Finding Providers

We found 1 provider with an interest in autoimmune disorders and who accepts Humana Platinum near Munster, IN.

Dr. James Anthony Sliwa, DO
Specializes in Physiatry
Munster, IN

Dr. James Sliwa practices physiatry (physical medicine & rehabilitation). His areas of expertise include back pain, post-polio syndrome (PPS), and multiple sclerosis (MS). Dr. Sliwa accepts several insurance carriers, including Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Aetna, and CIGNA HMO. Before completing his residency at Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and a hospital affiliated with Midwestern University, Dr. Sliwa attended medical school at Midwestern University, Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. Distinctions awarded to Dr. Sliwa include: Chicago Super Doctors; Top Doctor in Chicago; and Chicago Magazine, several times. He is professionally affiliated with Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and Franciscan Alliance. His practice is open to new patients.

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Relevant Interests: , multiple sclerosis (MS)

All Interests: Post-Polio Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer Rehabilitation, Musculoskeletal Problems, Cancer, ... (Read more)


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.