What Are the Stages of CIDP?
Among autoimmune diseases, chronic immune demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) is an extremely rare neurological disorder that is difficult to diagnose. Although the cause of this condition is unknown, many patients have successfully recovered with proper medical treatment and care. The stages of CIDP are slow and progress over time.
Stages of CIDP
CIDP is a chronic condition with symptoms that develop over the course of 8 weeks or longer and last several months to several years.
This autoimmune disease attacks the myelin sheath (the fatty covering that protects nerve fibers), causing peripheral neuropathy over time.
CIDP prognosis can vary greatly depending on several factors:
- How soon treatment begins after the onset of the condition.
- How a patient reacts to the treatment.
Since CIDP symptoms progress slowly and the disease is difficult to diagnose, proper treatment and therapy may not be provided for several months or even years. If treatment is delayed, a patient’s response to therapy may not be as effective. They may have already developed irreversible nerve damage or permanent disability.
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Types of CIDP
Some CIDP cases can be progressive, meaning symptoms worsen over time.
Others are categorized as recurrent, where the disease appears in episodes that come and go.
CIDP can also be marked by a single incident that lasts for one to three years, then does not recur.
Can CIDP Be Cured?
Most patients who seek treatment early can recover. However, some may experience permanent numbness or weakness due to mild nerve damage.
Recommended Dietary Changes
To help prevent additional pain and discomfort, CIDP patients should avoid foods that cause inflammation.
Foods That May Cause Inflammation:
- Fatty foods
- Processed junk food
- Sugar and high-fructose corn syrup
- Artificial trans fats
- Vegetable and seed oils
- Refined carbohydrates
- Excessive alcohol
- Processed meat
- Plenty of fruits
- Vegetables that are high in antioxidants
- Foods rich in omega-3 like salmon or flaxseed
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Life for CIDP patients
Living with a rare autoimmune disease can create a lot of uncertainty. It is important to be open to help from medical professionals and other people in your life.
Start by being diligent with your treatment and communicate regularly with your doctor.
As you undergo treatment, you will be closely monitored to observe how your body reacts.
This may require:
- Frequent doctor visits
- Variety of prescribed medications
- Therapies including corticosteroids
- Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG)
- Plasma exchange
- Immunosuppressant drugs
In addition to medication, patients may need to incorporate physical therapy to rebuild motor functions or occupational therapy to learn new ways to accomplish daily tasks.
Many patients are also advised to join support groups if they are experiencing depression due to their physical limitations. You may need to rely on relatives, close friends, or even medical professionals to help with daily activities due to limited mobility.
If you or someone close to you has recently been diagnosed with CIDP, know that you are not alone and that treatment is available. Seek treatment immediately and look out for relapses to help minimize the impact of this disease.