Autoimmune Disorders of the Muscles, Joints, and Nerves

Strong immune systems combat sickness and infection well. However, a dysfunctional immune system targets healthy cells, tissues, and organs. Autoimmune illnesses may affect any organ, causing physical deterioration and death.

Medical professionals identify around 80 autoimmune disorders. Some uncommon and harder-to-diagnose illnesses include type 1 diabetes, MS, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis. Example: type 1 diabetes. Rare autoimmune patients may suffer for years before being diagnosed. These diseases are mostly incurable. Some individuals require lifelong therapy to feel healthier.

Autoimmune Disorders of the Joint (Rheumatoid Arthritis)

RA is an inflammatory, autoimmune disease. The Sufferer's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells, causing severe swelling and inflammation in the diseased regions.

RA targets joints, usually many at once. Rheumatoid arthritis affects wrists, hands, and knees. Rheumatoid arthritis's joint lining inflammation may damage joint tissue. Tissue damage may result in long-term pain, instability, and even deformity.

Respiratory, cardiovascular, and visual systems are all at risk from RA.

Symptoms of RA

Remissions and flares are common in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) sufferers.

Following are some of the vital signs and symptoms of RA −

  • Experiencing discomfort in more than one joint at a time

  • a lack of mobility in more than one joint

  • Joint pain and swelling in more than one location

  • On both sides of the body, the patient has identical sensations (such as in both knees and hands)

  • Fever

  • Loss of weight

  • Nausea or weariness

  • Weakness

Treatment of RA

Drugs and self-management can cure RA. DMARDs and biologicals are used to treat RA. RA self-management reduces pain and disability and enhances medical therapy.

Autoimmune Disorder of Muscles

Myositis is a highly uncommon inflammatory disorder that causes inflammation and muscular weakness. When the immune system mistakenly targets healthy tissue, it causes autoimmune diseases. Myositis occurs when the immune system mistakenly assaults healthy muscle tissue, leading to edema, discomfort, weakening, and eventual inflammation. Polymyositis is the name given to the condition when it does not affect the skin. The condition is known as dermatomyositis when the skin is involved.

Causes of Myositis

Myositis has mysterious origins. Similarities to other autoimmune illnesses may aid in the identification of causative factors. Several causal links have been established through studies, and they include the following −

  • HTLV-1 and Coxsackie B may cause myositis. The patient may have been predisposed to autoimmune disease, and the virus may have triggered it. Penicillamine, cimetidine, interferon alpha, carbimazole, growth hormone, phenytoin, and hepatitis B vaccine have all been given to people with myositis. Drugs in this class treat diverse medical diseases, from ulcers to cancer, and have no other characteristics. It is still debatable whether or not they induce myositis.

  • Genetic variables may increase the possibility of myositis occurring in some people. Myositis genes have yet to be identified. Blood transfusions during pregnancy may raise myositis risk for mother and kid.


Suppose your abdominal muscles become noticeably weaker than usual. In that case, you should see a doctor (such as your hips, thighs, neck, back, forearms or etc.). Some of the specific symptoms are −

  • Weakness that worsens gradually over a couple of weeks or a month.

  • Problems getting up from a chair or reaching up high.

  • Struggling to swallow

  • Pain in the joints

  • Chronic, inexplicable tiredness


Myositis cannot be cured at this time. Your doctor will treat your symptoms to make it easier for you to continue your regular activities. These will work to alleviate your symptoms until your myositis goes into remission (when muscle inflammation has subsided significantly). Myositis typically responds to the following treatments −

  • Corticosteroids

  • Immunosuppressants

  • The use of immunoglobulin in a vein.

Your doctor or physical therapist will prescribe stretches and exercises to strengthen and lengthen the afflicted muscles. It can lessen the severity of future bouts and time spent in pain and stiffness.

Autoimmune Disorder of Nerves

Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) develops when the immune system mistakenly attacks the peripheral nervous system. GBS symptoms range from transient weakness to full paralysis that makes breathing difficult. Thankfully, even severe GBS patients recover with time. Some people will remain feeble after recovering.

GBS may incapacitate a person for days or weeks. The illness might kill by affecting breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate.

Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) Symptoms

Guillain-Barré Syndrome attacks the PNS. The PNS sends brain signals to muscles. Nerve damage prevents brain orders from reaching muscles.

Guillain-Barré syndrome causes toe, foot, and leg tingling. Your fingertips feel it first, then your arms.

Symptoms might intensify quickly. Some patients deteriorate within hours.

Treatments for Guillain-Barré Syndrome

Guillain-Barré syndrome medication reduces symptoms and speeds healing.

Most patients spend days or months in a hospital.

Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG)  The immune systems of people with Guillain-Barré syndrome create toxic antibodies that damage nerves.

Plasma exchange (plasmapheresis)  Plasmapheresis may replace IVIG. This involves connecting you to a machine that collects blood from a vein, filters it to remove nerve-damaging antibodies, and then pumps it back into your body. Treatment typically takes five days.

There are some other treatments available also to recover the secondary symptoms.

Updated on: 28-Apr-2023


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