Health Facts

Autoimmune Disorders

Your immune system is made up of organs and cells that fight germs, parasites, viruses, and cancer cells. Autoimmune diseases occur when the body’s immune system cannot differentiate between your own cells and foreign cells. This makes the body to attack normal healthy cells. There are more than 80 types of autoimmune disorders and can affect almost every part of your body.

The most common diseases are:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis, a form of arthritis that attacks the joints
  • Psoriasis, a condition in which thick, scaly patches of skin is observed
  • Psoriatic arthritis, a type of arthritis affecting with psoriasis
  • Lupus, a disease that damages areas of the body that include joints, skin and organs
  • Thyroid diseases, including Graves’ disease, where the body makes too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism), and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, where it doesn’t make enough (hypothyroidism) of the hormone

Causes of autoimmune disorders:

The exact cause of autoimmune disorder is not known. But, there are certain risk factors which can increase the chances of developing a particular disorder, that includes: 

Certain
medications

Smoking

Exposure
to toxins

Obesity

Females

Infection

Common symptoms of autoimmune disorders:

Common symptoms of autoimmune disorders:
The symptoms of autoimmune disease vary from person to person ranging from severe to mild. Multiple factors, such as heredity, environment, and personal health, are likely to contribute to a person’s symptoms.

Fatigue

Joint pain and swelling

Skin problems

Abdominal pain or digestive issues

Recurring fever

Swollen glands

Diagnosis and treatment:

It is difficult for your doctor to diagnose your disease and it usually takes longer time, as many autoimmune diseases have common symptoms. You can provide detailed list of symptoms and a family history of diseases to your doctor. The disease decides the treatment. In most cases, the goal of treatment is to (slow down) your immune system and reduce disease swelling, redness, and pain. To help you feel better, your doctor may prescribe corticosteroids or other medications.

FAQ's :

Autoimmune illnesses have a complicated genetic base; numerous genes have a role in disease risk, each with relatively minor impacts on its own. Furthermore, it is now known that various autoimmune illnesses are caused by the same genes.

Many researches looking into the genetics of autoimmunity have discovered a common gene known as TYK2. At least 20 autoimmune diseases have been linked to this gene, including multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and psoriasis.

A family history of autoimmune illnesses increases your chances of having one yourself. However, autoimmune illnesses are not always passed down from parent to kid in families who are prone to them.

Yes, Genetic testing can detect genetic disorders. Advances in science also avail personalised medicine. Personalised medicine is the use of one’s genetic information to prevent, diagnose or treat a disease.

Yes, but your doctor will suggest you what kind of diet and exercises you can do based on your disorder.

References:

  1. Autoimmune disorders. Cleveland clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21624-autoimmune-diseases. Accessed on 28-03-2022.
  2. Autoimmune diseases. Medline plus. https://medlineplus.gov/autoimmunediseases.html. Accessed on 28-03-2022.
  3. Autoimmune diseases. Health and education. https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/conditions/autoimmune/index.cfm. Accessed on 28-03-2022.
  4. What Are Common Symptoms of Autoimmune Disease? johns Hopkins Medicine. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/what-are-common-symptoms-of-autoimmune-disease. Accessed on 28-03-2022.
  5. Two common disease-associated TYK2 variants impact exon splicing and TYK2 dosage. PubMed Central. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6974145/. Accessed on 28-03-2022.

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