Autoimmune diseases are where the immune system does more to fight against the antigens or infections, but attacks the own body of the individual. It is a dysfunction of the immune system that can have internal causes (genetic) or external such as the environment.
How does an autoimmune disease ?
The immune system normally produces antibodies when the body is attacked by viruses or bacteria. In this case, the body recognizes the foreign body and the target specifically, in order to put out of harm’s way. Sometimes, however, this natural defense system works poorly, and instead of attacking foreign bodies, it fights against own tissues and cells of the patient.
This is the case of type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, or psoriasis.
Some autoimmune diseases are genetic and will “wake up” because of the presence of an antigen. Others are due to a dysfunction of the immune system.
For example, when a foreign body is very similar to a normal body of the individual, the defenses will attack not only the foreign body, but also to the normal body.
What are the symptoms of an autoimmune disease ?
First of all, it is clear that more women are affected than men by this disease, one of the possible explanations could be the hormones. There are more than 80 diseases of this type, however, we can detect three common features. There may be only one of these characteristics as much as it can be all three at once. An autoimmune disease that can damage or destroy tissues and cells, altering the growth of an organ, and/or alter the function of an organ.
As a general rule, the patient will experience also fever and fatigue. In a more specific way, the health of the patient will be affected by the discomfort in breathing, pain in some places, and even mental confusion.
Treatment of autoimmune diseases
There are several ways to treat these diseases. In most cases, you can’t heal completely, but the symptoms are reduced and controlled. Thus, we can use of immunosuppressive drugs, which will decrease the defenses of the immune system.
This treatment, although effective against the disease, however, exposes the patient to other diseases. Is also possible treatment by plasmapheresis. In this case, the patient’s blood will be collected, filtered of its auto-antibodies, failed, and then re-injected into the body.