In recent years, the term autoimmune disease has become more common in medical consultations, it has been discovered that many disorders or diseases not know cataloged properly, they are due to alterations of the immune system.
Our immune system is responsible for defending the body by different mechanisms attacks and neutralizes foreign substances to our body as they can be bacteria, viruses, toxins, cancer cells, etc.
Well, for unknown reasons, there are times when the immune system fails to recognize and own one or more tissues or organs and make antibodies and immune reaction that attacks cells, tissues and organs of the body itself. This process generates inflammation and injury, leading to an autoimmune disease.
One could say that is similar to what occurs in an allergy process. In allergy, the immune system attacks a substance which, although foreign to the body, under normal conditions should not attack (eg, pollen); and autoimmune diseases, the immune system attacks the body's own cells that under normal conditions, nor should attack.
Causes of autoimmune diseases
Currently, the cause is unknown, but different hypotheses postulate. Theories have more followers are genetic predisposition, the influence of certain drugs, infection certain bacteria or viruses or exposure to environmental factors. There are even scientific currents, more and more followers, suggesting that the interaction of several of these factors leads to the development of autoimmune diseases. Proof of this would be that it is not uncommon that a person is more than a disease of this kind.
There are different autoimmune diseases with very different symptoms but almost all share some as they are fatigue, dizziness, chronic malaise, fever and even depression, it is usually because the patient does not assume suffering a chronic illness, which associates that has no cure. But nowadays chronic diseases, specifically autoimmune diseases can be treated, minimize symptoms and prevent its progression.
The diagnosis is based on symptoms presented by the patient and some screening tests that are not decisive.
most common autoimmune diseases
Broadly speaking, we can distinguish two groups of autoimmune diseases.
The organ-specific autoimmune diseases, which are those in which only affected organ or tissue. The best known and most common are: Anemia
Pernicious, Celiac disease, Diabetes mellitus type I, Grave's disease, Addison's disease, Multiple sclerosis, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, myasthenia gravis, Goodpasture's syndrome, Crohn's disease, etc.
Systemic autoimmune diseases are those involving more than one organ or tissue. The most common are Lupus Erythematosus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjogren's syndrome, psoriasis, Sarcoidosis, etc.
In the coming weeks I will discuss those common.
Image courtesy of Adrian