While the most recent statistics tell us that autoimmune disease affects at least 14.7 to 23.5 million Americans, research indicates that the numbers have been growing steadily for years. The unifying link between these 80-100 diseases and counting, is the immune system’s inability to differentiate between self and non-self, resulting in systemic or organ-specific attack.
No one case of autoimmunity is alike, as symptoms overlap and vary widely even within a particular disease, such as celiac, lupus, or ulcerative colitis. On top of this, there are many individuals with autoimmune-like symptoms who are unable to secure a diagnosis.
Each story serves as a window into the complexities of living with chronic illness
People may feel unseen and unheard both in their social lives and in the medical world. It is our hope for these stories to cushion the loneliness often felt by people with autoimmune disease, and to give caregivers and loved ones valuable insight into what they may be going through.
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