Why are autoimmune diseases generally incurable?
1. Is an autoimmune disease finally curable or can it only be suppressed with medication?
Most autoimmune diseases can only be suppressed, but after years they can "burn out", i.e. the disease activity disappears and there are no more relapses.
2. What will happen to me in the next few years; what is my prognosis?
In most cases, the course of autoimmune diseases is unpredictable, which is why a prognosis is unfortunately impossible or only possible to a limited extent. Some autoimmune diseases heal spontaneously, while others are fatal without treatment. The consequences of the disease in specialist books or specialist information are to be understood statistically. This means that it is possible to say what percentage of the sick will have a particular complication or course. However, it is impossible to use this information to infer the individual course of the disease, healing or complications. However, it is usually possible to prevent complications (e.g. through light protection for lupus and pemphigus patients or protection against the cold and physiotherapy for scleroderma patients); you will receive instructions from your doctor; further information can be found under patient information.
3. I've never had anything like this before, why is it just starting?
The beginning of an autoimmune disease is just as unpredictable as its course. Most diseases are not congenital, but rather manifest themselves fatefully at some point in life. Unfortunately, we can almost never give you an explanation for the starting point, as the exact cause and the pathomechanism of the autoimmune diseases is currently not fully understood.
4. Why have the doctors not been able to make a reliable diagnosis for me for months / years?
Autoimmune diseases usually take an individual course that is unpredictable. It is typical that the disease process is very slow and that you do not initially develop all of the classic symptoms that belong to the diagnostic criteria. In other cases, unspecific symptoms or other accompanying diseases can make the diagnosis more difficult. In some cases, your symptoms even mimic the symptoms of another disease or suggest a mix of different autoimmune diseases. We ask for your patience, as the reason for the delay does not lie with us or with you, but with the nature of your illness.
5. Are the side effects of the treatment worse than the disease itself?
You will always receive individually tailored therapy, the side effects of which are unlikely to be worse than the disease itself. However, if you still find the side effects unbearable, please talk to us about it.
6. I have positive ANA (antinuclear antibody) results, but no doctor can tell me what disease I have. Why?
ANA positivity can also be found in healthy people. Although these antibodies are an indication of a possible autoimmune disease, the presence or imminent occurrence of an autoimmune disease cannot be predicted from this positive finding alone. The rule of thumb is that the doctor should never treat laboratory results, but rather the symptoms. B. light protection, are recommended.
7. Can I strengthen my weak immune system with vitamins or other measures?
The main problem with autoimmune diseases is an overly reactive immune system, which one even tries to weaken with medication. Strengthening the immune system is therefore undesirable, please do not take any preparations that strengthen the immune system. A healthy diet without an extreme diet should be completely sufficient. If you still plan to take vitamin supplements or a special diet, please ask your doctor or nutritionist beforehand.
8. I have an acute skin problem, the next appointment in the special consultation is a while, what can I do?
In the event of an acute problem, you can either contact our general outpatient department (Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.) or the emergency room (every day from 8:15 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.). In the general outpatient department there will be adequate diagnostics and staff who are specialized for your illness will be available. In the emergency clinic, however, you will not necessarily be cared for by a specialist, and the diagnostic options of the emergency clinic are very limited, so that more complex care is impossible. Your regional emergency service is responsible for your very acute problem between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.
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