Immune mediated disease vs autoimmune

Autoimmune diseases are caused by an overactive immune system. An overactive immune system attacks your healthy body tissue. This causes inflammation and tissue damage.

The immune system is a complex system of cells, proteins, antibodies, and chemicals. It controls the function of the other parts of the body.

The immune system creates antibodies to target foreign invaders like viruses and bacteria. These antibodies attack the invader by blocking it from entering the body. They are also used to attack cancer cells.

However, when the immune system is overactive, it attacks your own body tissues. This is the case with autoimmune diseases.

An autoimmune disease causes your immune system to attack your body tissues. These tissues are typically healthy, including the:

  • Skin
  • Blood
  • Joints
  • Digestive tract
  • Eyes
  • Lungs

Doctors don’t fully understand what causes autoimmune diseases. The disease is thought to be triggered by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

However, researchers have identified some specific genetic factors that may be related to more than one autoimmune disease.

Examples of autoimmune diseases include:

  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which causes inflammation of the thyroid gland
  • Graves’ disease
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, which causes inflammation in many body tissues), rheumatoid arthritis (RA, which causes inflammation of the joints), and type 1 diabetes
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Sj gren’s syndrome
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
  • Scleroderma
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Sclerosing cholangitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis

How is autoimmune disease treated?

Your doctor will identify the specific cause of your autoimmune disease. They will also take your medical history and conduct a thorough physical examination.

Your doctor may recommend one or more of the following treatments:

  • Corticosteroids or immunosuppressants to slow the immune system’s response
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain and inflammation
  • Immunosuppressants to prevent the immune system from further destroying your tissues
  • Biologics to help your immune system fight the disease

What is the outlook for those with autoimmune disease?

Many people with autoimmune disease are able to lead normal, healthy lives. However, some people with autoimmune disease may develop a serious, life threatening condition.

Some autoimmune diseases can be fatal.

In the United States, autoimmune diseases are the sixth leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability.

The following conditions can cause the death of a person with autoimmune disease:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Infections
  • Breathing problems
  • Cancer
  • Complications from organ transplant

Some of these conditions can be prevented or delayed by taking steps to lower the risk of autoimmune disease. These include:

  • Getting regular checkups with your doctor
  • Making positive lifestyle changes, including quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining a healthy weight
  • Learning to manage stress
  • Participating in physical activity
  • Using birth control and other methods to reduce your risk of autoimmune disease
  • Taking antibiotics prescribed for a bacterial infection

The outlook may be better for people diagnosed with autoimmune disease in childhood.

Children are more likely to have a positive outlook than adults. However, they may experience certain complications, including:

  • Eye problems (which can cause partial or complete loss of sight)
  • Neurological problems
  • Learning problems
  • Growth problems
  • Heart disease
  • Skin problems

What can cause autoimmune disease?

Researchers are still learning how to identify the causes of autoimmune diseases. However, several theories have been proposed.

One theory is that an abnormal immune response is the cause of autoimmune disease. Immune responses are triggered by:

  • Infection
  • Immune system abnormalities, such as an autoimmune disease
  • Environmental factors, such as exposure to chemicals, chemicals, or radiation
  • Genetic factors, such as a family history of autoimmune disease

Other factors that may trigger the immune system include:

  • Autoantibodies or autoantibodies-producing cells
  • Genetic defects
  • Exposure to certain chemicals or toxins
  • Exposure to certain infections, such as the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)

Many of these factors are still being studied. However, some studies have found that people with a family history of autoimmune disease are more likely to develop an autoimmune disease.

Researchers also believe that both environmental and genetic factors may play a role in the development of autoimmune disease.

What are the risk factors for autoimmune disease?

There are several risk factors that may contribute to the development of autoimmune disease. These include:

  • Family history of autoimmune disease
  • Certain medical conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and hepatitis C
  • Exposure to certain chemicals, including certain metals, certain pesticides, and certain drugs
  • Exposure to certain infections, including EBV
  • Genetics
  • High level of stress
  • Other environmental factors, such as exposure to radiation

How can autoimmune disease be prevented?

Avoiding certain environmental factors that may trigger autoimmune diseases can help to prevent or delay the onset of autoimmune disease.

These environmental factors include:

  • Chemicals

Radiation

Some infections, including EBV

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of autoimmune disease vary depending on the specific type of autoimmune disease.

The symptoms of most autoimmune diseases are similar, because they are caused by the same type of immune reaction. However, some symptoms are more noticeable than others.

The symptoms of an autoimmune disease may include:

  • A sore throat
  • A rash
  • An itchy rash
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • A butterfly-shaped rash on the face
  • Swollen eyes
  • Headaches
  • Low blood pressure
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • A sore tongue
  • Weight loss
  • Aching joints, especially in the feet, ankles, knees, and hips
  • Muscle weakness
  • Enlarged liver or spleen
  • Weight gain

What are the complications of autoimmune disease?

Autoimmune diseases can cause many complications. These may include:

  • Heart disease, which may cause a heart attack
  • Eye problems, which can cause partial or complete loss of sight
  • Neurological problems, which may cause seizures and memory problems

Takeaway

The symptoms of autoimmune disease can vary from person to person. However, it’s important to work with your doctor to identify the cause of your condition.

Some autoimmune diseases can be fatal. However, there are steps you can take to lower your risk of developing an autoimmune disease.

These include avoiding certain environmental and genetic factors that may trigger autoimmune diseases. There are also ways to prevent the onset of autoimmune disease.

It’s important to work closely with your doctor to monitor the progression of an autoimmune disease. Your doctor can help you to find the best treatment and the best way to manage your condition

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