Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Living Well With Chronic Illness: Autoimmune Diseases

When we finally figured out that we couldn't hide from our Chronic Illness, but needed to find ways to Manage it rather than having it Manage us, we took the first step along the journey of understanding, education, skill development, and Living Well with a Chronic Illness!

This is the first in a series of blogs targeted toward our learning how to live well with a Chronic Illness. Today's blog is about Autoimmune Diseases. The following link is to the "Living With Chronic Illness" page of a website dedicated to Autoimmune Diseases. The Association is ACES; it stands for: Autoimmune Cure, Entertainment and Support.

Redefining "normal"
For those of us living with a chronic illness, there can be many ups and downs. Nothing is as it once was, and "normal" no longer exists in our vocabulary. Maybe the following information will help you to redefine the term "normal" and learn to live with your illness as best as you can.”

Since your next question probably is: What ARE Autoimmune Diseases, this is the definition provided by the website:

What Are Autoimmune Diseases?
The word "auto" is the Greek word for self. The immune system is a complicated network of cells and cell components (called molecules) that normally work to defend the body and eliminate infections caused by bacteria, viruses, and other invading microbes. If a person has an autoimmune disease, the immune system mistakenly attacks self, targeting the cells, tissues, and organs of a person's own body. A collection of immune system cells and molecules at a target site is broadly referred to as inflammation.

There are many different autoimmune diseases, and they can each affect the body in different ways. For example, the autoimmune reaction is directed against the brain in multiple sclerosis and the gut in Crohn's disease.”

If you have a chronic disease question, or a problem with your disability, please add a comment to one of these blogs, and we will research the situation for you.

In the meantime, Here's to "LIVING WELL WITH CHRONIC ILLNESS"!


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