Autoimmune diseases: causes and symptoms

Filed in: Health Conditions.

Autoimmune diseases they are characterized by the condition that the body's immune defense mechanism works erroneously against itself and tends to destroy its own healthy cells and tissues. Basically, these diseases arise as a result of the inept response of the body against the components that are generally found within the body.

More than 80 different types of immune diseases such as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, Diseases of the grave, diabetes, multiple sclerosis Has been Recognized with a severity ranging from mild discomfort to fatal disabilities, depending on the part of the body affected and to what extent. [1] Autoimmune diseases can lead to abnormal growth or inadequate functioning of organs or can damage multiple tissues and organs, including skin, muscles, red blood cells, thyroid glands and connective tissues. [2]

Autoimmune diseases can be classified in two categories: specific organ and no specific organ. [3] In specific organ diseases, a particular organ of the body can be affected while; in organs that are not specific to the organ, many different organs can be impacted. This could be due to the malfunction of a particular tissue in different parts of the body, such as an immune system confused against blood, can result in pernicious anemiaautoimmune thrombocytopenia whereas, a defective immune reaction against the blood vessels can cause Behcet's disease, temporal arteritis and immune malfunction against endocrine The system can cause Graves' disease, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, to name a few.

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Causes of autoimmune diseases

Malfunction of the immune system

In a healthy individual, T lymphocytes that is, the cells of the immune system protect the body from harmful components also known as antigens. The defense mechanism triggers the production of antibodies to fight against a series of antigens such as bacteria, viruses, Cancer Cells and other toxins from the environment. The immune system of patients suffering from autoimmune diseases loses the ability to discover the difference Between the harmful and healthy cells of the body. [4] As a result, it begins to produce antibodies to destroy normal and healthy body tissues as well. These antibodies are also called autoantibodies.

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A simple way to understand this is that, in allergic reactions, the immune system acts against foreign substances that attack the body and, in autoimmune diseases, the immune system counteracts the functioning of the body's healthy body tissues. The exact reason behind the occurrence of such diseases has not yet been identified. Several theories suggest the role of certain microorganisms or medications that can cause these amendments in the body. Other important causes of autoimmune disorders include:

Genetic factor

The scientific findings also suspect some genetic intervention that may increase the susceptibility to the development of autoimmune diseases in some individuals and make them prone to such changes in the immune system. That infers that several members of the same family may suffer from a particular disease, possibly due to a specific gene that can influence and predispose members to it. In addition, individuals from the same family may inherit the same set of abnormal genes and, nonetheless, develop different autoimmune diseases.


For an unknown reason, women are more likely to develop autoimmune disorders compared to men.

General infection

Certain autoimmune diseases can be caused as a result of infections Caused in the body.


Autoimmune disorders may have an increased risk of developing during reproductive age. They also seem to be influenced positively or negatively by certain phases such as menopause, pregnancy and childbirth that involve changes in hormone levels.

Symptoms of autoimmune diseases

Most autoimmune diseases have Similary The symptoms and, however, affect different parts of the body. [3] It can also vary from person to person depending on the disorder and the position in which the immune system is responding in a peculiar way. The indications that commonly arise with the autoimmune disorder include

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General fatigue of the body

This is probable The most common Symptom of autoimmune diseases. [5] A person may feel extreme tiredness despite sufficient rest and normal level of physical activity.


The elevated body temperature during the prolonged duration is another indicator of autoimmune disorders.


Swelling and pain in some parts of the body, such as joints in case of arthritisskin and heart in case of lupus It can also mean the appearance of autoimmune diseases.

Apart from this, the general feeling of sickness and discomfort also known as malaise, improved vulnerability to infections, seizures, excessive weightloss, Hair loss, palpitationsVertigo and tingling in the hands and feet can also be signs of the development of autoimmune diseases. [5]

Autoimmune diseases: causes and symptoms, reference:

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