Autoimmune Diseases

Family Medicine & Urgent Care in Grand Blanc, MI

Autoimmune Diseases
Autoimmune Diseases services offered in Grand Blanc, MI

Autoimmune diseases occur because of a fault in your immune system that leads it to destroy healthy cells. Michael Zielinski, DO, and Steven Galliway, PA-C, of Integrative Family Medicine and Urgent Care in Grand Blanc, Michigan, diagnose and offer treatment options for various autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and Type 1 diabetes. For expert diagnosis and treatment of your autoimmune disorder, call Integrative Family Medicine and Urgent Care or book an appointment online today.

Autoimmune Diseases Q&A

What are autoimmune diseases?

Autoimmune diseases affect the immune system — your body’s defense against invading microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungus.

A healthy immune system detects anything entering your body that could be harmful to your health. It creates antibodies in your white blood cells that attach themselves to the microorganisms and kill them.

After creating antibodies for specific diseases, your immune system stores the information in case you encounter the same organism again. If you do, your immune system can kill the invader, often without you even realizing you were infected.

This system stops you from getting sick, helps you fight off bugs you haven’t had before, and is the basis of life-saving vaccination programs. However, sometimes the immune system malfunctions and attacks normal, healthy cells, resulting in autoimmune disorders.

What kinds of autoimmune diseases might affect me?

There are numerous different autoimmune diseases. Some affect specific parts of your body, and others cause problems in multiple systems. Autoimmune diseases are generally incurable. Without treatment, they’re life-altering, and some autoimmune diseases are life-threatening.

The kinds of autoimmune diseases the Integrative Family Medicine and Urgent Care providers see most often include:

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis develops when your immune system attacks the linings of your joints, causing inflammation, chronic pain, and joint distortion.

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is due to your immune system destroying insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. As a result, your body can’t regulate its blood sugar levels, which can have life-threatening consequences if left untreated.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

The two primary forms of IBD, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, develop when your immune system attacks the tissues lining your gastrointestinal tract. IBD causes inflammation, pain, bleeding, and ulceration.

Multiple sclerosis (MS)

MS results from your immune system attacking nerve cells, causing muscle weakness and spasms, pain, and blindness.

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis

Hashimoto’s destroys cells in the thyroid gland in your neck, so you don’t produce enough thyroid hormone. An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) causes chronic fatigue, weight gain, thinning hair, temperature sensitivity, and depression.

How are autoimmune diseases treated?

The treatment your provider at Integrative Family Medicine and Urgent Care recommends for an autoimmune disease varies depending on which one you have.

Replacement insulin is vital for Type 1 diabetes, while synthetic thyroid hormones successfully treat Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. IBD might require ongoing treatment with anti-inflammatory medicines, and severe cases would need steroids, immunosuppressants, or biologic drugs that target the cause of the inflammation.

To find out more about autoimmune diseases and how to manage them, call Integrative Family Medicine and Urgent Care today or book an appointment online.