Archives for November 2012

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Pre-Term Delivery

Hashimoto’s disease (chronic autoimmune thyroiditis) is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in iodine-sufficient areas of the world.  Autoantibodies directed against thyroid cells and tissue result in destruction of parts of the gland, and a consequent hypothyroid state, with reduced levels of thyroid hormones in the bloodstream.  Though many women will proceed through their pregnancy with little or no complications,

Fertility and Autoimmune Disease

Is there a connection between fertility difficulties and autoimmune conditions? One of the many frustrations about having an (or multiple) autoimmune disease is the frequency with which you are told, “We just don’t know;” “The conditions vary greatly among patients so we can’t predict that for you;” “The research provides conflicting data…”  It can make a patient feel alone and

Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis: What Does It Mean?

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune neurological disease affecting the central nervous system (CNS – brain, spinal cord, optic nerves).  The central pathology (cause of problem) involves the long arms of nerve cells (axons) losing their outside wrapping (myelin sheath), which greatly affects conduction of nerve impulses. As a result, patients often, though not always, experience a relapsing-remitting course of neurological

Onset of Autoimmune Disease in Children

With some notable exceptions, such as celiac disease, pediatric autoimmune disease is fairly uncommon, but when it occurs, it an present the physician with diagnostic and therapeutic challenges. With autoimmune diseases, of which there are more than 80, something causes the immune system to attack apparently healthy tissues, including joints, muscles, skin and those of the digestive tract. Common manifestations

Addison’s Disease: Overview of Antibodies & Genetic Links

Addison’s disease, also known as primary adrenal insufficiency, is an endocrine condition involving destruction of parts of the adrenal gland (which sits atop the kidney), resulting in a deficiency of the steroid hormones produced by this gland, including cortisol and aldosterone.  It can have many causes, though the two most common are autoimmune (in developed countries) and infectious (in developing