Autoimmune disorders occur when your immune system attacks your healthy body tissues by mistake, destroying some of the tissue. The autoimmune diseases list includes over eighty types of disorders. Your immune system has a white blood cell army that usually protects your body from antigens, which are harmful. Antigens include cancer cells, toxins, viruses and bacteria. Your immune system, when working properly, produces the antibodies that will destroy these substances.
If you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system doesn’t differentiate between antigens and your body’s healthy tissue. This creates an immune response that will destroy healthy tissues that your body needs. This reaction is actually similar to the way your body reacts to allergens, except that where allergies are concerned, your immune system reacts to external substances that are normally ignored. When you have an autoimmune disorder, your system will react that way to your normal and healthy body tissues.
When you look down an autoimmune diseases list, you will notice that in all of them, your immune system can’t tell the difference any longer between antigens and healthy tissues. Some scientists theorize that microorganisms like bacteria, or drugs, might trigger the changes, particularly in people with genes that lead to autoimmune disorders.
An autoimmune disease can result in destruction of various types of healthy tissue, abnormal organ growth or changes in the function of an organ. If you have an autoimmune disorder, it can affect one tissue or organ type, or more than one type. The tissues and organs most commonly affected by autoimmune disorders include the skin, joints, muscles, pancreas or thyroid glands, connective tissues, blood vessels and red blood cells.
You can be affected by two or more autoimmune diseases simultaneously. A short autoimmune diseases list includes Type 1 diabetes, Addison’s disease, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, reactive arthritis and Grave’s disease. The symptoms associated with an autoimmune disorder vary a great deal between people who suffer from the disease.
Some of the symptoms to expect, if you have an autoimmune disorder include fatigue, dizziness, a low-grade fever and a generally ill feeling. Your physician will perform an exam to determine if you have an autoimmune disease, since the signs may vary widely, and are dependent on what specific disease you have.
The goal in treating autoimmune diseases is to control that autoimmune process, reduce your symptoms and maintain your body’s ability to fight off disease. The specific treatment used is dependent on what disease and symptoms you have. You may need to have a vitamin or hormone replaced, if your body is lacking in them. Some examples may include insulin injections, vitamins or thyroid supplements.