A functional immune system effectively creates a warzone in the body, guarding it against potentially dangerous and foreign infections. However, an estimated 5% to 8% of Americans suffer from autoimmune diseases. The body’s first line of defense usually kills healthy cells. Check out how it can affect your weight.
In This Article:
- Addison’s Disease
- Type 1 Diabetes
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Crohn’s Disease
- Graves’ Disease
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Hashimoto’s Disease
Your Weight Can Be Affected by Autoimmune Diseases
1. Addison’s Disease
Addison’s disease, a kind of adrenal insufficiency, occurs when the immune system kills a portion of the adrenal gland, which is essential for producing specific hormones such as cortisol.
This is also known as the stress hormone; besides helping the body respond to stress, it is also responsible for various functions in the body, including regulating blood sugar, fighting off infection, maintaining blood pressure, regulating metabolism. This means it can affect your appetite, cause nausea and unintentional weight loss.
2. Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes develops when the immune system attacks the cells that generate insulin, the hormone responsible for delivering glucose to the body’s cells from carbohydrate sources. Due to impaired insulin release, glucose remains in the blood, resulting in high blood sugar, and is finally eliminated in the urine.
Without glucose absorption, cells are deprived of essential energy and calories, which may result in weight loss.
3. Multiple Sclerosis
This is an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks the neuron’s protective coating, most notably in the central nervous system. Multiple sclerosis mainly affects the spinal cord, the brain, and the optic nerve. It can compromise or disable basic bodily tasks such as walking and physical exercise. As a result, it keeps you away from doing physical activities, which can lead to weight gain.
This is a condition in which there is an excess of thyroid hormone in the blood, resulting in unintended weight loss despite having a big appetite. These autoimmune diseases can increase the body’s metabolism and cause rapid or irregular heartbeat. In addition, it causes you various other symptoms, including:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Muscle weakness and fatigue
Which all can potentially impact your weight management
5. Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s disease is a kind of gastrointestinal inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Crohn’s disease is characterized by chronic inflammation, which causes the walls and linings of the afflicted regions to become red and inflamed. It most often affects the small intestine but can impact anyplace from the mouth to the anus.
Patients with Crohn’s disease may have gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, stomach cramps and discomfort, fever, rectal bleeding, and loss of appetite. Crohn’s illness may eventually lead to malnutrition and weight loss if not properly managed.
6. Graves’ Disease
This is one of the leading causes of hyperthyroidism in America. This is an autoimmune disease that causes the thyroid gland to overwork. The thyroid is an endocrine gland that produces thyroid hormones, which regulate the efficiency and pace of metabolism. As a result of this alteration, it accelerates your metabolism leading to unintentional weight loss.
7. Rheumatoid Arthritis
Next on the list of autoimmune diseases is Rheumatoid Arthritis which primarily affects the joints and can lead to severe pain, swelling, and stiffness. And just like other joint disorders induce tiredness and stiffness in the joints, making daily tasks difficult. Many people may avoid physical exercise as a result of this, resulting in weight gain.
8. Ulcerative Colitis
In addition to Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis (UC) is an IBD that is thought to be an autoimmune illness. On the other hand, UC is a chronic illness characterized by inflammation and ulceration of the lining of the large organs, affecting primarily the colon and rectum and not the whole digestive system. Because this significantly impacts your digestive system so it can directly affect your weight management.
In addition to weight loss, other symptoms of UC include:
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Urgency to defecate
- Rectal bleeding
- Diarrhea, often with blood or pus
- Rectal pain
- Inability to defecate despite urgency
Among the autoimmune diseases on this list, this illness is probably one of the worst as it affects not only the inside of your body but also the outside. It can damage any part of your body, from your skin, joints to your organs. Unexplained weight loss is one of the earliest signs of Lupus. In contrast, certain medicines might compromise appetite and cause even more weight loss.
In contrast, the prescription of a corticosteroid may result in weight gain. Finally, such weight fluctuations should be addressed to aid in a customized weight-management strategy since achieving a healthy weight helps alleviate lupus-related discomfort and suffering.
10. Hashimoto’s Disease
Like Graves’ disease, Hashimoto’s disease is a disorder in which the immune system attacks the thyroid. In the case of Hashimoto’s, however, too few thyroid hormones are generated, resulting in hypothyroidism. Simply put, an underactive thyroid slows metabolism, making weight gain simpler and weight reduction more difficult, especially if left untreated.
Nevertheless, It’s crucial for you to have a healthy weight, especially during this pandemic. Being overweight can put you at a lot of risks. Though knowing the cause of your weight control is good, you should not find the solution by yourself. Instead, contact your healthcare provider and doctors to have them find out which autoimmune diseases you’re having, then decide the best course of action based on the result.
If you have any problems with your autoimmune diseases, give us a call, and let us know how we can help!
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