Finding Providers

We found 2 providers with an interest in autoimmune disorders and who accept Health Net near Los Alamitos, CA.

Dr. Nirav S Patel, MD
Specializes in Neurology
3791 Katella Avenue; Suite 106
Los Alamitos, CA

Dr. Nirav Patel works as a neurologist. Dr. Patel (or staff) speaks the following foreign languages: Spanish, Gujarati, and Persian. These areas are among his clinical interests: multiple sclerosis (MS) and stroke. Dr. Patel's hospital/clinic affiliations include Los Alamitos Medical Center, Greater Newport Physicians (GNP), and Long Beach Memorial Medical Center. Before performing his residency at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Dr. Patel attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), David Geffen School of Medicine. Patients gave Dr. Patel an average rating of 5.0 stars out of 5. Anthem, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and HealthSmart are among the insurance carriers that Dr. Patel honors. Dr. Patel has an open panel.

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Relevant Interests: , multiple sclerosis (MS)

All Interests: Multiple Sclerosis, Stroke

Dr. Francis Joseph Dann, MD
Specializes in Dermatology
5901 E. 7th Street; Va Medical Center Long Beach, Department of Dermatology
Long Beach, CA

Dr. Francis Dann is a medical specialist in dermatology (skin disorders). Dr. Dann accepts Blue Shield, Health Net, and Blue Cross/Blue Shield, as well as other insurance carriers. Before completing his residency at a hospital affiliated with the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), Dr. Dann attended medical school at Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons. He has received professional recognition including the following: Southern California Super Doctors. He speaks French. Dr. Dann is professionally affiliated with UC Irvine Health.

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Relevant Interests: , psoriasis

All Interests: Psoriasis

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What is an Autoimmune Disorder?

An autoimmune disorder happens when the immune system mistakenly attacks the tissues of its own body, causing symptoms of illness. There are more than 80 different types of autoimmune disorders. While some are very rare, others are fairly common. Combined, autoimmune disorders are one of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States, affecting approximately 24 million people.

A properly working immune system identifies foreign substances in the body that might cause illness, such as bacteria and viruses. The immune system then creates antibodies which attack the foreign substances, neutralizing them and keeping the body safe. In people with autoimmune disorders, something goes wrong with this process. For reasons we don’t understand very well, the immune system creates antibodies to attack the patient’s own tissues.

Symptoms of an autoimmune disorder depend on which tissue is being attacked by the immune system, but common symptoms of autoimmune disease include fever, fatigue, and a general feeling of just not being well. Autoimmune disorders are more common in women than in men, and they may run in families. Autoimmune disorders can affect various parts of the body such as blood vessels, connective tissue, endocrine glands, joints, muscles, red blood cells, skin, and many others.

It is common to have more than one autoimmune disorder at a time. Most are chronic, or life-long illnesses, although they may come and go in flares. Treatment for autoimmune disorders depends on which part of the body is being attacked. For example:
  • A type 1 diabetic whose pancreas has been damaged will need insulin.
  • A person with Hashimoto’s whose thyroid has been damaged will need replacement thyroid hormones.
  • Someone with Sjogren’s syndrome will need eye drops and mouth rinses to replace tears and saliva.
Many autoimmune disorders of all kinds are treated with immune-suppressing medications, such as corticosteroids (e.g. prednisone) to reduce the effect of the immune system.