Auto Immune Diseases – What Are They About?

An autoimmune disease is a result of a breakdown or malfunction of the immune system. There are more than one hundred immune system disorders. Modern medicine is unable to explain or specifically identify the causes of autoimmune diseases. Despite the advancement of modern science and technology, frustration and disappointment are part of modern medicine in autoimmunity.
Autoimmune disorders are becoming more rampant. By and large, women are more vulnerable to them than men are. Men have a higher incidence of Mellitus diabetes and myocarditis than women; other than those; women are 3 to 6 times more prone to autoimmune diseases than men. Are you at risk?

autoimmune disease: Auto-immune diseases on rise among women of  reproductive age: Experts, Health News, ET HealthWorld

The types of autoimmune diseases represent one of the largest and most diverse “collections” of conditions under study by the medical and scientific communities today, adversely affecting all of the body’s systems. Millions of people suffer from various types of autoimmune diseases, which include Crohn’s Disease, Endometriosis, Graves Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Myositis, Lupus, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, Narcolepsy, Schizophrenia, Psoriasis, Scleroderma, Ulcerative Colitis, and Fibromyalgia…to name but a few of the conditions that fall into this category of diseases. Doctors will tell you that every patient is different, with their symptoms and health conditions. There is no single treatment for all the types of autoimmune diseases, or even for two patients suffering from the same disorder.

Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis are chronic, potentially life threatening diseases inflicting millions of Americans. They are just three of more than 80 types of disorders classified as autoimmune diseases. It is estimated that over 23 million Americans are suffering from some autoimmune disorder, with those numbers consistently rising. In total, several billion dollars in direct health care costs result annually from autoimmune diseases.

Autoimmune disorders fall under the umbrella of autoimmunity. Autoimmunity is a malfunction of the immune system. The immune system is a defense structure designed to protect against disease and infections. Autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells in the body. For instance, in type 1 diabetes, the body attacks the cells of the pancreas, causing a reduction in insulin. Other autoimmune disorders can affect multiple organs causing wide-spread, systemic disease activity.

Autoimmune Disease - Causes, Symptoms, Tests and Treatment


Of people suffering from autoimmunity, women are disproportionately affected more, with an estimated 75% diagnosis. While the exact cause of autoimmunity is not known, many theories exist as to why it occurs. Family history or a genetic predisposition can lead to a disorder. A majority of diseases occur in women during childbearing years. It has been shown that certain types of bacterial or viral infections can trigger the onset of an autoimmune disease. A common belief is that environmental exposures to various chemicals or toxins can lead to an autoimmune disease in someone with an inherited genetic risk. Other ideas surround stress, smoking, nutritional deficiencies, and even certain drugs leading to an autoimmunity diagnosis.

Because of the wide variety of autoimmune diseases, the symptom profiles can be vastly different. The Signs and symptoms will depend on what organ or system is targeted. With type 1 diabetes, patients have reduced production of insulin. Without treatment, symptoms can range from fatigue and weight loss to frequent urination and increased hunger. On the other hand, rheumatoid arthritis causes multiple joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. Autoimmunity that affects the skin can lead to rashes, blisters, itching, and pain. If a thyroid gland is targeted, fatigue, weight gain, and increased sensitivities can occur.

Treating autoimmune disorders begins with an accurate diagnosis. The goal is to identify the affected areas and base a treatment plan accordingly. A good treatment plan will allow for an opportunity to correct deficiencies and reduce or eliminate specific symptoms. A diabetes patient needs insulin replacement therapy. A rheumatoid arthritis patient may require a combination of analgesics, anti-inflammatory, and immunosuppressive treatments. Immunosuppressive treatment, reducing the immune system’s activity, is crucial for many autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Introducing healthy lifestyle changes can help with symptom control and quality of life as well. Lastly, many resources and organizations are available for patients to find information and support.

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