Written by pharmacy student Lucrecia Onyimah, Mercer University College of Pharmacy


Our immune system is responsible for protecting us from bacteria, viruses, and parasites that may sometimes attack our bodies.  In an autoimmune disease, our immune system meant to protect us begins to attack our cells, which it mistakes as an invader. Autoimmune diseases impair our body’s ability to protect itself from pathogens hence making us vulnerable to infections.

According to the National Institutes of Health, up to 23.5 million Americans (more than seven percent of the population. Autoimmune diseases affect more than 23.5 million Americans. They are known to be a leading cause of death and disability. They are more prevalent in women than in men. About 9 out of 10 adults with lupus are women.

Autoimmune diseases represent the third most common category of disease in the United States behind cancer and heart disease affecting approximately 5%–8% of the population or 14–22 million persons.  Autoimmune diseases can affect virtually every site in the body, including the endocrine system, connective tissue, gastrointestinal tract, heart, skin, and kidneys.



What Can Trigger an Autoimmune Disease?

Nobody knows exactly what causes an autoimmune condition. Various factors ranging from genes, gender, diet, environmental factors, hygiene hypothesis have been implicated as likely causes.

There are over 80 different autoimmune diseases. Some of the common ones are:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) – immune system harms the joints
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • Multiple sclerosis – damage to the myelin sheath slows transmission of a message between the brain and spinal cord and the rest of the body
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus – the immune system damages the insulin-producing pancreas
  • Psoriasis – skin cells multiply too quickly causing a build up that forms silver white scales of plaque on the skin
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) – inflammation on the lining of the intestinal wall
  • Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis
  • Graves’ disease – hyperthyroidism
  • Hashimoto disease – hypothyroidism
  • Celiac disease – presence of gluten in the small intestine causes inflammation.

Though symptoms vary and sometimes may be specific to a condition, the following are common symptoms of autoimmune disease. These symptoms also overlap in the different diseases.

  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Skin rashes
  • Abdominal pain or digestive issues
  • Recurring fever
  • Swollen glands
  • Loss of hair
  • Loss of concentration


When Should I Be Tested and What Options Are Available?

There is no single test to diagnose autoimmune disease. An antinuclear antibody test (ANA) is often one of the first tests when an autoimmune condition is suspected. A positive ANA blood test may be an indication of an autoimmune disease. Because symptoms of autoimmune conditions overlap, sometimes the exact diagnosis may be problematic.


How Do You Treat Autoimmune Disease?

Treatment for autoimmune conditions is not a cure. Treatment is aimed to manage symptoms like inflammation, joint pain, fatigue, and minimize flares, augment for substances that the body can no longer make, and to suppress the immune system. Treatments for autoimmune diseases differ based on presentation and severity.

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as naproxen, diclofenac
  • Immune suppressing drugs or biologics


How Does Innovation Compounding Address Autoimmune Conditions?

At Innovation Compounding, we take autoimmune conditions to heart. We offer an array of unique products that may help with diet and exercise to alleviate your symptoms. These products will help support your immune system for overall health.

Our Immune Health Support is specially designed to support the immune system “as needed.” Formulated with ingredients like echinacea, astragalus, and goldenseal, ingredients that have shown benefit to enhance the body’s defense systems.

L-Methionine is another product on our stable. In the body, it is converted into SAMe (S-Adenosyl Methionine). SAMe supports healthy joints.


Connect with Us

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact Innovation Compounding at 1-800-547-1399, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, excluding all major holidays.

Medical Disclaimer This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or take the place of such information or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Innovation Compounding, Inc. nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any medication, nutritional supplement, diet, or health regimen. Innovation Compounding does not make or intend to make any claims to efficacy or safety of compounded products for specific conditions or disease states, as compounded products are not FDA-approved for these conditions. 

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