easy to prove. Numerous factors—our growing population, significantly improved diagnostic techniques, increased awareness, and better access to health care, especially for minorities—make the numbers behind the AD debate more difficult to pin down. While no one study shows an overall increase in the incidence of autoimmune disease in the US or internationally, other studies illustrate that certain ADs are indeed on the rise, namely Type 1 diabetes. Edwin Gale, MD at the University of Bristol in the UK, estimates the global rate of increase of Type 1 diabetes since the mid-20th century at roughly 3 percent a year. While his study focused on rates rather than causes, Gale posits that environment ...

Author: Kris Kucera

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