Ladies, listen to your body for warning signs of auto-immune diseases

Every Wednesday when nationally recognized menopause specialist Dr. Diana Bitner with Spectrum Health stops by, we always urge ladies to listen to their bodies. This is especially important when it comes to signs and symptoms of auto-immune diseases. Dr. Bitner pointed out that women are affected more than men and early treatment can make a difference. Some examples of auto-immune diseases include Rheumatoid Arthritis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Diabetes Type 1, Sjogrens, Scleroderma, Graves Disease, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and Myasthenia Gravis.

Sure, everyone can have aches and pains but symptoms of an auto-immune disease can change day by day and week to week. Diagnoses of some conditions can be complicated and can take time depending on how symptoms develop and blood test results, Dr. Bitner noted.

A good rule to follow is "if the symptoms persist more than 6 weeks and are in patterns, especially if together with fatigue and fever, it is time to talk to your health care provider for information and tests. Women are more likely to have these conditions than men, and should not suffer in silence but instead get information and help as needed." Bitner explains.

To make an appointment to see Dr. Bitner or others in her office that specialize in midlife and menopause, call 616.267.8250. Their office is located at 3800 Lake Michigan Dr. NW Suite A, Walker, MI. Also, we encourage you to check out Dr. Bitner's blog found at

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