Know your 'AQ' in 8 easy steps

In the United States, March is autoimmune disease awareness month and the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) is promoting family health and autoimmune awareness with AQ (Autoimmune Quotient).

Your AQ is essentially about gathering family health history and current symptoms to analyze the likeliness of developing an autoimmune disease. Virginia T. Ladd, the president and executive director of AARDA, explained "before an autoimmune disease patient receives a proper diagnosis, someone has to think of it first. While this may seem an elementary concept, it may be one of our most challenging obstacles as most physician patient history forms do not ask whether the patient's family has a history of autoimmune disease, even though we know that autoimmune diseases tend to cluster in families. Often this leads to years of misdiagnosis or no diagnosis at all."

One in five Americans, mainly women, suffer from autoimmune diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines autoimmune diseases as "any disorder in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the cells, tissues, and organs of a person's own body. There are many different autoimmune diseases, and they can each affect the body in different ways. For example, the autoimmune reaction is directed against the brain in multiple sclerosis and the gut in Crohn's disease."

Ladd continued, "This campaign empowers patients to take matters into their own hands and ensures that they receive proper care by learning the facts about their family history and filling in the gaps for physicians, whether they ask for them or not."

Here are eight steps to know your family's AQ:

Step 1 - Understand that autoimmune diseases is a major health crisis

Step 2 - Get educated

Step 3 - Be aware that autoimmune diseases target women

Step 4 - Know that autoimmune diseases run in families

Step 5- Do your own family medical history

Step 6 - Keep a ‘symptoms' list

Step 7 - Realize that getting an autoimmune disease diagnosis is often challenging

Step 8 - Hold the power to protect your family's future health and wellbeing in your hands

For more information, visit: http://www.aarda.org/videos.php

 

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Developer

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you familiar with the sayin...

    Recruitment Genius: Hospitality Assistant

    £6 - £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care organisation take pride in del...

    Recruitment Genius: Care Worker

    £6 - £7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care organisation take pride in del...

    Recruitment Genius: Marketing Assistant

    £18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

    Day In a Page

    John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

    Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

    'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
    Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

    Forget little green men

    Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
    Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

    Dying dream of Doctor Death

    Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
    UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

    39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

    There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
    Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

    Computerised cooking is coming

    From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
    Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

    Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

    The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
    Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

    Education: Football Beyond Borders

    Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
    10 best barbecue books

    Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

    We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
    Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

    ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

    Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
    Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

    Making of a killer

    What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
    UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

    Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

    Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
    Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most