What are Autoimmune diseases?
Autoimmune disease refers to a process in which our immune system becomes less active or over active. When immune system becomes over active, it attacks body’s own tissues and damages them. While less active immune system leads to a reduced ability of our body to fight abnormalities and infections. The immune system starts to produce antibodies that may attack our own body rather than fighting infections and abnormalities. In case of over active immune system, autoimmune diseases are usually treated focusing on decreasing over activity of immune system.
Some of the common Autoimmune Diseases
Some examples of autoimmune diseases are
Patients with Lupus mostly develop autoimmune antibodies that can potentially adjoin the tissue in our body. The blood cells, lungs, nerves, kidneys and joints are mostly damaged in Lupus.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
In patients with rheumatoid Arthritis, their immune system produces antibodies that attach themselves to the joint linings. The cells of immune system then attack the joints, causing pain, swelling and inflammation in the joints. Joints become damaged in a long run. Read more about Rheumatoid Arthritis.
- Multiple Sclerosis
This disease damages the nervous system of a patient. In this condition of autoimmune diseases the immune system attacks our body’s nerve cells causing weakness, blindness, pain, poor coordination and severe muscle spasms.
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
One of the most frustrating autoimmune diseases is Inflammatory Bowel disease (IBD). In this condition, our immune system attacks the intestine lining which results in episodes of diarrhea, urgent bowel movements, pain in the abdomen, rectal bleeding, and fever and weight loss. Some other conditions such as Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis are major forms of this disease.
- Type I Diabetes
Type I diabetes is another autoimmune disease in which antibodies of Immune system attacks and further destroys cells in pancreas, young people with type I diabetes need insulin injections to survive this disease. check for details: ?
- Guillain Barre Syndrome
In patients with Gullain-Barre Syndrome, the immune system destroys the nerves responsible for controlling muscles mostly in the legs and some times in the upper body and arms. The result is severe weakness.
- Grave’s disease
People with Grave’ Disease have excessive amount of thyroid hormones because the immune system produces stimulating anti bodies that fuel the thyroid gland to release excessive thyroid hormones into the blood stream, a condition called hyperthyroidism. Weight loss, bulging eyes, irritability, weakness and rapid heartbeat are common signs of Grave’s Disease.
- Hashimoto’s Thyrodities
The immune system in this autoimmune disease produces antibodies that attack thyroid gland and slowly destroys the cells responsible for producing thyroid hormones. It causes reduction in the hormone levels and lately develops hypothyroidism. People mostly feel fatigued, constipation, weight gain, dry skin, sensitivity to cold and depression.
This is another type of autoimmune diseases in which blood vessels are attacked and damaged by our own immune system. Vasculitis can affect any part of the body, therefore, symptoms may differ broadly. These symptoms can occur anywhere in the body.
Causes of Autoimmune diseases
The main causes of autoimmune diseases are unknown, however, there are many theories about the things that trigger autoimmune disease, that includes;
- Virus or Bacteria
- Environmental irritants
- Chemical processes
- Family history of a specific autoimmune disease
Symptoms of autoimmune diseases
Due to the fact that there are quite many various type of autoimmune diseases, the symptoms may still vary from patient to patient. However, the most well known symptoms are fever, fatigue, and malaise. The most common host organs for autoimmune disease are;
- Red cells of blood
- Blood vessels
- Connective tissue
- Endocrine glands
Diagnosis of Autoimmune diseases
Normally, our immune system works and produces antibodies named proteins that identify and destroy particular abnormalities as well as work against harmful bacteria in our body. these harmful invaders are;
When an individual is diagnosed with autoimmune disease, his body produces antibodies that work against the body’s normal function. There are a number of tests that can be done to make a proper diagnosis of autoimmune diseases. These tests include auto-antibody tests, antinuclear antibody tests, complete blood count, C-reactive protein and erythrocyte sedimentation rate.
Treatment options for autoimmune diseases
Autoimmune diseases have no cure. So their treatment holds efforts to control the progression of the disease and to reduce the symptoms particularly flare-up of the disease. Following is the list that you ca follow to reduce the symptoms of autoimmune diseases:
- Eat a healthy and well balanced diet
- Do physical activity
- Get plenty of rest
- Take regular vitamin supplements
- Reduces stress
- Limited sun exposure
- And avoiding any known cause of flare-ups
Medical treatment may include
- Blood transfusions
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Medications for inflammation
- Medications for pain
- Immunosuppressive drug therapy
- Physical therapy