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What is Palliative & 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​​​