What are autoimmune diseases?
Where immunity is defined as the body’s networks that are responsible for protecting the body against any attacking foreign invaders, (“Autoimmune” means immunity against the self) 2. Autoimmune diseases are caused when the autoimmune system erroneously attacks its body’s own healthy organs, tissues, and cells1.
How do patients been
Autoimmune diseases encompass more than 50 different diseases and syndromes3. They can be diagnosed based on the effected body part that is the target for the autoimmune system. For example, in the case of the autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis, the immune system attacks the nerves,while in idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, it attacks the blood platelets and in rheumatoid arthritis, it attacks the joints. Moreover, many autoimmune diseases can affect more than one part of the body2.
What are common characteristics between these diseases?
The cases rate of autoimmune diseases in women is higher than in men, though, diseases progression in men is more critical3. The main cause of all autoimmune diseases is unknown, but genetics and environmental factors might provoke them2. Furthermore, there is no cure has been found for these diseases, but there are useful available treatments, which can help the case1.
1. “Autoimmune Diseases.” National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2 May 2017, www.niaid.nih.gov/diseases-conditions/autoimmune-diseases. Accessed 24 July 2017.
2. "Autoimmune Diseases." National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Mar. 2016. Web. 24 July 2017.
3. Fairweather, DeLisa, and Noel R. Rose. "Women and Autoimmune Diseases." Emerging Infectious Diseases. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Nov. 2004. Web. 27 July 2017.