health for your
RESEARCHERS HAVE identi;ed
more than 80 different autoimmune
diseases to date. Some of these are
fairly well known, others more
obscure, but all are serious to the
sufferers. The list includes:
In;ammatory arthritis of the spine
Can cause blood clots and recurrent
Autoimmune Hepatitis: Disease of the liver.
Behçet’s Disease: In;ammation of
Celiac: Disorder that targets the
Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Progressive
Ménière Disease: In;ammatory condition
deep within the inner ear.
Multiple Sclerosis: In;ammation of the
central nervous system.
Myasthenia Gravis: Affects the
Primary Biliary Cirrhosis: In;ammatory
destruction of the bile ducts of the liver.
Psoriasis: Common, chronic skin disease.
Sarcoidosis: Multisystem autoimmune
disease; sometimes misdiagnosed as
Scleroderma: Affects the skin and
connective tissues in the body.
Sjögren’s Syndrome: Targets tear,
salivary and other moisture-producing
glands in the body.
Ulcerative Colitis: In;ammation of the
colon (large intestine); characterized by
Vasculitis: In;ammation of the blood
vessel system, including veins, arteries
Knowing your family
medical history helps with
detection of autoimmune disease
By Jacqueline M. Duda
DOCTORS THOUGHT it was tendonitis.
“My hands were hurting,” explains Donna
Di Sante, a longtime Michigan volunteer
with the American Autoimmune Related
Diseases Association (AARDA) and a
Costco member. The pain, swelling and redness spread to her feet—and then she
couldn’t raise her arms. For years these
symptoms would come and go.
When Di Sante stumbled across a
description of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in a
medical textbook, she thought, “That’s what I
have!” Di Sante’s physician tested and diagnosed her, at age 27, with RA, an autoimmune
disease that affects the lining of the joints.
Di Sante is now 61, and RA has deci-
mated her knees, hips and shoulders. She is
one of 50 million Americans— 75 percent of
them women—who are struggling with
autoimmune disease. These diseases repre-
sent the fourth-largest cause of disability
among women, says AARDA’s chairman of
the board of directors, Stanley M. Finger.
Autoimmune diseases are among the top 10
leading causes of all deaths among U.S.
women age 65 and younger.
To view a complete list of autoimmune
diseases and late-breaking research, visit:
American Autoimmune Related Diseases
National Institute of Allergy
and Infectious Diseases,
Department of Health and Human Services,
Johns Hopkins Autoimmune Disease
MARCH 2011 ;e Costco Connection 67