Definition of Autoimmune Disorders

Health conditions in which the body’s immune response loses the ability to identify certain self cells and attacks them. Autoimmune disorders may produce symptoms that are localized (affect a clearly defined part of the body), systemic (affect a body system), or generalized (affect the body as a whole or across several systems).

Though researchers do not know what causes the immune response to lose tolerance for certain antigens, causing it to identify self cells as nonself cells, they do know that a person who has one autoimmune disorder is at risk for developing others.

List of Autoimmune Disorders

LIST OF AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS
autoimmune hepatitisbullous pemphigoid
dermatomyositisdiabetes (type 1)
discoid lupus erythematosus (dle)goodpasture’s syndrome
Graves’s diseaseHashimoto’s thyroiditis
inflammatory bowel disease (ibd)multiple sclerosis
myasthenia gravispemphigus
pernicious anemiapolymyositis
Reiter’s syndromerheumatoid arthritis
sclerodermaSjögren’s syndrome
systemic lupus erythematosus (sle)vasculitis

Over time the immune attacks permanently damage or destroy tissue. Autoimmune disorders are chronic; though treatment may control symptoms, it does not cure the disorder. Symptoms and outlook vary with the autoimmune disorder. Some autoimmune disorders, such as type 1 diabetes and Graves’s disease, are life threatening without treatment.

Treatment is generally immunosuppressive therapy with immunosuppressive medications that block certain aspects of the immune response. Further treatment may be necessary to counter the damage the autoimmune disorder causes, such as insulin therapy for diabetes.

The course of disease may be unpredictable. Though autoimmune disorders tend to gradually worsen over time, many remain manageable with minimal symptoms or disruption of activities. There are no known preventive measures.

See also COMMON VARIABLE IMMUNE DEFICIENCY (CVID)COMPLEMENT CASCADE; DISEASE-MODIFYING ANTIRHEUMATIC DRUGS (DMARDS)HIV/AIDSLIVING WITH IMMUNE DISORDERSMULTIPLE CHEMICAL SENSITIVITY SYNDROME; PARTIAL COMBINED IMMUNODEFICIENCY (PCID).

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