Published on : Mar 29, 2016
As stead by the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA), autoimmune diseases affect almost 50 million Americans. In the instance of autoimmune diseases, the body’s immune system targets and destroys healthy tissues in the body rather than targeting foreign bodies. Contrarily, if the body functions normal the immune system protects the body against diseases. Autoimmune disorders cause significant pain, inflammation, and sometimes can even lead to organ damage. These conditions affect nervous system, cardiovascular system, and musculoskeletal system or even individual organs such as kidneys, glands, skin, lungs, and joints.
The number of autoimmune diseases are as much as 80. Many of these have similar symptoms, thus makes it difficult to diagnose. Autoimmune diseases may be present in more than one in number. These diseases usually fluctuate between periods of little or no symptoms to worsening symptoms. Currently, there is no curative therapy for autoimmune diseases, thus clinical research is focused on relieving symptoms for these conditions.
Predominantly, autoimmune diseases run in families, and as per AARDA 75% of individuals affected with the condition are women. In particular, in North America, Hispanics, African Americans, and Native Americans have an increased risk of developing autoimmune diseases.
Some common autoimmune diseases are Addison’s disease, psoriasis, Sjögren’s syndrome, reactive arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac sprue disease, pernicious anemia, inflammatory bowel diseases, Grave’s disease, scleroderma, vitiligo, and type 1 diabetes. The causes for autoimmune diseases are unknown, however, theories that are related to trigger these conditions include bacterial or viral infections, chemical irritants, drugs, and environmental irritants. Individuals that have a family member with autoimmune disorders are more susceptible to developing the condition.
Because autoimmune diseases are of different types, the symptoms vary from each other. However some common symptoms include fever, fatigue, and general malaise. In the event of autoimmune disorders, symptoms worsen at the time of flare-up and reduce during remission.