People with autoimmune disease are no strangers to living a life full of uncertainty. With symptoms that seemingly have a mind of their own, one never quite knows when or how severely they will flare. Understandably, during the Coronavirus pandemic, these concerns and fears are even more heightened.
Those of us with autoimmune conditions are especially vunerable during the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus causes mild, cold-like symptoms for most, but serious complications can occur for those with weakened immune systems or who are immunocompromised.
Autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, hashimoto's and crohn's disease (and over 150 other diseases) happen when the body attacks itself. Essentially, the immune system is overactive, combating healthy cells. The top 81 autoimmune diseases add up to a total prevalence of 4925/100,000, more than 15 million Americans (1), nearly twice the 8.8 million people living with cancer.
By now, we all know the basics of how to protect ourselves during this pandemic. Good hand washing, keeping your hands away from your face, sanitizing work surfaces and most importantly practicing social distancing. However, if you have an autoimmune disorder, you may feel like this isn't enough. You are at greater risk, and naturally may be wondering how best to protect yourself. As a high-risk individual, it is easy to feel out of control and fearful right now. But there are many things we can do, that are in our control, that can help to boost our immune system and improve overall well being. That is why to help you survive and thrive during these uncertain times, we have created a 5 part blog series focused on your most asked questions and actionable things you can be doing right now to boost your immune system and lower your risk of contracting COVID-19.