Autoimmune disorders arise when the immune system produces antibodies which attack and destroy healthy tissues in any part of the body, including any internal organ. They can occur anywhere on any continent.

Tracking symptoms is crucial in helping doctors identify what’s causing them. By gathering this data, patients can help doctors to figure out why symptoms come and go.

Some doctors speculate that certain genes increase an individual’s likelihood of contracting an autoimmune disease, and changes in hormone levels could play a part.


When the immune system malfunctions, it begins to attack healthy tissues in the body. Blood cells detect antigens resembling healthy tissue and destroy it – this leads to symptoms including pain, swollen joints or muscles, skin rashes or problems, fatigue and other discomforts that affect any part of the body and can range from mild to severe severity; they may be diagnosed by primary care providers as well as specialists like gastroenterologists and rheumatologists.

Researchers are still researching causes for many autoimmune diseases; however, researchers are exploring potential culprits such as genetics and infections as potential culprits; they’re also working on ways to avoid flare-ups of such illnesses.

Help manage the effects of an autoimmune disorder by following a healthy diet and regularly exercising to strengthen your body. The Harvard Health Guide offers diet plans designed to foster good autoimmune health as well as routines, such as two easy aerobic alternatives to jogging and strategies for renewing energy reserves. Furthermore, stress management techniques may help ease disease symptoms.


Autoimmune diseases can be difficult to identify. People often spend years going from doctor to doctor trying to pinpoint what’s causing their symptoms – which may differ widely depending on the disease itself.

Blood tests can measure antibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue, providing insight into some autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis or scleroderma. Doctors may also conduct physical exams to look for signs of inflammation such as rash or swollen joints.

As important as it is to talk openly with friends and family about one’s autoimmune disease, it’s also vital that they find support through friends or support communities such as online forums and physical communities focused on particular conditions or symptoms, these communities can provide invaluable assistance when living with an invisible illness. People living with autoimmune conditions should also get regular screenings to prevent complications like a heart attack or stroke from happening; lifestyle adjustments like getting enough rest and avoiding potential triggers should also be made regularly.


Autoimmune diseases are incurable, yet treatment options exist that may help manage symptoms. Most options focus on suppressing an overactive immune system; lifestyle modifications and medication may both help. Some medications reduce antibody production while others inhibit it and come with serious side effects.

Your immune system works to defend against harmful organisms like bacteria, viruses, toxins and cancer cells; but in those suffering from an autoimmune disease, their immune systems cannot distinguish between harmful substances and healthy tissue, leading to attacks against them and tissue destruction as a result of being misidentified as foreign bodies by your own body’s defenses.

Some autoimmune diseases affect multiple tissues throughout the body while others only impact one organ. Symptoms vary by condition and may include pain, itching, fatigue, weakness, rashes, fluid retention (edema), joint damage, organ failure and even death. Although their exact cause remains unknown, researchers believe genetic and environmental factors play an integral part in these disorders.


People suffering from autoimmune diseases can find some relief through medications, dietary modifications and other therapies; however, symptoms can vary greatly between individuals and may come and go unexpectedly, making diagnosis challenging.

Doctors typically believe autoimmune diseases are caused by something going awry with the immune system, which should protect us against foreign invaders such as viruses and bacteria. Instead, however, this system sometimes becomes confused as to which cells it should attack instead of just attacking foreign ones, and attacks healthy tissues instead.

Autoimmunity can be caused by various factors, including genetics and environmental conditions. Some autoimmune diseases run in families. Light, mercury, chemicals or infections from bacteria or viruses may all trigger autoimmunity in certain people.

Some autoimmune diseases are localized and affect certain organs or tissues; others are systemic and can affect every aspect of body function – for instance rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis are examples of systemic diseases that may impact an entire system. People of any age can develop autoimmune disease; it tends to affect women more than men.

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