Autoimmunity is the flaw in a functional division of the immune system called self-tolerance, which results in immune responses against the body’s own cells and tissues. Any disease that results from this type of response is called autoimmune disease. Famous examples include type 1 diabetes mellitus, systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjögren’s syndrome, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Graves’ disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
These are diseases that arise when the immune response is performed against targets within the individual. Autoimmune responses are frequent, but transient and regulated. Autoimmunity as a cause of disease is not frequent, since there are mechanisms that maintain a state of tolerance to epitopes that are parts of a structure recognized by the body’s own immune system. Autoimmune diseases have complex and multifactorial etiopathogenesis.
Immune system disorders cause abnormally low activity or over activity of the immune system. In cases of immune system over activity, the body attacks and damages its own tissues (autoimmune diseases). Immune deficiency diseases decrease the body’s ability to fight invaders, causing vulnerability to infections.
In response to an unknown trigger, the immune system may begin producing antibodies that instead of fighting infections, attack the body’s own tissues. Treatment for autoimmune diseases generally focuses on reducing immune system activity. Examples of autoimmune diseases include:
Rheumatoid arthritis. The body produces antibodies that connect the linings of joints. Invulnerable framework cells at that point assault the joints, causing irritation, swelling, and pain. If not treated, rheumatoid arthritis progressively causes permanent joint damage.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus). Individuals with lupus create immune system antibodies that can connect to tissues all through the body. The joints, lungs, platelets, nerves, and kidneys are usually affected by lupus.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The immune system attacks the digestion tracts, causing scenes of the diarrhea, rectal bleeding, irregular bowel movements, stomach pains, fever, and weight loss. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s ailment are the two noteworthy types of IBD.
Multiple sclerosis (MS). The immune system attacks nerve cells, causing symptoms such as pain, blindness, fatigue, poor coordination, and muscle spasms.
Type 1 diabetes mellitus. Antibodies assault and wreck insulin-creating cells in the pancreas. By youthful adulthood, individuals with type 1 diabetes require insulin infusions to survive.
Guillain-Barre syndrome. The immune system attacks the nerves controlling muscles in the legs and sometimes the arms and upper body. Weakness results, which can sometimes be severe. Filtering the blood with a procedure called plasmapheresis is the main treatment for Guillain-Barre syndrome.
Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy. Similar to Guillian-Barre, the immune system also attacks the nerves in CIDP, but symptoms last much longer
Psoriasis. In psoriasis, overactive immune system blood cells called T-cells collect in the skin. The immune system activity stimulates skin cells to reproduce rapidly, producing silvery, scaly plaques on the skin.
Graves’ disease. The immune system produces antibodies that stimulate the thyroid gland to release excess amounts of thyroid hormone into the blood (hyperthyroidism). Symptoms of Graves’ disease can include bulging eyes as well as weight loss, nervousness, irritability, rapid heart rate, weakness, and brittle hair.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Antibodies produced by the immune system attack the thyroid gland, slowly destroying the cells that produce thyroid hormone. Low levels of thyroid hormone develop (hypothyroidism), usually over months to years. Symptoms include fatigue, constipation, weight gain, depression, dry skin, and sensitivity to cold.
Myasthenia gravis. Antibodies bind to nerves and make them unable to stimulate muscles properly. Weakness that gets worse with activity is the main symptom of myasthenia gravis. Mestinon (pyridostigmine) is the main medicine used to treat myasthenia gravis.
Vasculitis. The immune system attacks and damages blood vessels in this group of autoimmune diseases. Vasculitis can affect any organ, so symptoms vary widely and can occur almost anywhere in the body.