Treatments for Autoimmune diseases
Treatment list for Autoimmune diseases: The list of treatments mentioned in various sources for Autoimmune diseases includes the following list. Always seek professional medical advice about any treatment or change in treatment plans.
- Treatments vary for specific diseases but may include
- Hormone replacement therapy - for autoimmune diseases damaging hormone glands.
- Enzyme replacement therapy - for autoimmune diseases damaging enzyme-producing glands.
- Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG)
Treatment of Autoimmune diseases: medical news summaries: The following medical news items are relevant to treatment of Autoimmune diseases:
- Arthritis Foundation reports on top 10 arthritis developments in 2004
- Compound related to anti-anxiety drugs may provide an effective treatment for psoriasis
- Multiple sclerosis occurs in 1.1 million people worldwide
Treatments of Autoimmune diseases discussion:
Autoimmune diseases are often chronic, requiring lifelong care and
monitoring, even when the person may look or feel well. Currently, few
autoimmune diseases can be cured or made to "disappear" with treatment. However,
many people with these diseases can live normal lives when they receive
appropriate medical care.
Physicians most often help patients manage the consequences of inflammation caused by the autoimmune disease. For example, in people with Type 1 diabetes, physicians prescribe insulin to control blood sugar levels so that elevated blood sugar will not damage the kidneys, eyes, blood vessels, and nerves. However, the goal of scientific research is to prevent inflammation from causing destruction of the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, which are necessary to control blood sugars.
On the other hand, in some diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, medication can occasionally slow or stop the immune system's destruction of the kidneys or joints. Medications or therapies that slow or suppress the immune system response in an attempt to stop the inflammation involved in the autoimmune attack are called immunosuppressive medications. These drugs include corticosteroids (prednisone), methotrexate, cyclophosphamide, azathioprine, and cyclosporin. Unfortunately, these medications also suppress the ability of the immune system to fight infection and have other potentially serious side effects.
In some people, a limited number of immuno-suppressive medications may result in disease remission. Remission is the medical term used for "disappearance" of a disease for a significant amount of time. Even if their disease goes into remission, patients are rarely able to discontinue medications. The possibility that the disease may restart when medication is discontinued must be balanced with the long-term side effects from the immunosuppressive medication.
A current goal in caring for patients with autoimmune diseases is to find treatments that produce remissions with fewer side effects. Much research is focused on developing therapies that target various steps in the immune response. New approaches such as therapeutic antibodies against specific T cell molecules may produce fewer long-term side effects than the chemotherapies that now are routinely used.
Ultimately, medical science is striving to design therapies that prevent autoimmune diseases. To this end, a significant amount of time and resources are spent studying the immune system and pathways of inflammation.1
Autoimmune diseases are often chronic, requiring lifelong care and monitoring, even when the person may look or feel well. Currently, few autoimmune diseases can be cured or disappear with treatment. However, many people with these diseases live relatively normal and healthy lives when they receive the proper medical care.
Physicians often help patients manage the consequences of the disease.
For example, people suffering from Type 1 diabetes will be prescribed
insulin to control blood sugar levels. In some diseases such as lupus or
rheumatoid arthritis, medication can occasionally slow or stop the immune
system’s destruction of the kidneys or joints. These medications are
called immunosuppressive medications and sometimes can have serious side
effects. Ultimately, medical science is striving to design therapies that
prevent and cure autoimmune diseases. 2
1. excerpt from Understanding Autoimmune Disease: NIAID
2. excerpt from Autoimmune Diseases: NWHIC
Medical Tools & Articles:
- Risk Factor Center
- Medical Statistics Center
- Medical Treatment Center
- Prevention Center
- Medical Tests Center