Despite the varying types of autoimmune disease, many of them share similar symptoms. Common symptoms of autoimmune disease include:
• Joint pain and swelling
• Skin problems
• Abdominal pain or digestive issues
• Recurring fever
• Swollen glands
Many women say it’s hard to get diagnosed, something that Orbai agrees with. “It’s not black or white,” she says. “There’s usually no single test to diagnose autoimmune disease. You have to have certain symptoms combined with specific blood markers and in some cases, even a tissue biopsy. It’s not just one factor.” Diagnosis can also be difficult because these symptoms can come from other common conditions. Orbai says women should seek treatment when they notice new symptoms.