March is National Autoimmune Diseases Awareness Month, which provides a great opportunity to spread the word about autoimmune diseases.
Did you know that 100+ autoimmune diseases are currently identified. This list includes psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and celiac disease. Autoimmune diseases affect nearly 50 million Americans. Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis alone affect an estimated 7.5 million Americans (and this does not include parents, siblings, spouses and friends of sufferers who can be deeply affected by the disease as well). It is important to raise awareness about these devastating diseases that affect so many of us.
The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association provides some startling facts about autoimmune diseases:
- 50 million Americans have an autoimmune disease comprising a major U.S. health crisis.
- There are 100+ autoimmune diseases including, psoriasis, lupus, Crohn’s disease, celiac, Addison’s disease, vasculitis, vitiligo, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and ulcerative colitis.
- Autoimmune diseases tend to “cluster” in families, for example, if your grandmother had rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or lupus, you could be at greater risk for developing an autoimmune disease.
- Less than 13 percent of American’s can name an autoimmune disease and yet it ranks as deadly as Cancer and Heart Disease.
- Autoimmune diseases target women 75 percent more often than men and they are one of the top ten killers of women under the age of 64.
Autoimmune Awareness Month provides another great opportunity to raise awareness about the many autoimmune disorders that affect us and the people around us. As a psoriasis sufferer, I am passionate about the cause and the importance of spreading awareness about these often debilitating diseases.
How can you spread awareness?