Natural Sciences

8 Examples of Autoimmune Diseases

There are all kinds of diseases that any human being is exposed to. Many are caused by external factors, such as poor diet or a virus, but others have their origin in the body itself, such is the case of autoimmune diseases.

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What are autoimmune diseases?

Generally, the immune system protects us from any foreign agent, but those who suffer from a pathology like that have a system that does not distinguish between what is self and what is external, therefore, it attacks the cells, tissues or organs of the body.

There is the specific and general autoimmune attack. The punctual attack is carried out only on the same type of cells, affecting an organ. While the general attack, generates several affections in various organs and cell types, as happens when suffering from lupus.

Diagnosis and treatment of an autoimmune disease

When there is a condition whose symptoms are constant and abnormal; when they go from moderate to aggressive, it is necessary to demonstrate that there are autoantibodies and perform any other type of tests to determine the causes. It may be necessary to do other more specific studies.

Most autoimmune diseases are chronic, so after their diagnosis, a life-long treatment must be carried out to reduce the manifestation of symptoms, but these diseases have no cure.

Examples of autoimmune diseases

  • Rheumatoid arthritis: The synovial layer, which lines the inside of the joints, becomes inflamed, causing severe pain, swelling and hardness in the joints in various parts of the body. Anti-inflammatories should be taken to decrease the constant inflammation.
  • Multiple sclerosis: is a condition in which the immune system attacks the tissues of the central nervous system. It can affect a person in an eventual way, making them capable of leading a near normal life, but it can also be continuous suffering that causes blindness, paralysis and premature death.
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus, insulin-dependent or immune: It is generated when the immune system attacks the cells that produce insulin in the pancreas. The main symptoms are more frequent urination than normal, increased thirst, tiredness.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease: covers Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. With these diseases the intestines are affected. Symptoms range from diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and uncontrollable pain.
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus: Symptoms are severe fatigue, skin rash, and joint pain. Some more aggressive cases are characterized by the deterioration of organs such as the kidney, brain or lungs.
  • Psoriasis: is a skin condition that consists of the appearance of scale-like lesions that can cover a large part of the body. Topicals should be applied to reduce the itchiness that this produces.
  • Scleroderma: the skin thickens, so do the blood vessels, because people with scleroderma also suffer from Raynaud’s disease – a kind of spasm of the blood vessels in the fingers.
  • Autoimmune thyroid diseases: Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves’ disease are caused by attack on thyroid tissue by the immune system. The symptoms are: fatigue, nervousness, intolerance to heat or cold, weakness, change in the thickness or amount of hair and excessive weight gain or loss.

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