Finding Providers

We found 3 providers with an interest in autoimmune disorders and who accept CIGNA Plans near Saint Louis, MO.

Dr. Prabha Ranganathan, MD
Specializes in Adult Rheumatology
4921 Parkview Place; 5th Floor
Saint Louis, MO

Dr. Prabha Ranganathan practices adult rheumatology. After attending Kilpauk Medical College and the University of Madras for medical school, Dr. Ranganathan completed her residency training at Government General Hospital and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. In her practice, she is particularly interested in arthritis. She accepts Anthem, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and Coventry, as well as other insurance carriers. Dr. Ranganathan's professional affiliations include Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital, Washington University Physicians, and Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

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Relevant Interests: , lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma

All Interests: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Scleroderma, Joint Pain, Joint Aspiration, Gout, Arthritis, Lupus, ... (Read more)

Dr. William Frederick Stenson, MD
Specializes in Adult Gastroenterology
4921 Parkview Place; Suite 8c
Saint Louis, MO

Dr. William Stenson is a Saint Louis, MO physician who specializes in adult gastroenterology. Dr. Stenson's areas of expertise consist of crohn's disease, celiac disease, and ulcerative colitis. He is affiliated with Washington University Physicians and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. He accepts Anthem, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and Coventry, as well as other insurance carriers. Dr. Stenson is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine. He trained at Barnes-Jewish Hospital for his residency. He speaks Bosnian.

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Relevant Interests: , celiac disease

All Interests: Celiac Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Gastrointestinal Problems, Crohn's Disease, Gastrointestinal ... (Read more)

Dr. Alan Pestronk, MD
Specializes in Pediatric Neurology, Neuromuscular Medicine
1 Children's Place; Suite 2d
Saint Louis, MO

Dr. Alan Pestronk's specialties are pediatric neurology and neuromuscular medicine. Dr. Pestronk's areas of expertise consist of myasthenia gravis, nerve disorders, and muscular dystrophy. His hospital/clinic affiliations include Washington University Physicians, St. Louis Children's Hospital, and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. He accepts Anthem, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Coventry, and more. He attended medical school at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His medical residency was performed at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

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Relevant Interests: , myasthenia gravis

All Interests: Myasthenia Gravis, Neuropathy, Neuroimmunology, Fatigue, Muscular Dystrophy, Pain, Amyotrophic ... (Read more)

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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.