Your immune system is meant to protect you, but sometimes it doesn’t work as it should. Autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, can affect how your immune system responds to even healthy organs.
“Anytime we get the flu or even a scratch, the immune system helps us heal, fight bugs and bacteria,” explains Amrita Padda, MD, ProMedica Physicians Rheumatology. “When it comes to autoimmune diseases, the immune system gets confused and starts attacking our own organ system.”
An autoimmune disease can affect just one or multiple organs, and it can affect any organ, from the skin, to the eyes, to the thyroid. Nonsteroid medications and lifestyle changes can help quiet the immune system, and rheumatologists—doctors who specialize in the treatment of systemic autoimmune diseases—play an important role in finding long-term solutions for patients.
ProMedica correspondent Chrys Peterson sat down with Dr. Padda to learn more about how rheumatologists help patients with autoimmune diseases. Learn more in the video below: