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What is Palliative and End-of-Life Care

Autoimmune Disease

Who is it for?

An autoimmune disease is a type of chronic disease where the body attacks its own healthy cells. There are many types of autoimmune diseases and some common ones are:

  • lupus
  • scleroderma
  • diabetes

What are some symptoms of these autoimmune diseases?

Common symptoms with lupus or scleroderma include:

  • digestion problems
  • feeling tired and having trouble sleeping
  • lung and breathing problems
  • nausea
  • pain
  • skin problems
  • kidney problems

People can often manage diabetes with help from a health care team. But some people have serious health problems because of diabetes. These include:

  • heart problems
  • infections
  • amputations (e.g., losing a foot)
  • kidney problems
  • nerve problems that cause pain and problems moving

How can palliative and end-of-life care help people with autoimmune disease?

Not all autoimmune diseases cause chronic health problems. But many do, and people can live a long time with an autoimmune disease. When a person has chronic symptoms, palliative care can give extra support. Palliative and end-of-life care can help to:

  • answer questions
  • manage symptoms
  • give emotional support
  • find other supports if people need to transition (e.g., go from home to hospital) for care​​​​