When the body's immune system is altered, for unknown reasons, and begins harming the body, it is called an autoimmune disease or disorder. There is no cure, and autoimmune disorders can be very difficult to diagnose. That is because so many of the most common autoimmune disease symptoms could be caused by any number of common illnesses and disorders.
One of the most common autoimmune disease symptoms is fatigue. The body is wearing itself out fighting against itself. The inflammation caused by these diseases can also cause fatigue. The pain common to most autoimmune disorders, as well as the overall stress to the body, can also lead to a person feeling tired almost all of the time.
Another of the most common autoimmune disease symptoms is a change in weight unrelated to dietary intake or the amount of exercise a person gets. Many types of autoimmune disorders, such as Addison's disease, Grave's disease (hyperthyroidism), lupus and irritable bowel syndrome can lead to weight loss. These same conditions, in some people, can also lead to weight gain. Weight gain centralized to the torso, arms and neck may be a symptom of Cushing's disease.
Fever is another of the most common autoimmune disease symptoms. An autoimmune disorder is caused by an over-reactive immune system, which has started to detect parts of the body as a threat. The immune system reacts to this threat the same way it would react to any other harmful intrusion, such as a virus, bacteria or parasite. Fevers are a body's natural way to fight infection. When the body is constantly fighting a perceived infection, a fever becomes very common.
People experiencing an autoimmune disorder often are in a lot of pain. Joint pain, muscle pain, tender points or all-over pain are all common autoimmune disease symptoms. The pain comes from the body attacking itself, which can cause a lot of discomfort. Rheumatoid arthritis, for example, is characterized by a severe amount of pain in the joints. The fever caused by some autoimmune infections also can cause pain and unusually high levels of tenderness and sensitivity.
Other common autoimmune disease symptoms include high blood pressure, dizziness, numbness and cloudy thinking, also known as brain fog. There may also be changes in mood, sexual desire and gastrointestinal disorders such as constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating or nausea. Anyone with recurrent unexplained symptoms, such as those common to autoimmune disorders, should contact a physician for diagnosis and treatment.