Autoimmune diseases cause your immune system to mistake parts of your body, such as your joints, as foreign. This results in your body releasing antibodies that attack your healthy cells.
Some autoimmune diseases only target one organ in the body, whereas others affect multiple organs.
There are many different types of autoimmune diseases. In fact, there are thought to be more than 100.
Discover the five most common ones below. Plus, the best treatments that are currently available.
5 Most Common Autoimmune Diseases
1. Type-1 diabetes
One of the most common autoimmune diseases, Type-1 diabetes occurs when the immune system destroys the cells in the body that produce insulin.
This condition causes high blood sugar, which can damage both the blood vessels and the organs including the heart, kidneys, eyes, and nerves.
Type-I diabetes is most commonly diagnosed in childhood but can affect adults as well.
Related » Diabetes: Are you at Risk?
2. Rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that causes problems with the joints. This condition can cause swelling, soreness, and stiffness.
Rheumatoid arthritis more commonly affects older people, but it can start as early as your 30s in some people. There is also a condition known as juvenile idiopathic arthritis that starts in childhood.
3. Psoriatic arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis is a disease that affects 30% of people with psoriasis. This condition can cause swelling, stiffness, and pain in the joints.
There are two types of psoriatic arthritis: symmetric and asymmetric. The former affects five or more joints on both sides of the body, and the latter affects less than five joints, but it can be on opposite sides of the body.
4. Multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis, often referred to as MS, damages the protective coating surrounding the nerve cells of your central nervous system. This damage can cause numbness, weakness, balance problems, and trouble walking.
There are different forms of multiple sclerosis, all of which progress at different rates and cause different issues. That being said, difficulty walking is the most common symptom.
5. Inflammatory bowel disease
Inflammatory bowel disease is an severe illness that affects the gastrointestinal tract. More specifically, it causes painful inflammation in the lining of the intestinal wall.
The most notable symptoms include diarrhea, stomach pain, and bleeding ulcers.
How are autoimmune diseases treated?
While so far there is no cure known for autoimmune diseases, there are a number of treatments that can help control the overactive immune response in the body and reduce inflammation.
Most notably, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help to reduce pain and inflammation.
Stem cell therapy has additionally been proven to be highly effective at managing the symptoms of autoimmune diseases and improving patients’ overall quality of life. For example, this stem cell treatment centre in Columbia offers cutting-edge therapy for people with autoimmune diseases and has seen great success across the board.
There are also lifestyle changes that you can adopt to help manage your symptoms, such as eating a diet that includes anti-inflammatory foods such as tomatoes, olive oil, nuts, and fish, and getting enough sleep, and physical activity.
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