Autoimmune disorders

Autoimmune disease occurs when the body's natural defense system can not tell the difference between your cells and foreign cells, causing the body to attack normal cells mistakenly. There are more than 80 kinds of autoimmune diseases that affect a broad assortment of body parts.

Common examples consist of rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), hypothyroidism, and type 1 diabetes. Symptoms of autoimmune disease may be severe in some people and moderate in others. There are various degrees of autoimmune disease. The symptoms that a person becomes probably relate to multiple factors, including genetics, environment, and personal health.

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Common autoimmune disease symptoms

Many people share similar symptoms regardless of the varying kinds of autoimmune disorders. Frequent symptoms of autoimmune disease include infection, skin issues, abdominal pain or digestive issues,  joint swelling, and pain, recurring fever, or swollen glands

There is usually no single test to diagnose the autoimmune disorder. You need to have certain symptoms together with certain blood markers and, sometimes even a tissue biopsy. It's not just one single factor. The body's immune system is a network of tissues, organs, and cells. Its role is to safeguard the body versus harmful organisms, such as germs and infections, fending off infection and disease.

In an individual with an autoimmune disease, the immune system erroneously attacks healthy body cells and tissues. Scientists do not know the causes of many autoimmune conditions. However, genetics, previous infections, and ecological elements can impact their advancement. Long-term treatments aim to decrease the strength of immune actions. Prescription antibiotics are not involved since these illnesses are not bacterial infections.

Unfortunately, there is no shortage of conditions considered to be autoimmune. Some normal or typical examples include:

- Rheumatoid arthritis: This condition causes several joints to become inflamed, stiff, and painful; swelling in other organs (such as the lungs or eye) might likewise establish

- Type 1 diabetes: People usually describe Diabetes as Type II diabetes in which the body ends up being resistant to insulin; this type represents about 95% of all cases of diabetes. In the case of Type 1 diabetes, an immune attack harms the part of the pancreas that produces insulin, causing insufficient insulin to regulate blood sugar or the body's energy use. Organ damage (consisting of the kidney and eyes), frequent urination, and excess thirst are common issues in diabetes.

- Lupus: When people develop lupus, they typically have inflammation in several parts of the body. These include primarily the skin, lining of the lungs and kidney, and joints.

- Ankylosing spondylitis: This disease is marked by swelling and stiffness in the lower spinal column, consisting of the sacroiliac joint; other joints are often irritated.

- Celiac disease: With celiac disease, gluten consumption leads to an immune reaction that damages the small intestine and impairs regular digestion. Other issues, such as rash, joint discomfort, and tiredness, might also develop.

The common factor in these conditions is evidence that the body's body immune system remains in some way accountable. For instance, there might be antibodies circulating in the blood that are targeting typical tissues. For most of these conditions, the concept that they are autoimmune is suggested by the evidence. Certain autoimmune illnesses might end up being due to an infection or allergy, and the immune problems are just a reaction.

Diagnosis may also be difficult since these symptoms may come from other common ailments. People should seek treatment when they notice symptoms.

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Autoimmune disorders causes

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

The immune system is exceptionally complicated, and years of research have illuminated a few ways it goes awry in autoimmune illness. But, for most autoimmune diseases, the true cause is unidentified. The most basic theory is that some microorganisms (such as viruses or bacteria ) or medication can trigger changes that confuse the immune system. This may happen more frequently in people who have genes that make them more prone to autoimmune disorders. Scientists still don't know the trigger, and in a particular population, they don't understand why some people establish these conditions while others do not. Effective treatments or preventive measures become challenging as a consequence.

Your immune system doesn't differentiate between healthy tissue and possibly harmful antigens whenever you have an autoimmune disease. Because of this, the body puts off a reaction that destroys normal tissues.

The bottom line is that the specific cause of autoimmune disorders is still unknown.

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Autoimmune disease risk factors

Researchers don't know the causes of autoimmune disease, but many theories point to an overactive immune system attacking the body following a disease or injury. 

Autoimmune diseases are a strange set of conditions that vary in intensity from simply frustrating to life-threatening. Research is continuous and has supplied incredible advances in the last few years; while efficient treatments are readily available for most of these conditions, remedies are not.  We do know that certain risk factors increase the chances of developing autoimmune disorders, for example:

- Genetics: Certain disorders like lupus and multiple sclerosis (MS) often run in families.

- Smoking: Research has linked smoking to some autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, hyperthyroidism, and MS.

Weight: Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

Autoimmune disease may result in:

- the destruction of body tissue

- abnormal development of an organ

- changes in organ function

Autoimmune disease may affect one or more tissue or organ types. Areas frequently affected by autoimmune disorders include:

Endocrine glands like the thyroid or pancreas

Red blood cells

Skin

Joints

Blood vessels

Connective tissues

Muscles

Someone may have more than one autoimmune disorder at the same time. 

Exams and tests: The medical care provider will do a physical examination. Signs are determined by the type of disease. Tests that may be done to diagnose an autoimmune disease include:

C-reactive protein (CRP)

Autoantibody tests

Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)

Urinalysis

Antinuclear antibody tests

Comprehensive metabolic panel

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Science & research on autoimmune disorders

Unraveling the genetic and ecological underpinnings of the autoimmune disorder focuses at NIEHS and the National Toxicology Program (NTP). Progress occurs through numerous research efforts, for example:

Genetic factors in autoimmune muscle disease: NIEHS researchers identified the principal genetic risk factors associated with autoimmune muscle disease in Caucasian populations in Europe and the USA. 

Organic mercury may trigger autoimmune disorder: In a study funded by NIEHS, methylmercury, even at exposure levels generally considered safe, might be linked to the Development of autoimmune antibodies in women of reproductive age. These antibodies can lead to turning to autoimmune diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis.

- Gene-environment interaction in rheumatoid arthritis: A study funded by NIEHS pinpointed the mechanisms of a gene-environment interaction which could explain the genetic risk for rheumatoid arthritis is amplified by environmental pollutants such as cigarette smoke. 

- Role of nutrition in the development of the autoimmune disease: NIEHS-funded research suggests that vitamin D might be important for preventing immune dysfunction in elderly populations.  Another study funded by NIEHS discovered that dietary micronutrients could either improve or worsen lupus symptoms. 

- Sunlight related to autoimmune disease: This NIEHS study indicates exposure to ultraviolet radiation in the sun might be connected to the evolution of juvenile dermatomyositis, an autoimmune disorder associated with muscle fatigue and skin rashes.

- Childhood poverty is linked to rheumatoid arthritis in adulthood: NIEHS researchers found a link between lower socioeconomic status in childhood and rheumatoid arthritis in adulthood. The effect of reduced childhood socioeconomic status and reduced adult education degree equaled the combined effect of having both a paternal and history of smoking.

- Agricultural chemicals and rheumatoid arthritis -- Researchers at NIEHS discovered that exposure to some pesticides might play a part in the progression of rheumatoid arthritis in male farmworkers. 

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Outlook (Prognosis)

The outcome is dependent upon the disease. Most autoimmune diseases are chronic, but many can be controlled with treatment. Symptoms of autoimmune disorders can come and go. When symptoms get worse, it's called a flare-up. Complications depend on the disease. Medicines used to suppress the immune system can result in severe side effects, such as a greater risk of infections.

Treatment depends on the condition but is difficult. The recognition of immune cells or chemical messages (also called cytokines) associated with the autoimmune illness has resulted in treatments targeting these components of the body's immune system.

Remedies for autoimmune disorders: The goals of therapy are to control the autoimmune process, keep the body's ability to fight disease, and manage symptoms. Treatments will be dependent on your symptoms and disease. Kinds of treatments include:

- Supplements to substitute a chemical that the body lacks, such as thyroid hormone, vitamin B12, or insulin, because of the autoimmune disorder

- Physical therapy to help with movement if the joints, bones, or muscles are affected

- Blood transfusions if blood is influenced

Lots of folks take medicines to decrease the immune system's strange reaction. These are frequently called immunosuppressive medicines. Targeted drugs may be used for some ailments.

There's no known prevention for many autoimmune disorders. Call your provider if you develop symptoms of an autoimmune disease.

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References

1. Rheumatoid arthritis. (2020). https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/rheumatoid-arthritis

2. Type 1 diabetes. (2020). https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/type1.html

3. Autoimmune diseases. (n.d.). http://www.childrenshospital.org/conditions-and-treatments/conditions/a/autoimmune-diseases

4. Autoimmune diseases. (2019). https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/autoimmune-diseases

5. Autoimmune diseases. (2020). https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/conditions/autoimmune/index.cfm

6. Definitions & facts for celiac disease. (2016). https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/celiac-disease/definition-facts

7. Type 1 diabetes. (2020). https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/type-1-diabetes

8. Type 1 diabetes. (2020). https://medlineplus.gov/genetics/condition/type-1-diabetes/

9. What is inflammatory bowel disease? (2018). https://www.cdc.gov/ibd/what-is-IBD.htm

10. Autoimmune diseases. (2017). https://www.niaid.nih.gov/diseases-conditions/autoimmune-diseases

11. Graves disease. (2020). https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/graves-disease

12. Hashimoto’s disease. (2017). https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/endocrine-diseases/hashimotos-disease

13. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): Data and statistics. (2020). https://www.cdc.gov/ibd/data-statistics.htm

14. Lupus facts and statistics. (2016). https://www.lupus.org/resources/lupus-facts-and-statistics

15. Psoriasis statistics. (n.d.). https://www.psoriasis.org/psoriasis-statistics/

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