Autoimmune diseases is it sexually transmitted — examples of autoimmune diseases.
Immune system disorders result in abnormally low or excessive immune system activity. When the immune system is overactive, the body attacks and damages its own tissues (autoimmune diseases). Immune deficiency diseases impair the body’s ability to fight invaders, making it susceptible to infections.
In response to an unknown trigger, the immune system may produce antibodies that, rather than fighting infections, attack the body’s own tissues. In general, treatment for autoimmune diseases focuses on reducing immune system activity. Autoimmune diseases include the following:
Arthritis rheumatoid. Antibodies are produced by the immune system and attach to the linings of joints. The joints are then attacked by immune system cells, resulting in inflammation, swelling, and pain. Rheumatoid arthritis, if left untreated, gradually causes permanent joint damage. Rheumatoid arthritis treatments can include a variety of oral or injectable medications that suppress immune system overactivity. See the charts below for a list of rheumatoid arthritis medications and their side effects.
Lupus erythematosus (SLE) (lupus). Lupus patients produce autoimmune antibodies that can attach to tissues throughout the body. Lupus frequently affects the joints, lungs, blood cells, nerves, and kidneys. Prednisone, a steroid that suppresses immune system function, is frequently prescribed on a daily basis as treatment. Read about the symptoms and treatments of lupus.
IBD (Irritable Bowel Disease) (IBD). The lining is attacked by the immune system of the intestines, resulting in diarrhea, rectal bleeding, frequent bowel movements, abdominal pain, fever, and weight loss The two most common types of IBD are ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Immunosuppressive medications, both oral and injected, can be used to treat IBD. Learn the distinctions between ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Thyroiditis caused by Hashimoto’s. The immune system’s antibodies attack the thyroid gland, gradually destroying the cells that produce thyroid hormone. Hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone levels) usually develops over months to years. Fatigue, constipation, weight gain, depression, dry skin, and cold sensitivity are some of the symptoms. Taking an oral synthetic thyroid hormone pill on a daily basis restores normal body functions. Learn more about thyroid underactivity treatments.
Myasthenia gravis Antibodies bind to nerves, preventing them from properly stimulating muscles. The main symptom of myasthenia gravis is weakness that worsens with activity. Mestinon (pyridostigmine) is the most commonly used medication to treat myasthenia gravis. Read about the symptoms of myasthenia gravis.
Vasculitis. In this case, the immune system attacks and damages blood vessels a class of autoimmune diseases Vasculitis can affect any organ, so symptoms can be found almost anywhere in the body. Prednisone or another corticosteroid is commonly used to suppress immune system activity. Learn more about the symptoms and treatments of vasculitis.