autoimmune disease

The female immune system is sophisticated, delicate and different from a man’s.  Treating these conditions requires special knowledge and the human touch. Bon Secours Virginia’s health care professionals know this. That’s why we bring skill – and compassion – to every patient and her family.

Autoimmune diseases occur when the body attacks its own organs and tissues.  Although common, these often are under-recognized or misunderstood.  Women suffer from these conditions more often than men do. Why is unclear. Data suggests that childbirth and sex hormones may play a role. Research continues.

Allergies are common autoimmune diseases, and our specialists can help you deal with them. Allergic reactions occur when the body senses a foreign substance, called an antigen, and the immune system is triggered.  Many women manage allergies by avoiding irritating food, drink, or pollutants.  Shellfish, milk, soy, peanuts, and dust particles are common allergens.  Medicine may be needed, if avoidance is ineffective or impossible.  Living a healthy lifestyle can help, too.

Besides allergies, we also screen for and treat other autoimmune diseases, including:

  • Osteoporosis, the thinning of bone density
  • Multiple sclerosis, when the immune system attacks the myelin sheath covering the nerves
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, when the immune system attacks joint tissue
  • Lupus, when various body -- joints, skin, and blood vessels -- are attacked

Early detection of an autoimmune disease can improve greatly a woman’s life.  So, we listen carefully to every patient. We also know that genetics can play a role with these conditions. That’s why we encourage testing and family discussions.

For a list of Bon Secours autoimmune disease specialists click here

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