Do autoimmune conditions have a cause?

Autoimmune diseases
Autoimmune causes

There are more than 80 types of autoimmune conditions. Not everyone knows what an autoimmune disorder is. An autoimmune disease occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys healthy body tissue by mistake.

The blood cells in the body’s immune system help protect against harmful substances. Examples include bacteria, viruses, toxins, cancer cells, and blood and tissue from outside the body. These substances contain antigens. The immune system produces antibodies against these antigens that enable it to destroy these harmful substances.

Your immune system does not distinguish between healthy tissue and potentially harmful antigens when you have an autoimmune disorder. As a result, the body sets off a reaction that destroys normal tissues. That means your body attacks itself.

The exact cause of autoimmune disorders is unknown. One theory is that some microorganisms (such as bacteria or viruses) or drugs may trigger changes that confuse the immune system. This may happen more often in people who have genes that make them more prone to autoimmune disorders.

An autoimmune disorder may result in the destruction of body tissue, abnormal growth of an organ, organ function changes. It may affect one or multiple organs or tissue types.

Areas often affected by autoimmune disorders include blood vessels, connective tissues, endocrine glands such as the thyroid or pancreas, joints, muscles, red blood cells, skin.

If that wasn’t enough, a person might have more than one autoimmune disorder at the same time. That is pretty common to see with people diagnosed with lupus.

Common autoimmune disorders include Addison disease, Celiac disease, Dermatomyositis, Graves disease, Hashimoto thyroiditis, Multiple sclerosis, Myasthenia gravis, Pernicious anemia, Reactive Arthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren syndrome, Systemic lupus erythematosus, and Type I diabetes.

If you or someone you love has lupus, suggest them to talk to their doctor about other conditions that may worsen the symptoms. There are ways we can get help to suppress the pain and limitations.

Knowledge is power.



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