Pay Attention To These 40 Autoimmune Issues

Risks surround human lives. Whether it is being exposed to mishaps or being vulnerable to diseases, we never know what might happen the very next moment.… Trista - December 11, 2019

Risks surround human lives. Whether it is being exposed to mishaps or being vulnerable to diseases, we never know what might happen the very next moment. There are plenty of life-threatening illnesses that can make a healthy human fight for his or her life. Among all the diseases that can impact human health, autoimmune diseases are the most critical ones that can pose a severe threat to health and well being.

The human body’s immune system protects it from all the possible infection and disease, but what if our immune system becomes a significant threat? Autoimmune diseases are disorders or ailments where the immune system stops working and attacks the healthy cells in the body. Autoimmune diseases or immune system disorder affects the immune system in different ways. The body starts attacking the healthy tissue and decreases the body’s ability to fight back.

There are plenty of autoimmune diseases that most people are not yet aware of, making them even more prone to such immune system disorders. It is essential to get acquainted with the possible autoimmune system, ascertain their symptoms, and take necessary precautions to steer clear from such diseases. It would help if you learned more about the prevalent autoimmune diseases currently prevailing in the world. Read on and expand your knowledge about these autoimmune diseases.

This autoimmune disease affects the esophagus. Pixabay

40. Achalasia restricts the functioning of the esophagus.

It is a rare body disorder affecting the esophagus. It restricts the passage of food and liquid into the body. Achalasia is caused when your throat is damaged, making it difficult to squeeze down the stomach’s food and liquid. The muscular valve between the stomach and the esophagus becomes hard to flex, making the passage of food difficult. Achalasia can severely hamper the health as it restricts the food passage, and the body couldn’t receive the required nutrition to conduct its functions. Though Achalasia cannot be cured, the symptoms can be managing by following surgeries and therapies.

Celiac disease is related to gluten intake. Pixabay

Celiac disease is a reaction to a gluten allergy in the intestine.

It is a form of autoimmune disease where the person is allergic to gluten, and eating gluten can severely damage their small intestine. When a person with Celiac disease consumes gluten, their immune system reacts by damaging the small intestine. Gluten is a form of protein found in different food items such as wheat, barley, and rye. Other than food items, gluten is also found in several vitamin supplements, medicines, lip balm, and glue stamps. Celiac affects people differently. It might not be a severe threat, while in others, it can develop into a life-threatening situation.

Are you losing your hair at an alarming rate? Pixabay

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease impacting your hair growth.

It is an autoimmune disease wherein the person deals with hair loss. Alopecia areata is found in both men and women, and it can happen at any age. Along with hair loss, round bald patches can be witnessed in alopecia areata. Just like any other autoimmune disease, alopecia areata also works differently in different people. Alopecia totalis is the loss of skin and facial hair. When significant hair fall is followed by pregnancy is deemed as alopecia postpartum. The primary concern of a person dealing with alopecia is whether they will regain their hair growth. Regrowth of hair in alopecia depends on the severity of the disease. While hair growth can be restored in some people, in others, it would be a permanent hair loss.

The kidneys are affected by the autoimmune disease known as lupus. Pixabay

Lupus attacks the healthy tissues in your body. 

It is severe autoimmune diseases wherein the immune system attacks the healthy tissues and becomes hyperactive. Lupus symptoms majorly involve swelling, inflammation, damage to blood, heart, kidney, and lungs. It is generally termed as an inflammatory autoimmune disease. There is no proper cure for lupus, and the standard treatment and therapies are aimed at improving the lifestyle of the people who have lupus and controlling the severe symptoms. The medications for lupus mainly include anti-inflammatory and steroids. Different types of lupus depend on the affected body part. For instance, Systematic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) affects the body’s organ system, such as kidneys, lungs, heart, and central nervous system.

Autoimmune hepatitis affects your liver. Pixabay

Autoimmune hepatitis can damage your liver function.

It is a chronic autoimmune disease that damages the liver causing inflammation. The immune system starts attacking the liver and causes inflammation in the liver. The common symptoms of autoimmune hepatitis are fatigue, abdominal and joint pain. Autoimmune hepatitis usually occurs on its own, but sometimes it accompanies other autoimmune diseases and creates severe destruction in your liver. This autoimmune disease is divided into two major categories, Type I and Type II. Type I is the most common form of autoimmune hepatitis, and it can occur at any age. It is most common in women than in men. Type II is a less common form that majorly attacks girls’ bodies between 2 and 14.

If you have problems with a gunky buildup on your eyes, it might be related to ligneous conjunctivitis. Pixabay

Ligneous conjunctivitis can impact your eyes, vocal cords, and bronchi.

Ligneous conjunctivitis is a rare autoimmune disorder characterized by the build-up of fibrin, a form of protein that results in severe inflammation of the conjunctiva. This build-up fibrin leads to the growths of inflamed ligneous that are thick woody and usually yellow, white, or red. Ligneous conjunctivitis mostly occurs inside the eyelids but affects the cornea, pupil, and sclera that eventually leads to loss of vision in the long run. It is essential to detect the early symptoms of ligneous conjunctivitis to tame this autoimmune disorder at the earliest. At its worst, ligneous conjunctivitis can damage the mucous membranes of the larynx, nose, vocal cords, bronchi, cervix, and gingival. The early signs of ligneous conjunctivitis are mucous discharge, redness of the conjunctiva, and uncontrollable tearing.

MS affects the brain, spinal cord, and nerve cells. Pixabay

Multiple sclerosis is a progressive autoimmune disease impacting your nerve function.

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease where the myelin sheaths a protective covering on the nerves is exposed, resulting in a coordination imbalance between the brain and the body. It slows down or restricts the communication between the mind and the body leading to several physical and mental disorders in the body. The consequences of multiple sclerosis majorly include muscle weakness, numbness of body and brain, and memory loss. There are no reasonable causes of multiple sclerosis, but scientists have found that it is more common in women than in men, and it generally happens between the age of 20 and 40. In most cases, the disease does not become severe, but in some rare cases, it can take a dangerous turn leading to vision loss, memory loss, and incapability to read, write and speak. There is no particular cure for multiple sclerosis, and only the symptoms can be tamed down with the help of therapies and treatments.

If you are dealing with stomach and bowel problems, it might be Crohn’s disease. Pixabay

8. Crohn’s disease strongly impacts your bowel system. 

It is an inflammatory autoimmune disease that affects the bowel system. It starts with severe and constant inflammation in the inner lining of the gastro tract. The severe inflammation in the tract results in abdominal pain, diarrhea, sudden weight loss, fatigue, and malnutrition. Crohn’s disease can be caused in different digestive tract areas that define the severity of the disease. The early signs and symptoms of Crohn’s disease include blood in the stool, mouth stores, fever, and fatigue. It is essential to detect these symptoms at the earliest in order to deploy the prevention measures. The major causes of Crohn’s disease are the weakening of the immune system and the family’s heredity.

These are not your typical mouth sores. Pixabay

Pemphigus can occur to anyone. 

Pemphigus is a group of autoimmune diseases that causes sores and blisters in the mouth at an extreme level. These blisters and sores are generally caused by mucous membranes or the skin in the mouth or genitals. Pemphigus can occur at any age, but it is mostly found in middle-aged or older people. As it is a chronic autoimmune disease, it lasts for the long haul, and in some rare cases, it can turn into a life-threatening illness as well if not given the proper treatment. There are two main types of pemphigus; pemphigus Vulgaris and pemphigus foliaceus. The symptoms of pemphigus Vulgaris include blisters on the skin or genitals that accompany pain and itching, making it hard to swallow or pee. The early signs of pemphigus foliaceous are blisters on shoulders, chest, and back and they are painful as well.

Women have to be aware of endometriosis. Pixabay

Endometriosis can be incredibly painful. 

It is a form of autoimmune disease occurring in women uterus wherein the tissue lining the uterus starts growing outside of it. This autoimmune disease generally develops on the ovaries, behind the uterus, or on the bladder or bowels. It is considered one of the most painful disorders. Usually, the uterus lining tissues thicken and break down with the menstrual cycle, but in endometriosis, this tissue is trapped, and it has no way to excrete from the body.

If the tissues are forming on ovaries, it can result in the development of cysts called endometriomas. Endometriosis can lead to severe pain, especially during menstrual periods. At its worst, endometriosis can cause fertility issues, as well. Endometriosis’s common symptoms involve painful periods, urination and intercourse, excessive bleeding, fatigue, constipation, and bloating nausea. There are effective treatments for endometriosis, but it is essential to detect the issue at the earliest to safeguard your general health.

This condition causes chronic inflammation of the joints. Pixabay

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease impacting your joints. 

It is a form of inflammatory arthritis that causes chronic pain, swelling, stiffness of joints. It generally occurs in fingers, but it can primarily affect the different body parts, including skin, lungs, eyes, and blood vessels. Quite different from the damage of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis affects the joints’ lining or membrane that results in severe pain, swelling, and stiffness of the joint. In due course, rheumatoid arthritis can cause joint deformity and bone erosion. The inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis can also affect other significant parts of the body. The symptoms you must be aware of include tender and swollen joints, stiffness of joints, fatigue, loss of appetite, and fever. The symptoms of this autoimmune disease vary in severity that determines the intensity of the disease. You must seek medical assistance if you have been experiencing any of the above symptoms for a long time.

Have you ever heard of this rare autoimmune disease? Pixabay

Primary biliary cholangitis impacts the overall health of your liver. 

Primary biliary cholangitis is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the bile ducts in your liver. Bile is a fluid created in your liver that helps digest food and controls cholesterol levels in your body. Primary biliary cholangitis damages the bile duct in your liver resulting in poor digestion and inconsistent cholesterol levels. When these bile ducts are entirely or partially damaged, the bile stocks up in your liver and scarring tissues. While there are no reasonable causes of primary biliary cholangitis, scientists have found a general theory caused by genetic and environmental factors. Primary biliary cholangitis symptoms involve fatigue, itchy skin, dry eyes and mouth, unexplainable drowsiness, and others. When the situation gets worst, the symptoms take a severe turn, including yellowing of skin and eyes, abdominal pain, swollen ankles and feet, darkening of the skin, sudden weight loss, high cholesterol, bone, muscle, and joint pain, and more.

There are multiple types of autoimmune diseases you should know about including neuromyelitis optica. Pixabay

Neuromyelitis optica impacts the central nervous system.

It is an autoimmune disorder that directly affects the central nervous system impacting the eye nerves and spinal cord. It is also known as Devic’s disease or neuromyelitis optica spectrum, in which the immune system starts reacting against the central nervous system of the body. The causes of neuromyelitis optica are unknown, but it is found that it generally occurs after a severe infection. If not appropriately treated, neuromyelitis optica can result in permanent blindness, paralysis of legs, arms, painful spasms, numbness, weakening of muscles and joints, and more. It is also witnessed in children that results in seizures, coma confusion, lack of concentration, and more. Neuromyelitis optica can turn into a severe disorder if not adhered to at the right time.

Autoimmune diseases may be reflected through the skin. Pixabay

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that impacts the skin. 

It is an autoimmune disease majorly affecting the skin, leading to sore patches of thick, red skin along with silvery scales. Psoriasis expedites the life cycle of skin cells. It is one of those chronic autoimmune diseases that comes and goes often. The cells start rapidly growing on the skin surface. The extra skin cells later form scales and red patches that are incredibly itchy and painful. It generally occurs on the elbows, scalp, knees, back, face, palms, and feet. There is no cure for psoriasis, though the symptoms can be managed. The ideal treatment to control psoriasis symptoms is to stop the rapid growth of the skin cells. Psoriasis’s significant symptoms include red patches of skin with thick silvery scales, dry, cracked skin that often bleeds, itching, soreness, burning, swollen, and stiff joints.

Have you ever heard of the inflammation of the cartilage known as relapsing polychondritis? Pixabay

Relapsing polychondritis causes inflammation in certain parts of the body. 

It is a rare autoimmune disease that leads to inflammation of cartilages in the body. It majorly affects the ears, nose, throat, and eyes. The symptoms of relapsing polychondritis are always fluctuating. The severity of the signs and frequency of symptoms differ from person-to-person. Relapsing polychondritis occurs in people in their 50s-60s. This autoimmune disease can be triggered for several reasons, such as genetic mutations and environmental factors. In this autoimmune disease, the immune system targets healthy cells and works to damage them completely, resulting in faulty bodily functions. It majorly affects the cartilages, the tissues that cushion the joints, and other parts of your body. Cartilages are inflamed, which leads to redness, swelling, irritation, pain, and discomfort. It is essential to detect the symptoms at the earliest to perform the necessary treatments.

Do you have symptoms of fibromyalgia such as fatigue, memory loss, or mood swings? Pixabay

Fibromyalgia presents in a variety of symptoms. 

It is an autoimmune disorder that results in musculoskeletal pain following fatigue, sleep, drowsiness, memory loss, severe mood swings, and others. Scientists have stated that fibromyalgia expedites the pain that affects the way the brain processes the pain signals. The symptoms of fibromyalgia generally start after physical trauma, infection, surgery, or psychological stress. Other extensive fibromyalgia symptoms involve cognitive difficulties, severe fatigue, and chronic body pain majorly below and above the waist. The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but it is often stated that it arises from infections, genetic mutations, and physical or emotional trauma. Fibromyalgia is considered a severe disorder because it directly affects nerve stimulation causing the brain to react negatively that adversely affects our body functions.

This autoimmune disease also affects the skin. Pixabay

Scleroderma impacts the skin. 

As the name suggests, this autoimmune disease affects the skin making it hard and rough. It generally targets the lower arms and legs, region below the elbows and knees, and in rare cases, also affects the neck and face. There have been cases where scleroderma has affected the digestive tracts, lungs, kidneys, and heart. There is no cure for scleroderma, but you can dampen the symptoms’ effects by following the proper treatment and medications. The common symptoms of scleroderma occur rapidly. Hence it is vital to remain vigilant and do the necessary treatment before things get worse. The early signs majorly include tightening and hardening of the skin, Reynaud’s phenomenon, red spots and lines on the skin, difficulty in swallowing, and bumps under the skin. It has been found that scleroderma is caused due to excessive collagen formation, the component of connective tissue.

An inflammation of the blood vessels is called vasculitis. Pixabay

Vasculitis impacts the functioning of the blood vessels in your body. 

An autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the blood vessels, vasculitis can result in thickening, weakening, and narrowing of the blood vessel walls. It is a rare autoimmune disorder and is found in different types. Sometimes it only affects a single organ, and other times, it can conjointly affect two or more organs. The conditions of vasculitis can be either short-term or long-termed, and it majorly depends on the severity of the symptoms. The early signs and symptoms of vasculitis involve fever, headache, fatigue, sudden weight loss, general aches and pains, rashes, night sweats, numbness, and weakness. Though all these symptoms are generic, it can take a severe turn when ignoring repeatedly. Depending on the disease’s severity, different treatments have deployed that address the person’s specific issues.

Graves’ disease is characterized by an overproduction of hormones in the thyroid. Pixabay

Graves’ disease presents itself in a variety of symptoms.

It is an autoimmune system disorder that causes the overproduction of thyroid hormones, also known as hyperthyroidism. While there are several other causes of hyperthyroidism, Graves’ disease is one among them and possibly the most prominent. Signs and symptoms are quite extensive; hence, they have a potential effect on the overall well-being. Graves’ disease can occur at any age, but it is common below 40. The Grave Disease symptoms generally include anxiety, irritability, weight loss, enlargement of the thyroid gland, fluctuation in menstrual cycles, erectile dysfunction, bulging eyes, fatigue, thick and red skin, irregular heartbeats, and sudden weight loss. Graves’ disease’s risk factors involve family history, emotional and physical stress, pregnancy, and smoking.

This autoimmune disease is also known as Berger’s. Pixabay

IgA nephropathy can be difficult to detect in its early stages.

Also known as Berger’s disease, IgA Nephropathy is an autoimmune disease that directly impacts the kidney when an antibody builds up in your kidney. This build-up of antibody called immunoglobulin A generates inflammation that, over time, can disable the kidney’s ability to filter waste from the blood. IgA nephropathy progresses slowly, and the intensity of the disease varies from person to person. There is no cure for IgA nephropathy, but certain medications can slow down its severity in a different person. IgA nephropathy symptoms are not visible in the initial stages that make it difficult for people to detect it at the early stage. IgA nephropathy symptoms you must never ignore are tea-colored urine, foamy urine, pain in your ribs and back, swelling in hands and feet, and high blood pressure. It is essential to pay heed to these symptoms and seek medical attention as soon as possible.

THS causes headaches and affects your eyes. Pixabay

Tolosa-hunt syndrome (THS) can be dangerous if left untreated. 

It is one of those rare autoimmune diseases identified through severe headaches with extraocular palsies that include third, fourth, fifth, and sixth cranial nerves. Tolosa-Hunt syndrome generally affects eye health and generates several eyes related issues, including pain, irritation, weakness, paralysis of eye muscles. Though the exact cause of this syndrome is unknown yet, it is anticipated that it is generally caused by inflammation in the back of the eye. The symptoms generally affect one side of the head and pain in specific eye muscles. If neglected, these symptoms can turn into permanent blindness.

Many people deal with ulcerative colitis, or UC. Pixabay

Ulcerative colitis can worsen if not properly treated.

It is an inflammatory bowel autoimmune disease that causes constant inflammation and creates ulcers in the digestive tract. It generally attacks the large intestine and rectum’s inner lining that can give rise to several irritating issues. The symptoms of ulcerative colitis are developed, gradually making it difficult to track the severity. If frequently neglected, ulcerative colitis can become a life-threatening issue. This bowel disease symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain, rectal pain, weight loss, fatigue, blood in urine, fever, and urgency to urinate, among others.

Have you ever heard of Guillain Barre Syndrome? Pixabay

Guillain Barre Syndrome is a rare autoimmune disease that can impact each individual differently.

It is a rare autoimmune disease wherein the immune system mistakenly attacks the peripheral nervous system. Making you feel weak and giving tingling sensations, Guillain Barre Syndrome, can paralyze your body over time. At its worst, Guillain Barre Syndrome can be a medical emergency and turn into a life-threatening disease. This autoimmune disease’s symptoms generally include prickling, pins and needles sensations in your toes, ankles, wrists, or fingers, weak legs, unstable walking, difficulty in doing facial and eye movements, irregular heartbeats, low/high blood pressure. There are three main types of Guillain Barre Syndrome, including acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy, Miller Fisher Syndrome, and acute motor axonal neuropathy.

This autoimmune disease is very rare. Pixabay

The cause of Evans Syndrome is unknown. 

Evans syndrome is a rare autoimmune disease wherein the immune system destroys the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in the body leading to several blood-related ailments. People affected by Evans syndrome are bound to experience thrombocytopenia (situation of low platelets), Coombs’ positive hemolytic anemia (destruction of red blood cells). The early signs and symptoms of Evans syndrome include fatigue, paleness, lightheadedness, and purpura. While the exact cause of Evans syndrome is entirely unknown, it is often directed to the impurities in blood and weakened the immune system.

This autoimmune disease may be recognized in patches of skin. Pixabay

Sarcoidosis causes inflamed cells to collect in different parts of the body. 

It is an autoimmune disease that results in inflammatory cells’ growth in different parts of the body. This collection of inflammatory cells is generally found in the lungs and lymph nodes. It can also affect the skin, eyes, heart, and other vital organs of the body. While the exact cause of sarcoidosis remains unknown, it is anticipated that the immune system might be responding to an unknown substance. Some research also proves that infectious agents, potential abnormal reaction, chemical and dust response to body protein can be a possible reason behind sarcoidosis. These autoimmune disease symptoms are quite generic, like fatigue, weight loss, pain, and swelling of joints. In extreme cases, lymph nodes are also swollen up. Many people suffering from sarcoidosis often do not show any symptoms, and their issues can only be detected with an x-ray.

Muscle inflammation and weakness is another autoimmune disease. Pixabay

Inclusion Body Myositis typically occurs in middle aged adults. 

There is a group of autoimmune diseases known as inflammatory myopathies. It is characterized by severe muscle inflammation followed by muscle weakness. The progression of the weakness is gradual and not sudden. It gets worse over the years. It can affect both proximal and distal muscles. Inclusion Body Myositis (IBM) can result in difficulty pinching, holding and gripping objects, and buttoning shirts. The symptoms are usually witnessed after the age of 50, though there are chances that the disease may occur earlier. The weakness of the finger muscles and forearm muscles are among the common symptoms of IBM.

Visit your doctor if you display any of these symptoms. Pixabay

Amyloidosis can affect various parts of the body. 

It is a rare autoimmune disease wherein a protein called amyloid starts building in the organs. It is an abnormal protein generated in the bone marrow and can get deposited into any tissue or organ. Amyloidosis generally affects the kidneys, liver, spleen, nervous system, digestive tract, and heart. Severe cases of amyloidosis have led to organ failures, as well. The early signs of amyloidosis generally include short breath, swelling of ankles and legs, numbness, diarrhea, enlarged tongue, irregular heartbeat, difficulty swallowing, thickening and bruising, and purple patches around the eyes. It is vital to detect the symptoms as soon as possible to get the right medications.

This autoimmune disease affects the lungs. Pixabay

Fibrosing alveolitis causes scarring in the lungs. 

Better known as Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, fibrosing alveolitis is an autoimmune disease that causes thickening or scarring of the lungs. The exact cause of this rare autoimmune disease is still unknown; it is anticipated that it may arise due to lung reaction to an unknown substance. In this disease, your lungs become stiff and scarred, making it challenging to inhale and exhale. The symptoms of fibrosing alveolitis generally include chest pain, cough, short breath, and decreased intolerance. Fibrosing alveolitis cannot be cured completely, but some treatments can manage the symptoms.

This skin condition can affect the genitals as well. Pixabay

Lichen planus can present itself with rashes on your skin. 

Causing swelling and irritation in the skin, nail, hair, and mucous membrane, lichen planus is an autoimmune disease directly affecting your skin. The rashes can be seen in purplish, itchy, flat bumps that gradually progress over the weeks. Generally, these patches are formed in the mouth, vagina, and areas covered with mucous membranes. The symptoms of lichen planus include hair loss, change in scalp color, nail damage, blisters, painful sores, and lacy white patches. It is crucial to detect these symptoms at the earliest before the situation gets worse.

This autoimmune disease is considered a sleeping disorder. Pixabay

Narcolepsy can be extremely disruptive to your life. 

It is an autoimmune disease related to the brain. Narcolepsy is also deemed a sleeping disorder because it is characterized by significant drowsiness and sudden sleep attacks during the day. It can create severe disruption in your daily routine. People suffering from Narcolepsy often struggle to stay awake during the day. In some cases, Narcolepsy can also result in a sudden loss of muscle tone. The primary symptoms of Narcolepsy include excessive daytime sleepiness, loss of muscle tone, sleep paralysis, hallucinations, and change in rapid eye movement (RPE). If you have been experiencing such issues, it is advised to seek medical assistance as soon as possible.

Type 1 diabetes impacts a large number of individuals. Shutterstock

Type 1 diabetes impacts your blood sugar levels. 

Many individuals have type 1 diabetes. Within your body, the pancreas produces the hormone insulin, which aids in regulating blood sugar levels. In type 1 diabetes mellitus, the immune system not only attacks but destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. As a result, your blood sugar levels will rise. High blood sugar results can have a variety of impacts on your overall health. If left untreated, high blood sugar levels can lead to damage in the blood vessels and organs like the heart, kidneys, eyes, and nerves. If you have type 1 diabetes, it can be critical to closely monitor your blood sugar levels to ensure they are maintained within a healthy range to avoid having other impacts on your body. 

Addison’s disease can include a variety of symptoms. Shutterstock

Autoimmune disorders such as Addison’s disease can have a large impact on your life. 

Addison’s disease is an autoimmune disorder that impacts the adrenal glands, which produce the hormones cortisol and aldosterone as well as androgen hormones. Adequate hormone levels contribute to proper functioning within your body. Having too little cortisol can impact the way the body uses and stores carbohydrates and sugar. A deficiency of aldosterone will lead to sodium loss and excess potassium in the bloodstream. Addison’s disease can present in various symptoms that include weakness, fatigue, weight loss, and low blood sugar. If you are experiencing any of these unexplained symptoms, you should seek professional medical advice to see if there is any impact on your hormones. 

There are several thyroid autoimmune disorders, with one being Hashimoto’s. Shutterstock

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis. 

Thyroiditis refers to the inflammation of the thyroid gland. Hashimoto’s is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States. It is an autoimmune disorder involving chronic inflammation of the thyroid. Over time, the thyroid gland’s ability to produce thyroid hormones often becomes impaired and leads to a gradual decline in function and, eventually, an underactive thyroid. While it is often seen in middle-aged women, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis can be seen at any age and can also affect men and children. There are no signs and symptoms that are unique to Hashimoto’s. Since this particular autoimmune disease tends to progress very slowly over many years, people with Hashimoto’s may not have any symptoms early on. 

Some autoimmune disorders, such as Myasthenia gravis, impact the nerves. Shutterstock

Myasthenia gravis causes weakness in the skeletal muscles. 

Myasthenia gravis affects nerve impulses that help the brain control the muscles. When the communication from the nerves to the muscles is impaired, signals cannot direct the muscles to contract. The most common symptom is muscle weakness that tends to get worse with activity and improves with rest. Other symptoms include trouble talking, facial paralysis, fatigue, and difficulty breathing due to muscle weakness. This neuromuscular, autoimmune disease occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. In this particular condition, antibodies attack the neuromuscular junction. Damage to the neuromuscular membrane reduces the effect of the neurotransmitter substance acetylcholine, which is a crucial substance for communication between nerve cells and muscles. The exact cause of this autoimmune reaction is unclear. 

Pernicious anemia is more common in older adults compared to younger people. Shutterstock

Pernicious anemia is a rare, autoimmune disease. 

This particular autoimmune disease causes the deficiency of a protein made by stomach lining cells, known as an intrinsic factor needed for the small intestine to absorb vitamin B-12 from food. Without enough of the vitamin B-12, an individual will develop anemia, and the body’s ability for proper DNA synthesis will be altered. Anemia is a medical condition in which the blood is low in normal red blood cells. Vitamin B-12 is a required nutrient that helps allow proper red blood cell production and function in the body. The progression of pernicious anemia is generally slow and can often be challenging to diagnose. That is due to the common symptoms of fatigue, weakness, headaches, and weight loss associated with various other health issues. In more severe or prolonged vitamin B-12 deficiency cases, individuals may experience neurological symptoms that include depression, memory loss, or dementia. 

Lambert-Eaton syndrome is an autoimmune disease that attacks the neuromuscular junctions. Shutterstock

Lambert-Eaton syndrome affects the way your nerves and muscles communicate. 

Neuromuscular junctions are the areas where your nerves and muscles connect. Usually, your nerve cells pass signals along to your muscle cells, and these signals help your muscles move. Lambert-Eaton syndrome is where the immune system attacks those neuromuscular junctions. This disruption can make it difficult to move your muscles as you normally would. Lambert-Eaton syndrome is often associated with a specific type of cancer, small cell lung cancer. This syndrome may result from your body’s efforts to fight underlying cancer.

In some cases, the syndrome develops following another autoimmune disease, and in other cases, the cause is unknown. Symptoms can include weak muscles, eyelid drooping, fatigue, trouble breathing, and difficulty speaking and swallowing. Since the exact cause is not fully understood, it is not entirely clear how to prevent this disease. 

Cogan syndrome causes inflammation in your eyes and ears. Shutterstock

Cogan syndrome is a rare autoimmune disease. 

In the case of Cogan syndrome, it is believed that your immune system created antibodies that attack the tissue in your eyes and ears. It often starts as inflammatory eye disease and can cause your cornea’s tissue to be inflamed. You may also experience waterline eyes, red, painful eyes, and sensitivity to light. Also, you may experience signs of inflammation in your ears. Additional ear symptoms include hearing loss, dizziness, or ringing in your ears. The exact cause of Cogan syndrome is unknown. It can impact both men and women. While Cogan syndrome is treatable, you may experience periodic flare-ups for many years. If left untreated, over time, it can lead to permanent vision and hearing loss. 

This disease is autoimmune disease, causing inflammation and weakness in muscles. Shutterstock

Polymyositis develops gradually over time. 

Polymyositis is an inflammatory muscle disease that affects the muscles closest to the trunk of the body. Eventually, people with polymyositis have trouble rising from a sitting position, climbing stairs, or lifting objects. In some cases, muscles that are not close to the body’s trunk become affected as the disease progresses. Polymyositis rarely affects individuals younger than 18 years of age. It is more common in women. The condition occurs when the immune system cells infiltrate and attack muscle tissue. The cause of polymyositis is unknown. However, it is thought that heredity plays a role. Initial symptoms might include shortness of breath, fever, weight loss, or a patchy rash around the eyes. In some cases, your muscles may ache and be tender to the touch. Muscle weakness is usually gradual and can occur over three to six months. 

Susac’s syndrome is a rare, autoimmune disease. Shutterstock

Susac’s syndrome attacks blood vessels in the body. 

With Susac’s syndrome, the immune system attacks the smallest blood vessels in the brain, retina, and inner ear become blocked, causing these organs to suffer due to decreased blood flow. Although rare, it is more commonly found in females. You may experience a variety of symptoms from your brain, eyes, and inner ear. Symptoms can include severe headaches, slurred speech, loss of peripheral vision, and dizziness. All three parts of this disease may not appear at the same time. It may take weeks, months, or even years for all three parts to show up, and some patients never have more than two of them. Susac’s syndrome occurs when one’s immune system attacks the endothelial cells; the cells that line our blood vessels’ inner walls. When they are attacked, the endothelial cells swell up and partly or completely shut off blood flow through the vessel. The resulting lack of oxygen and nutrients causes the affected organs to suffer. 

Kawasaki disease causes swelling in the walls of the arteries throughout the body. Shutterstock

Impacting primarily children, Kawasaki disease occurs in phases. 

Kawasaki disease is an autoimmune disease that creates inflammation in the walls of medium-sized arteries throughout the body. The inflammation tends to affect the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart muscle. It can also affect lymph nodes, skin, and the mucous membranes inside the mouth, nose, and throat. Kawasaki disease signs and symptoms usually appear in three phases. Symptoms of the first phase can include high fever, rash on the body, and irritability. In the second phase, symptoms can include joint pain, vomiting, and abdominal pain. In the third phase of the disease, signs, and symptoms slowly go away unless complications develop. The exact cause of Kawasaki disease is unknown. However, three risk factors are known to increase the child’s risk of developing Kawasaki disease, including age, sex, and ethnicity. 

The immune system works in mysterious ways. Pixabay

Why does the immune system cause these diseases?

The immune system is the guard that protects our body from diseases and infections. Have you ever imagined that the immune system which safeguards your body from ailments can become a villain and turn against your body? Yes, that’s what happens when you get autoimmune diseases. Your immune system loses the ability to fight off the viruses and becomes vulnerable to diseases and infections. The immune system starts producing antibodies that attack the body tissues rather than fighting the disease. The above mentioned were some of the major autoimmune diseases that everyone must be aware of to fight them and safeguard the immune system. Never remain negligent to uncertain signs of your body. If you have been experiencing any unexplained symptoms and changes in your body, you must immediately consult your doctor and get the right medications before it gets too late.