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Know About Autoimmune Diseases in Females

Autoimmune diseases occur when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s tissues, significantly affecting women’s health and reproductive health. Understanding the causes, identifying symptoms early, and following preventive measures would help manage these conditions effectively. Comprehensive care and support are crucial for women with autoimmune diseases, particularly when considering fertility and conception.

What Are Autoimmune Diseases?

When the body’s immune system, that usually protects the body from infections, malfunctions, and attacks healthy cells. Depending on the affected organs, this can lead to inflammation, tissue damage, and various symptoms. Common autoimmune diseases include lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and type 1 diabetes.

Why Are Autoimmune Diseases Common in Females?

Autoimmune diseases disproportionately affect women, with around 80% of autoimmune patients being female. Several factors contribute to this gender disparity:

  • Hormonal Differences: Hormones such as estrogen and progesterone can influence the immune system. These hormones fluctuate during menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and menopause, potentially triggering or exacerbating autoimmune conditions.
  • Genetic Susceptibility: Women may have a genetic predisposition which makes them more susceptible to autoimmune diseases. Specific genes linked to the immune system are more frequently found in women.
  • Environmental Triggers: Infections, stress, and exposure to certain chemicals can trigger autoimmune responses. Women’s lifestyles and roles might more frequently expose them to specific environmental risks.

Here are the Most Common Autoimmune Diseases in Females

  • Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus): A chronic disease affecting the skin, joints, kidneys, brain, and other organs. Symptoms include fatigue, joint pain, skin rashes, and fever.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: An autoimmune condition which primarily affects the joints, causing pain, swelling, and severe stiffness. This can also affect other organs and lead to long-term damage.
  • Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: An autoimmune disorder affecting the thyroid gland, leading to hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). Symptoms include fatigue, weight gain, and depression.
  • Multiple Sclerosis: A disease where the immune system attacks the protective covering of nerves, affecting communication between the brain and the body. Symptoms can include numbness, weakness, and coordination issues.
  • Type 1 Diabetes: An autoimmune condition where the immune system destroys insulin-producing cells present in the pancreas, resulting in high blood sugar levels.
  • Antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APS): An autoimmune disorder that increases blood clot risks, causing infertility and recurrent miscarriages. APS leads to tiny clots in the placenta, affecting pregnancy. Early diagnosis and comprehensive care are essential for women with APS to improve fertility and pregnancy outcomes.

Who Is at Risk?

While anyone can develop an autoimmune disease, however, certain factors increase the risk:

  • Gender: Females are more prone to develop autoimmune diseases than men.
  • Age: Many autoimmune diseases commonly appear during the reproductive years (ages 15-45).
  • Genetics: A family history of autoimmune diseases can increase the risk.
  • Environmental Factors: Exposure to certain infections, chemicals, or stressful conditions can trigger autoimmune responses.
  • Ethnicity: Some autoimmune diseases are more common in certain ethnic groups. For example, lupus is more prevalent in African American and Hispanic women.

How to Prevent Autoimmune Diseases?

While autoimmune diseases cannot always be prevented, specific lifestyle changes and proactive measures can reduce the risk and help manage symptoms:

  • Healthy Diet: Eating a well-balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats can support the immune system. Avoiding processed foods and sugars can also reduce inflammation.
  • Regular Exercise: Physical activity helps maintain a healthy weight and reduces stress, both beneficial for the immune system.
  • Stress Management: Chronic stress can trigger autoimmune responses. Yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises would help manage stress levels.
  • Avoiding Environmental Triggers: Minimizing exposure to known environmental triggers such as tobacco smoke, certain chemicals, and infections can reduce the risk.

Routine medical examinations are crucial as they facilitate the early detection of autoimmune disorders, enabling more effective management. It’s important to undergo regular health assessments and stay informed about your family’s medical background.

How Archish Fertility & IVF Can Help?

Archish Fertility & IVF specializes in caring for women with autoimmune diseases, aiming to improve both health and fertility outcomes. Through comprehensive assessments, we detect autoimmune conditions early and design personalized treatment plans combining conventional medicine and complementary therapies. Our holistic approach includes medications, lifestyle changes, and nutritional counseling. For those struggling with fertility due to autoimmune issues, we offer advanced treatments like IVF, supported by continuous monitoring and ongoing support to optimize outcomes.

“Discover specialized care at Archish Fertility & IVF for women with autoimmune diseases, offering personalized treatment plans and advanced fertility treatments like IVF. Take the first step towards parenthood with our holistic approach and ongoing support for optimal outcomes.”

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Our Specialists

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Dr. Ankita Gahlot

Fertility Consultant

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Dr. Anagha Nawal

Fertility Consultant

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Dr. Lakshmi Kumari A

Fertility Consultant

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Navin Desai

Male Fertility Expert / Embryology Head