What is an Autoimmune Disorder?

Simply put, an autoimmune disorder is any condition that results in the body's immune system attacking and destroying healthy tissue. There are a variety of reasons that people develop autoimmune disorders. Typically, your body's immune system works by producing white blood cells to attack and destroy harmful antigens in your body.

An antigen is any harmful substance, including bacteria, viruses, toxins, cancer, harmful cells, unsafe blood transfusions, etc. The immune systems keeps the body healthy by destroying these substances. If you have an autoimmune disorder, your immune system can't tell the difference between harmful substances and healthy ones. Instead of attacking dangerous antigens, the body attacks healthy tissue.

Doctors are unable to determine what causes autoimmune disorders, exactly. However, there is some evidence that harmful bacteria, viruses or certain drugs may inhibit the body's ability to differentiate between normal, healthy tissue and harmful substances like bacteria or a virus. To some extent, doctors and scientists believe that autoimmune disorders are genetic.

Auto immune disorders have many adverse effects on the body. Not only is healthy tissue attacked and destroyed, but organs may grow abnormalities and change functions. Additionally, blood vessels, connective tissues, joints, muscles, red blood cells and the skin may be affect. Autoimmune disorders have the potential to affect all organs in the body.

Common Autoimmune Disorders

There are many types of autoimmune and autoimmune-related disorders. Some of the most common are Systemic Lupus, Crohn's Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Scleroderma, Addison's disease, Celiac disease, Grave's disease, Multiple Sclerosis, reactive arthritis, pernicious anemia and type I diabetes. Additionally, a person can develop more than one autoimmune disorder at a time. For example, if you have celiac disease (gluten intolerance), you may develop pernicious anemia, too.

Autoimmune Disorders and Miscarriage

Learn More about Autoimmune Disease & Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Here

Evidence suggests that there may be a link between recurrent miscarriage, unexplained infertility and autoimmune disorders. Statistically, women with undiagnosed celiac disease are significantly more prone to miscarriage than women without the disorder. One study concluded that there as a clear gradation of risk of miscarriage in women with autoimmune disorders. Celiac disease is one of the most common autoimmune disorders related to pregnancy loss.

Celiac disease occurs when the small intestine fails to absorb nutrients from food. Individuals with celiac disease are gluten intolerant; if they eat gluten, their small intestine may become damaged. Undiagnosed and untreated cases of celiac disease often result in malnutrition. Additionally, it may be very difficult for a woman with celiac disease to get pregnant. If she does conceive, there is an increased risk of miscarriage unless she pursues a gluten-free pregnancy.

Celiac and gluten miscarriages are preventable - but only if the condition is diagnosed before pregnancy. If you have experienced multiple pregnancy losses, you may be gluten intolerant or have another autoimmune disorder. Many times, it is difficult for doctors to attribute miscarriages to gluten intolerance or celiac disease until a pregnancy loss has already occurred. Because of this, a woman could suffer multiple miscarriages before realizing that she may be suffering from an autoimmune disorder.

Braverman IVF & Reproductive Immunology: We Can Help

If you have suffered multiple pregnancy losses or cannot conceive, contact Braverman IVF & Reproductive Immunology today. We are devoted to helping people like you fulfill their dream of having a baby and raising a family. Suffering a miscarriage is heartbreaking; we understand. That's why we're ready to help you understand your options. Dr. Braverman is highly experienced and ready to give you the best reproductive immunology assistance he can offer. If you've already suffered multiple miscarriages, you probably feel hopeless and frustrated. Don't give up. Call our office today and schedule a consultation to see what we can do for you.