What Are Autoimmune Disorders?
Immune system disorders cause abnormally low activity or over activity of the immune system. In cases of immune system overactivity, the body attacks and damages its own tissues (autoimmune diseases). Immune deficiency diseases decrease the body’s ability to fight invaders, causing vulnerability to infections.
According to the National Institutes of Health, up to 23.5 million Americans (more than seven percent of the population) suffer from an autoimmune disease—and the prevalence is rising. (1) Suffering from an autoimmune disease is Read More
Autoimmune Diseases are chronic health conditions in which the body’s own defenses (immunity) mistakenly attack various bodily organs and systems. It’s unfortunate, however, autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, thyroid disease, and celiac disease are plaguing Read More
It was over ten years ago when I was finally diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. Of course, the whispers had been there for a decade or more: back pain, a stiff and inflamed wrist, digestive problems, Read More
When it comes to coping with an autoimmune disease, looking after your body and keeping your body strong is essential. An anti-inflammatory diet and regular exercise have been proven to help tame symptoms of an Read More
Defects in the body’s regulatory T cells (T reg cells) cause inflammation and autoimmune disease by altering the type of bacteria living in the gut, researchers from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Read More
There’s no definitive answer as to what causes autoimmune disease. But many scientists suspect the following three things play a role: Genetics Infections Environmental factors In recent history, Westernized countries have seen significantly higher rates Read More
When you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system misidentifies healthy tissues and organs as being foreign. This causes the body to produce antibodies that attack your body’s own tissues. Your symptoms might come on Read More
A healthy immune system defends the body against disease and infection. But if the immune system malfunctions, it mistakenly attacks healthy cells, tissues, and organs. Called autoimmune disease, these attacks can affect any part of the body, weakening bodily function and even turning life-threatening.
Some are well known, such as type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis, while others are rare and difficult to diagnose. With unusual autoimmune diseases, patients may suffer years before getting a proper diagnosis. Most of these diseases have no cure. Some require lifelong treatment to ease symptoms.
These diseases can affect anyone. Yet certain people are at greater risk, including:
- Women of childbearing age — More women than men have autoimmune diseases, which often start during their childbearing years.
- People with a family history — Some of these diseases run in families, such as lupus and multiple sclerosis. It is also common for different types of autoimmune diseases to affect different members of a single family. Inheriting certain genes can make it more likely to get one of these diseases. But a combination of genes and other factors may trigger the disease to start.
- People who are around certain things in the environment — Certain events or environmental exposures may cause some autoimmune diseases, or make them worse. Sunlight, chemicals called solvents, and viral and bacterial infections are linked to many autoimmune diseases.
- People of certain races or ethnic backgrounds — Some autoimmune diseases are more common or affect certain groups of people more severely. For instance, type 1 diabetes is more common in white people. Lupus is most severe for African-American and Hispanic people.
If you are living with an autoimmune disease, there are things you can do each day to feel better, hopefully this section can provide some solutions.