Tazreena Rahman Fareeba:-Our immune system is our guardian soldiers. They are mighty little fighters saving us from hundreds and thousands of viruses and bacteria. The immune system consists of antibodies, white blood cells, and other chemicals and proteins. All these components together work to protect us from diseases. But sometimes these tiny friends the attack healthy cells of our body and causes various types of diseases. This condition is known as an autoimmune disease. It is a condition when the immune system of the body attacks healthy cells by mistake causing various health problems. The antibodies instead of fighting infections attack the body’s own tissue.
Autoimmune disease in children is not that common. Its very rare and doctors are still conducting research in this field. But still it is necessary to raise awareness about it.
The most common autoimmune disease in children is celiac disease. It’s a disease where gluten is not absorbed in the body due to the fact that the immune system attacks the walls of the small intestine which is responsible for digestion. Some other auto immune diseases occurring in children are juvenile arthritis, type-1 (juvenile) diabetics, thrombocytopenia etc.
The cause of autoimmune disease is still unknown. It is a mystery in the medical world. But some of the diseases are genetical and some are triggered by infections or environmental factors.
Common symptoms children with autoimmune disorder can experience are: fatigue, rashes, weight loss, digestive issues, fever, joint pain or swelling etc. Sometimes it can be very difficult to diagnose autoimmune disease in children as the symptoms can come from other common conditions but once confirmed its necessary to start treatment immediately.
The treatment of the autoimmune disease depends on the type of condition of the children, but in most cases, one common goal is to reduce inflammation. Sometimes doctors use corticosteroids to reduce immune response. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are also used to treat the condition.
The world of autoimmune disease is very complex. There is a lot to uncover in this field of health of science. Though autoimmune disorders are very rare in children, awareness needs to be raised in this field. Parents should not ignore any probable symptoms. If diagnosed, treatment should be started immediately. Again, various organizations and hospitals are also creating awareness about this condition. If awareness is created it is possible to diagnose and start treatment early which can save the lives of many children.