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You can save lives. Learn more about EEW's advocacy and efforts to bring awareness to the epidemic of Autoimmune diseases that affect 50 million people, mostly women, in the U.S. Learn more here.

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Tuesday
Mar142017

5 facts you should know about Autoimmune diseases

Credit: Getty/TommLArticle By Ella Boyden // EEW Magazine Health

Share Dianna Hobbs, Founder of Empowering Everyday Women Ministries, Inc. was diagnosed with two autoimmune diseases in 2017: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia.

It took months for doctors to learn what was causing chronic joint and nerve pain, bruising, inability to walk and eat, migraine headaches, swollen lymph nodes, bowel issues, heart and breathing trouble, and dangerously high blood pressure spikes.

But after multiple trips to the Emergency Room, hospitalizations, lots of prayer and tears, by the grace of God, Dianna received a diagnosis within four months and was able to begin getting treatment from top specialists in her region.

But her story is not everyone else’s.

For most people, the wait for diagnosis and treatment is much longer. It takes, on average, 5-10 years for an autoimmune disease to be discovered. Some die without ever knowing what is wrong. Many don’t have what it takes to pursue aggressive and extensive testing over a long period, which can cost major dollars and lead to dead ends if medical professionals are not persistent.

Here are 5 facts about Autoimmune diseases you likely didn't know, but should.

Fact #1 Autoimmune disease is a major health crisis. A staggering 50 million people in the US suffer from an Autoimmune disease, which is just as deadly as cancer and heart disease. Read our Founder's story here.

Fact #2 Women are at greater risk for autoimmunity than men. Autoimmune diseases impact 75 percent of women and are among the Top Ten killers of women under age 64.

#3 There are over 100 autoimmune diseases. A few well-known diseases that fall under the umbrella of autoimmunity are Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Type 1 Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis and Vitiligo.

Fact #4 Autoimmune diseases tend to run in families. If someone in your family, such as your grandmother, had Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) or Lupus, you could be at greater risk for developing an Autoimmune disease. So know your family history.

Fact #5 Government funding for research of autoimmunity is below 3 percent.  Although autoimmunity is the #2 cause of chronic pain, not much of the National Institute of Health’s budget goes toward researching the disease.

How can we fight this national health crisis? How can you and I cause change to happen? Click here to find out more.

RELATED: Global intercessors rally to pray for Dianna Hobbs

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