People diagnosed with autoimmune disease's increasing and health experts want more discussion

When Talia Mariani started to lose hair and gain weight her get up and go-- got up and went. The busy personal trainer suspected something was wrong.

"My metabolism had already crashed at that point."

Mariani said medical tests revealed she suffered from "Hashimoto's", an autoimmune disease that attacks her thyroid.

"It's challenging, it's hard."

Hashimoto's is just one of more than 80 different kinds of autoimmune disorders. Like Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, M.S., and Celiac Disease. All are more common in women.

Statistics show not only are the diseases frequent in our society they are increasing.

"They're increasing and that's the part that's very concerning. We don't know exactly why that's occurring," said Dr. Noel Rose, autoimmune disease expert.

Dr. Rose is a leading autoimmune disease expert. He said that more needs to be done to raise awareness and funds for research.

"At this point in time, we still don't have a definitive cure for any autoimmune disease."

They are called autoimmune diseases because patient's immune systems mistakenly attack parts of their body.

Experts said genetics could be a cause, but so may infections, stress, medications, and even what you eat.

"There are some excellent examples where, where substances in the food are the trigger, as we call it, for autoimmune disease," said Dr. Rose.

But, Dr. Rose cautions there's no "one size fits all" autoimmune diet.

Mariani worked with experts and figured out eliminating gluten and dairy helped her feel better.

And it's not always food. For others, it's rest or medication that do the trick.

Mariani just hopes her story will help others.

"I think the more that we talk about, the more that conversations are available, the more people might start to recognize it in themselves."

Health experts said warning signs of auto-immune disorders include fatigue, hair loss, changes in skin, rashes, and joint pain.

But symptoms vary from condition-to-condition and sometimes from person-to-person. They also often mimic other conditions.

Bottom line-- if you have any symptoms, talk to your doctor.
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