Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Signs that a Child May Have an Autoimmune Disorder

Pediatric surgeon Mark Holterman, MD, teaches medical students and residents as a professor at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. In addition to this, he researches a wide range of topics relating to pediatric surgery. Over the years, Dr. Mark Holterman has published dozens of papers and maintained a clinical interest in such topics as autoimmune diseases.

Although autoimmune disorders, such as Addison’s disease, type 1 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis, are rare among children, they can still occur. These conditions may appear either on their own or with another autoimmune disorder when present in children and may be caused by environmental factors, heredity, or hormonal factors. 

In most cases, children with autoimmune disease experience varying symptoms depending on the specific condition they have. However, parents can be on the lookout for signs that a child’s immune system is having problems. These signs include weight loss, low-grade fever, and fatigue. Children with an autoimmune disease may also develop rashes or skin lesions and their hair may become more brittle than usual.

Since many of these symptoms can be attributed to common illnesses, parents should make sure they know the cause behind their child’s illness. If no clear cause can be found, it’s a good idea to have a pediatrician check for illness. If they suspect that an autoimmune disease is to blame, they will refer the child to a specialist.

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