Disaster produced in the body when the immune system is too active. Instead of defending them, the immunity turns against them and destroys their healthy parts. Because nature has endowed them with a stronger defense system, women are more affected.
Psoriasis, lupus or sclerosis are the most known, but the number of autoimmune diseases exceeds one hundred. They are not contagious, but they isolate worse than the river, and waste more energy than a handful of painkillers.
Full of spots, upset
Simona P., 27, a resident doctor, recalls that the first spots appeared at 12 years old. As long as she could hide them under her hair, they didn't bother her. For ten years he believed he had seborrheic dermatitis, the diagnosis made by all the doctors consulted, and had the disease on his feet. At 24 years old, on a background of heavy stress, he was filled with blemishes from head to toe. "Apart from the face and neck, there was no clean portion left. I was living with a person who brought me white hairs, ”she tells.
Psoriasis, like any autoimmune disease, has genetic causes, but stress triggers and worsens the disease. "In general, these diseases occur after adolescence, when the person predisposed enters the field of work and faces the stress of the service," says dermatologist Anca Zbranca. At the peak of the illness, Simona was in college and her life was divided between home and classes.
"I was not keen to expose myself, in the summer I was only wearing three-quarter sleeves. Although my colleagues did not discriminate against me, I excluded myself ”. Seeing that the stains do not pass with creams, he began a strong treatment with immunosuppressants and then with biological preparations. "This therapy is given only on a case-by-case basis at the insurance company and in order to obtain approval, I have to do a skin biopsy. On the day when I was getting a piece of skin, my colleagues were dancing to the drum ”.
When the blemishes began to disappear, against another bout of stress, psoriasis attacked her joints. "At night I have great pain, I wake up with my ankles stuck. The fingers of the hands swell so hard that they turn into sausages. "
Dismissals and failures in love
Because of the treatment she is required to follow all her life, she cannot work abroad or have children, the pregnancy being contraindicated. "I wrote to several clinics in Germany, I was willing to learn the language, but nobody is willing to pay for my therapy."
Correct diagnosis is the first problem of patients with autoimmune diseases. Rozalina Lapadatu thought she was suffering from a "fungus" when she had an "irritation" on her foot. "Later, I found out he was psoriasis and I tried a number of local treatments, but the stains did not pass me completely.
But for me, psoriasis has never confused me, but I also know people who have lost their jobs because of this or have been rejected by partners, ”says Rozalina, who in the meantime also founded the Patients' Association with Autoimmune Diseases.
The limbs and scalp, the most "covered"
Psoriasis occurs as a result of exaggerated cell growth and manifests through thickened, whitish-pinkish lesions on the skin. The stains have different sizes and appear especially on the knees, elbows, scalp, hands, feet and back, and are accompanied by itching, especially at the onset of the disease. In mild forms, it can be improved with ointments, creams and other treatments, but in the case of more severe forms, immunosuppressants and biologic treatments are needed, which generally have severe adverse effects.
When the immune system is too active. Lupus, the disease that mimics other diseases
Lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune disease with a genetic component in which the immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks the normal tissues by autoantibody formation. Thus, disorders of one or more internal organs appear, the most commonly involved being the skin, the osteo-articular system, the kidneys, the nervous system, the lungs.
Signs and symptoms vary considerably from person to person, there is no single diagnostic test that can confirm the suspicion of Lupus. In addition, the signs and symptoms tend to change over time and are similar to those of other disorders and diseases. These fluctuations in the activity of the disease make Lupus a chameleonic disease, extremely difficult to diagnose.
In order to be diagnosed as having SLE, a patient must have at least 4 of 11 symptoms at any time since the onset of the disease:
When the immune system is too active. Clearly paralyzed, at 25 years old
Ada Harja, 48, a chemical engineer by profession, currently retired in case of illness, was in the flower of youth when she felt that she could no longer hold a sheet in her hand, that her eyelids fell without sleep and that she was no longer sleeping. he can lift his foot even up a step.
At 25, he collapsed in the street, because he was unable to climb the curb. "It was after the Revolution and a soldier helped me get up. He asked me what happened and I didn't know what to say. I simply couldn't control my muscles anymore. I could no longer get on the bus, I was tired of the man. The people on the street were saying, "Look, look at this, too, this morning!" Ada recalls.
"I drank water and it came out on my nose"
He went from doctor to doctor and even went to psychiatry after being told that he didn't really want to go. With a pill, a neurology professor from Bagdasar-Arseni Hospital discovered the true disease: miastenia gravis. A failure in nerve impulse transmission causes all muscle groups to "paralyze."
"Good luck" Adei was that the respiratory muscles were not affected by the disease, because otherwise she could die asphyxiated. Unlike psoriasis or lupus, myasthenia is considered a rare disease, with a frequency of 1 in 10,000 people.
In parallel with the pills that keep his muscles "in grip", Ada was treated with a puncture. "I had years when I could not drink water, it came out on my nose, where my parents carried me to the toilet, but I had the ambition to be alone as much as I could. My parents didn't let me complain but a little. ”
Today, he stops panic attacks and has learned to listen to his body, not to push its limits. Because of the disease, he did not marry and had no children, but now he is trying to make up for lost time. "I discovered that I like to work manually, make brochures, jewelry, travel, learned to work with the computer."