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

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

Dr. Prabha Ranganathan's specialty is adult rheumatology. She attended Kilpauk Medical College and the University of Madras for medical school and subsequently trained at Government General Hospital and Barnes-Jewish Hospital for residency. Areas of particular interest for Dr. Ranganathan include arthritis. She accepts several insurance carriers, including Anthem, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and Coventry. Dr. Ranganathan's hospital/clinic affiliations include Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital, Washington University Physicians, and Center for Advanced Medicine.

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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 practices adult gastroenterology in Saint Louis, MO. Dr. Stenson is especially interested in crohn's disease, celiac disease, and ulcerative colitis. He takes Anthem, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and Coventry, in addition to other insurance carriers. He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine. His training includes a residency program at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. In addition to English, he speaks Bosnian. Dr. Stenson is affiliated with Washington University Physicians, Center for Advanced Medicine, and Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

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Relevant Interests: , celiac disease

All Interests: Gastrointestinal Problems, Crohn's Disease, Gastrointestinal Cancer, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, ... (Read more)

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

Dr. Alan Pestronk is a pediatric neurology and neuromuscular medicine specialist in Saint Louis, MO. He is especially interested in myasthenia gravis, nerve disorders, and muscular dystrophy. He is professionally affiliated with Washington University Physicians, St. Louis Children's Hospital, and Center for Advanced Medicine. After attending Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Dr. Pestronk completed his residency training at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. Dr. Pestronk is an in-network provider for several insurance carriers, including Anthem, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and Coventry.

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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.
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