What is Autoimmune Disease?

In Autoimmune Disease the enemy is from within. As name implies “auto” is self and “immune ” is immune system. One ‘s own immune system for unknown reason turns against self and destroys or damages tissues or cells. List of auto immune disease are many and growing. End result is destruction of tissues such as thyroid, pancreas or cells such as white cells , platelets etc.

How can someone contract Autoimmune Diseases?

It is not fully understood and research is still on . It happens in individuals who are genetically susceptible triggered by an offending agent which could be a bacteria, virus, environmental toxins ,drugs ,food allergens ,radiation, chemicals , hormonal to name a few . It is a flu like onset with fatigue followed by symptoms referable to the target organ, tissue or cell that is affected

Types of Autoimmune Diseases:

Lupus

Lupus is an autoimmune disease and affects skin, joints, kidneys,heart, lungs , brain , blood and blood vessels . In lupus immune system makes antibodies to healthy cells causing inflammation leading to damage to organ or body system .lupus is not contagious.it is not a cancer or related to HIV. It is a chronic inflammatory disease with ups and downs. With good care most can lead healthy life.

Polyarteritis nodosa

PAN (poly Arteritis nodosa) is a disease of unknown cause.it affects small to medium sized arteries reducing or cutting off blood supply to organs. Men are affected more than women between ages of 30 to 50 . In 25% of patients hepatitis B or C infection is seen. Small and medium arteries are attacked by immune cells. It is immune mediated and exact cause is not known.

PMR

PMR is an inflammatory disorder that affects proximal muscles of shoulder joint and hip joint due to unknown causes. There is inflammation with elevated ESR and CRP. There is mild anemia and effusion of tendons around shoulders on US. Temporal Arteritis (TA) is seen in 15% of PMR patients. PMR occurs in 50% of TA patients. It occurs in genetic predisposition triggered by environmental factors

Dermatomyositis

There are no preventive measures for Dermatomyositis which is an autoimmune disease that affects skin and muscles. Dermatomyositis follows a viral illness or as autoimmune entity . In few patients it is present with cancer. it also affects lungs, heart and esophagus . It also overlaps at times with lupus. Scleroderma and sjogren’s . Diagnosis by muscle /skin biopsy

RA

RA is an autoimmune disease . It is a systemic autoimmune disease as it affects joints and other systems . The target cells are cells in synovium (lining of joints), pleura (lining or covering of lungs , pericardium ( lining or covering of heart) and sclera of eyes. The antibodies are to IgG Fc ( rheumatoid factor) and to citrullinated peptides ( anti CCP ). Both T and B cells are involved

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