What Are the Autoimmune Diseases?


Your immune system, having “failed”, begins to fight with your body, gradually weakening it. There are many diseases that are the result of a violation of the immune system, called autoimmune diseases.

Immune system disorders cause abnormally low activity or over activity of the immune system. In cases of immune system overactivity, the body attacks and harms its own tissues (autoimmune diseases). Immune shortage diseases decrease the body’s ability to fight invaders, triggering vulnerability to infections.

In action to an unknown trigger, the immune system may begin producing antibodies that rather of fighting infections, attack the body’s own tissues. Treatment for autoimmune diseases generally concentrates on reducing immune system activity.

Most Common Autoimmune Diseases in Humans

Examples of autoimmune diseases consist of:

Rheumatoid arthritis

The immune system produces antibodies that connect to the linings of joints. Immune system cells then attack the joints, triggering inflammation, swelling, and pain. If untreated, rheumatoid arthritis causes slowly triggers long-term joint damage. Treatments for rheumatoid arthritis can include different oral or injectable medications that decrease immune system overactivity. See charts that list rheumatoid arthritis drugs and their negative effects.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus)

People with lupus establish autoimmune antibodies that can connect to tissues throughout the body. The joints, lungs, blood cells, nerves, and kidneys are commonly affected in lupus. Treatment typically needs day-to-day oral prednisone, a steroid that lowers immune system function. Check out an introduction on lupus symptoms and treatments.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

The immune system assaults the lining of the intestinal tracts, causing episodes of diarrhea, rectal bleeding, immediate defecation, stomach pain, fever, and weight-loss. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are the two major kinds of IBD. Oral and injected immune-suppressing medications can treat IBD. Discover the differences between ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

Multiple sclerosis (MS)

The immune system attacks nerve cells, triggering symptoms that can include pain, blindness, weakness, bad coordination, and muscle spasms. Different medications that reduce the immune system can be utilized to treat multiple sclerosis. Check out more on multiple sclerosis drugs and their negative effects.

Type 1 diabetes mellitus

Immune system antibodies attack and damage insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. By young adulthood, individuals with type 1 diabetes need insulin injections to endure. Find out about the symptoms to search for in type 1 diabetes.

Guillain-Barre syndrome

The immune system assaults the nerves managing muscles in the legs and sometimes the arms and upper body. Weak point results, which can in some cases be serious. Filtering the blood with a treatment called plasmapheresis is the main treatment for Guillain-Barre syndrome.

Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy

Similar to Guillian-Barre, the immune system also attacks the nerves in CIDP, but symptoms last a lot longer. About 30% of patients can become restricted to a wheelchair if not diagnosed and dealt with early. Treatment for CIDP and GBS are basically the same. Discover what the treatment alternatives are for CIDP.


In psoriasis, immune system blood cells called T-cells gather in the skin. The immune system activity stimulates skin cells to replicate quickly, producing silvery, scaly plaques on the skin. See an image of what psoriasis appears like.
Tomb’ disease. The immune system produces antibodies that promote the thyroid gland to launch excess amounts of thyroid hormone into the blood (hyperthyroidism). Symptoms of Graves’ disease can include bulging eyes in addition to weight loss, anxiety, irritability, rapid heart rate, weak point, and fragile hair. Destruction or removal of the thyroid gland, utilizing medicines or surgery, is generally required to treat Graves’ disease. Discover more about treatments for Graves’ disease.

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis

Antibodies produced by the immune system attack the thyroid gland, slowly damaging the cells that produce thyroid hormone. Low levels of thyroid hormone develop (hypothyroidism), generally over months to years. Symptoms consist of tiredness, constipation, weight gain, anxiety, dry skin, and sensitivity to cold. Taking an everyday oral synthetic thyroid hormone tablet brings back normal body functions. Discover more on treatments for an underactive thyroid.

Myasthenia gravis

Antibodies bind to nerves and make them unable to stimulate muscles appropriately. Weakness that gets worse with activity is the primary symptom of myasthenia gravis. Mestinon (pyridostigmine) is the primary medicine utilized to treat myasthenia gravis. Check out a summary on the symptoms of myasthenia gravis.


The immune system attacks and damages blood vessels in this group of autoimmune diseases. Vasculitis can affect any organ, so symptoms vary extensively and can occur practically anywhere in the body. Treatment consists of decreasing immune system activity, normally with prednisone or another corticosteroid. Find out more about vasculitis symptoms and treatments.

Causes of Autoimmune Diseases

The blood cells in the body’s immune system assistance protect against hazardous compounds. Examples consist of bacteria, viruses, toxic substances, cancer cells, and blood and tissue from outside the body. These compounds consist of antigens. The immune system produces antibodies against these antigens that enable it to ruin these harmful compounds.

When you have an autoimmune condition, your immune system does not differentiate in between healthy tissue and possibly hazardous antigens. As a result, the body sets off a response that damages normal tissues.

The precise cause of autoimmune conditions is unidentified. One theory is that some bacteria (such as bacteria or viruses) or drugs may trigger changes that puzzle the immune system. This might take place more often in people who have genes that make them more vulnerable to autoimmune disorders.

An autoimmune condition might result in:

  • The damage of body tissue
  • Unusual growth of an organ
  • Changes in organ function

An autoimmune disorder may impact one or more organ or tissue types. Areas frequently impacted by autoimmune disorders include:

  • Capillary
  • Connective tissues
  • Endocrine glands such as the thyroid or pancreas
  • Joints
  • Muscles
  • Red cell
  • Skin.

Can Autoimmune Disease Go Away?

Treatment depends upon the condition but most autoimmune conditions are treated with medications that reduce or otherwise modify the immune system intending to dampen it down enough to quiet the disease however not so much that side results (including infections) develop.

In some cases, efficient treatments are discovered by happenstance; for instance, in the 1920s, gold salt injections were first used to treat rheumatoid arthritis due to the fact that gold had actually been utilized as an antibiotic to treat tuberculosis and rheumatoid arthritis was believed to be triggered by an infection. In more recent years, the identification of immune cells (such as B-cells that make antibodies) or chemical messages (also called cytokines, such as growth necrosis aspect, or TNF) included in autoimmune disease have actually led to therapies targeting these parts of the immune system (such as rituximab, an anti-B-cell treatment or infliximab, an anti-TNF drug).

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