What are the Most Common Autoimmune Symptoms?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2019
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There are numerous autoimmune diseases and these conditions cause the body to create an immune response to something that it shouldn’t. In other words, the body turns on itself by attacking one or more systems of the body and treating them as foreign. Due to the fact that this can occur in different body systems, common autoimmune symptoms can be varied, and some can actually be opposites of others. Nevertheless, it is possible to look at a few symptoms and see them as things that may occur when an autoimmune disease is present, though the presence of these symptoms could indicate other illnesses too.

In almost any autoimmune disease, people may suffer from fatigue or chronic tiredness. It might be hard to get out of bed in the morning, and normal activities can seem tiring. When this condition lasts for some time without improving, even when people do things like improve their exercise levels and diet, this is a symptom worth exploring. Fatigue may also be symptomatic of conditions like heart failure, high blood pressure or certain illness that are not autoimmune in nature. A few people with high thyroid levels due to Grave’s disease may suffer in the opposite direction and be unable to sleep or have insomnia.


Another of the common autoimmune symptoms is lower resistance to common illnesses. While most adults may expect to get a few colds or viruses a year, constant illness, where colds or viruses tend to occur with much greater frequently or almost at all times may suggest impairment of the immune system. Some people also get frequent infections, such as pneumonia, or bladder and kidney infections. Not being able to recover quickly from common colds and viruses may suggest problems too. Two well-known illnesses are indicated in frequent infections and these are lupus and HIV/AIDs.

Even without presence of other illnesses, presence of chronic fever can be an autoimmune symptom. Alternately, some people have problems with body temperature control in the opposite direction and always feel cold or have very cold hands and feet. This is especially the case with conditions like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

Some common autoimmune symptoms that may relate to conditions like rheumatoid arthritis include pain and achiness. There are a number of other illnesses that may also have this as a symptom. The pain may especially be felt at the joints.

People with certain autoimmune diseases might notice changes in hair — baldness or brittle hair may develop. Other common symptoms of autoimmune disease could affect the skin with lesions, rashes, texture changes or coloration changes.

People with a developing autoimmune condition might have fairly dramatic weight changes, either losing or gaining quite a bit of weight. Sometimes things like mood can change too, and development of depression is not uncommon. Most people usually think of autoimmune conditions as related to adults, but in children, one of the common autoimmune symptoms is delayed growth, especially in younger children.

There are many other autoimmune symptoms that are specific to each disease. One or two symptoms of a condition doesn’t necessarily make a diagnosis. People who are concerned they may have an autoimmune disease are best off speaking to their doctors. Physicians can diagnose conditions (or rule them out) and help their patients find the best possible treatments.


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