Autoimmune disease

An autoimmune disease is a condition arising from an abnormal immune response to a functioning body part.[1] There are at least 80 types of autoimmune diseases,[1] with some evidence suggesting that there may be more than 100 types.[4][5][6] Nearly any body part can be involved.[3] Common symptoms include low grade fever and feeling tired.[1] Often symptoms come and go.[1]

Autoimmune diseases
Young woman with malar rash, typically found in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
SpecialtyRheumatology, immunology, gastroenterology, neurology, dermatology
SymptomsDepends on the condition. Commonly low grade fever, feeling tired[1]
Usual onsetAdulthood[1]
TypesList of autoimmune diseases (alopecia areata, celiac disease, diabetes mellitus type 1, Hashimoto's disease, Graves' disease, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, others)[1]
MedicationNonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, immunosuppressants, intravenous immunoglobulin[1][2]
Frequency24 million / 7% (USA)[1][3]

The cause is unknown.[3] Some autoimmune diseases such as lupus run in families, and certain cases may be triggered by infections or other environmental factors.[1] Some common diseases that are generally considered autoimmune include celiac disease, diabetes mellitus type 1, Graves' disease, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic lupus erythematosus.[1][7] The diagnosis can be difficult to determine.[1]

Treatment depends on the type and severity of the condition.[1] Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and immunosuppressants are often used.[1] Intravenous immunoglobulin may also occasionally be used.[2] While treatment usually improves symptoms, they do not typically cure the disease.[1]

About 24 million (~7.5%) people in the United States are affected by an autoimmune disease.[1][3] Women are more commonly affected than men.[1] Often they start during adulthood.[1] The first autoimmune diseases were described in the early 1900s.[8]


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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Autoimmune disease, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.