Autoimmune disorder results from the body’s immune system mistakenly attacking its own cells, causing inflammation and tissue damage. Some autoimmune diseases affect one part of the body, for instance the thyroid (organ specific) while others affect many body tissues and organs at the same time (systemic). There are generally no cures for autoimmune disorders, although a range of treatment options exist. These vary from physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medication, to immunosuppression and surgery.
Autoimmune disorders include:
- Thyroid disease
- Coeliac disease
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease / Crohn’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
Diagnosing autoimmune disorders can be difficult, however methods of diagnosis may include looking at medical history, conducting a physical examination, blood tests, biopsies and x-rays.
- Gender – more women are affected
- Environment – infections, foods, toxins
- Genetics – some families seem more susceptible to others
- Hormones – changes in sex hormones due to pregnancy and menopause