Autoimmune diseases are tricky and some of them can be really rare. In the case of rare autoimmune diseases, it can be difficult to get proper diagnosis and care and if some of these conditions go untreated for long enough, they can result in dire consequences.
This is something that happened to a friend of mine named Linda Witzal.
After being misdiagnosed by many physicians who did test after test and still could not determine what was wrong with her, Linda was hospitalized with a non-descript diagnosis. Finally, after days of testing in hospital, she was correctly diagnosed with Giant Cell Arteritis, a rare condition that usually only affects women in their 70’s.
As it turned out, part of the reason Linda was not properly diagnosed earlier was she did not have typical symptoms and one of her symptoms was night sweats, which was considered a menopausal symptom, despite the fact that it actually wasn’t.
Linda felt relieved but also scared. She had this rare auto-immune disease but no idea what it was or what it could do to her.
And as somebody who had worked as a health care professional most of her life, she wondered if she was this scared and confused, what must it be like for somebody with zero health care background?
So, Linda decided to start a website — autoimmunitycommunity.com — dedicated to helping others through the challenges of dealing with a chronic illnesses.
She sees the website as her vehicle for educating and assisting other healthcare professionals recognize and treat their patients quickly, so that fewer patients have to go through the scary nightmare that she had to go through.
There are over 200 autoimmune diseases and Linda is aiming to create a conversation that will get people to think about factors that act as triggers such as pollutants in the environment and chemicals in our foods.
She hopes maybe that through education, maybe somebody can be prevented from encountering one of these triggers that can set a potentially dangerous autoimmune disease in motion in that person’s system.
I really love what Linda is doing and am proud to call her a friend. I believe her website can make a difference and I hope you will spread the word about it to as many of your friends and loved ones as possible. You never know when one of these diseases could strike you or somebody you love and I am truly glad that Linda’s website are there to provide anybody who finds themselves in that situation with information and comfort.