Most Common Autoimmune Disorders

4 September 2019

Immune system disorders may cause abnormally low activity or overactivity of the immune system. The body may attack and damage its own tissues when these instances occur.

An autoimmune disorder is the most complicated and hard to treat immune system-related disease. The disease occurs when the immune system attacks healthy cells in the body. It is complex to diagnose and often share symptoms with other health conditions.

Basics of Autoimmune disorder:

Autoimmune disease occurs when the body’s natural defense system cannot recognize the difference between its own cells and foreign cells. This causes the body to mistakenly attack normal cells.

There are more than 80 types of autoimmune disorders that affect a wide range of body parts. Of which, we have covered the most common autoimmune diseases that occur in most people.

  1. Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA):

Rheumatoid Arthritis is the most common long-term autoimmune disorder. This causes the immune system to attack tissues, often affecting joints in the hands and feet. Symptoms of this autoimmune disorder include painful swelling and stiffness in the joints, especially in the hands and feet.

  1. Psoriasis:

This is one of the most common autoimmune diseases affecting many people. This is a condition where the white blood cells called the T-cells mistakenly identify your skin cells as invaders and attack them. This attack triggers a cascade of responses in your immune system and in your skin, resulting in the skin damage seen in psoriasis – swelling, reddening, and scaling. Both genetic and environmental factors and certain bacterial infections like strep throat are believed to be indicators on whether a person will get psoriasis.

  1. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus:

In this disease, the immune system of the body mistakenly attacks healthy tissue and affects the skin, joints, kidneys, brain, and other organs. Symptoms of this disorder include muscle and joint pain, rash, tiredness and fever.

  1. Grave's Disease:

This disease is caused due to overproduction of thyroid hormones and this condition is called hyperthyroidism. Signs and symptoms associated with this disease can vary significantly influence an individual's overall well-being. Grave’s disease is most commonly seen affecting women under 40 years old.

  1. Celiac Disease:

This is a disorder in which eating gluten found in cereals such as wheat, rye, barley triggers an immune response in the body, causing inflammation and damage to the small intestine. It is a serious condition that can cause a host of negative symptoms, including digestive issues and nutritional deficiencies if not timely treated.


Risk Factors of autoimmune disorders:

Autoimmune diseases can affect anyone, but there are certain factors that increase risk. Risk factors for autoimmune diseases include:

  1. Genetics:

Research shows that family genetic factor can be one of the causes of autoimmune disease. A person can inherit a predisposition to autoimmune disorders when a family member has suffered or is suffering from any autoimmune disease.

  1. Weight:

Being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis. This happens because the weight puts greater stress on the joints or because fat tissue makes substances that amplify inflammation.

  1. Age:

Autoimmune disease often occurs in young adults to middle age.

  1. Gender:

Compared to men, women are at a greater risk of autoimmune disease. Researchers are not sure why but hormonal factors or the fact that women tend to have stronger immune systems may play a role.

  1. Ethnicity:

Latino, Native American and African-Americans generally develop autoimmune disorders at a much higher rate than Caucasians.

  1. Infection:

Certain viruses, bacteria and other infectious pathogens are thought to play a major role in the development of autoimmune diseases.

Autoimmune disease is a chronic health condition which can be treated and healed with proper medical and dietary management. Routine medical check-up and a good lifestyle can bring a great change in the lives of people living with autoimmune disorders.