There might be a major conflict within your body or the body of a loved one. When a person has an autoimmune disease, they have a condition in which the immune system mistakenly attacks your body.
Your body is usually on guard, protecting us from the dangers of a virus or infection. When the body senses danger it goes to war as white blood cells produce antibodies to attack the invading virus or infection. However, when you suffer from an autoimmune disease, the opposite happens as antibodies attack healthy tissues instead of the harmful ones.
According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, there are more than eighty conditions that occur due to the immune system attacking your own organs, tissues, and cells. These diseases are chronic and debilitating. The result is high medical costs, reduced quality of life, and long-term care placing a burden on individuals and their families.
What are the Symptoms?
Most autoimmune diseases cause redness, heat, pain, and swelling and can often affect more than one part of the body. Symptoms will vary depending on which parts of the body are being affected by the disease.
It seems that autoimmune diseases are getting more common. In a study published April 2020 in Arthritis and Rheumatology, the researchers found that the most common biomarker of autoimmunity had significantly increased in the United States overall, particularly in certain groups. These groups include males, non-Hispanic whites, adults 50 years and older, and adolescents.
Dr. Frederick Miller, deputy chief of the Clinical Research Branch at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of NIH, says it is unclear why these biomarkers are increasing but could suggest a future increase in autoimmune disease.
"These findings could help us understand more about the causes of these immune abnormalities and possibly learn what drives (the) development of autoimmune diseases and how to prevent them," Dr. Miller explained.
The National Institutes of Health share some of the most common symptoms of autoimmune diseases:
- Joint pain and stiffness.
- Thyroid problems that can cause a person to be tired, experience weight gain, and have muscle aches.
- Skin rashes, blisters, and changes in skin color.
More Than 80 Autoimmune Diseases are Known to Science
According to research, women get autoimmune diseases at a rate of about 2 to 1 compared to men. There are more than 80 known autoimmune diseases known to science.
Nearly 4% of the world's population is affected by one or more of these conditions. Some of the most common autoimmune diseases include:
- Addison disease
- Autoimmune Hepatitis
- Celiac disease
- Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
- Grave's disease
- Guillain-Barre syndrome
- Hashimoto thyroiditis
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Myasthenia Gravis
- Pernicious anemia
- Reactive arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Sjogren’s syndrome
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
- Type 1 diabetes mellitus
See a complete list - Autoimmune Disease List • AARDA
No Cure – But Treatment for Autoimmune Problems Available
People with autoimmune problems often have other health problems as well. John Hopkins University says that some families have multiple members affected by different autoimmune diseases. Yet, medical researchers say genetics is not the only indicator of whether a person may develop an autoimmune disorder.
There is no cure for any autoimmune disease. However, doctors can treat it by controlling the overactive immune response and bring down inflammation. The treatment, in some cases, can reduce pain and inflammation.
There is an increased prevalence of autoimmunity and autoantibodies as we get older. Older adults are more susceptible to viral and bacterial infections as well. Complications between overall health and autoimmune disorders lead to disability and the need for long-term health care services.
Autoimmune Disorders May Lead to Needing Extended Care
If you already have an autoimmune problem, you may not be eligible for Long-Term Care Insurance, depending on the type and severity. Be sure to speak with a specialist who understands the underwriting criteria at all the major companies. Keep in mind, if you are already having substantial health and mobility problems, your options may be limited, at best.
Long-term health care costs are mostly not covered by health insurance and Medicare. However, Medicaid and Long-Term Care Insurance will provide benefits. With Medicaid, you must have little or no income or assets to qualify for this government program. You can't purchase Long-Term Care Insurance once you require care, so it must be purchased when you have relatively good health, usually in your 40s or 50s ideally.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder or thinks you may have symptoms, be sure to see a doctor. You do not want to leave an autoimmune disorder untreated.
There is no question that aging has a tremendous influence on our health, body, and mind. Being prepared for these changes and the higher risk of needing long-term health care should be a big part of retirement planning.
Too many people think Long-Term Care Insurance is too expensive, or they just do not need to worry about it. The truth is long-term care is a significant risk and becomes more so as you get older. The costs and burdens of long-term care will impact you, your family, your lifestyle and assets, and your legacy.
Experts suggest obtaining coverage in your 40s or 50s when premiums are lowest and your health is better. Seek the help of a licensed and qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist. The specialist should work with the major companies and have substantial experience in underwriting, policy design, and claims. Premiums also vary over 100% between companies - Work With a Specialist | LTC News
Research with Resources Available on LTC NEWS
The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator shows you the current and future care costs where you reside. The calculator can help you plan for your future care or help you determine the costs for a loved one who needs care right now.
Start your research by reading The Ultimate Long-Term Care Guide.
There are tax incentives available as well - Long-Term Care Tax Benefits Guide.
Find all the resources by clicking here.
Reverse Mortgages Can Be Part of a Plan
If you find most of your assets are tied to your home, today's reverse mortgages might help as the solution for either funding Long-Term Care Insurance or paying for care. Learn more here.
Need Care Now? Need Help with LTC Insurance Claims?
You might have a parent or other family member who needs care now. If they have a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, be sure they use it. Get free assistance in making a claim.
LTC NEWS provides free assistance with no obligation. Click here. You can also obtain help finding caregivers and getting recommendations for a proper plan of care, whether a person has a policy or not.
Marketing and Advertising Opportunities on LTC NEWS
Drive traffic to your website and find the people interested in your products and services by using LTC NEWS. Plus, you can improve your website's SEO so more consumers can find you when they search for your services.
There are many marketing opportunities available. LTC NEWS can be an effective way to help you and your business. Learn more about how LTC NEWS can help you market your business, drive traffic, and improve SEO - click here.
Become a Guest Contributor for LTC NEWS
You can improve your website or blog's SEO and gain exposure and traffic at the same time by being a contributor to LTC NEWS.
Just write a story or ongoing column for LTC NEWS. Stay on topic with articles on health, aging, caregiving, retirement planning, long-term care, and other topics that interest adults over age 40.
You can even promote yourself, your business, and your website or blog. However, it must have editorial content exclusive for LTC NEWS and cannot be just an advertisement. It can include links to other sites, and you can share the article link once published on your website or social media.
Share News with LTC NEWS
Include LTC NEWS in your press release distribution. If your group, organization, business, political committee, etc., have news to share, send it to LTC NEWS. Email - firstname.lastname@example.org