Autoimmune Diseases: Types, Symptoms, Causes, And More

Autoimmune diseases are characterized by the human immune system attacking itself. Yes, your immune system attacks your body. Usually, the human body’s immune system is designed to fight off foreign elements like bacteria, viruses, and others. 

But, sometimes, they cannot tell the difference between internal and foreign cells that invade your body. However, during autoimmune diseases, the cells destroy the internal cells causing damage to a specific part of the human body. 

So, if you think that you have symptoms suggestive of autoimmune diseases, you need to read the following article to confirm it. 

What Is Autoimmune Disease? 

What Is Autoimmune Disease

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Autoimmune diseases result from the human body’s immune system backfiring on itself. When you have this disease, your immunity system will not be able to differentiate between your body’s cells and viruses or bacteria. 

So, by mistake, the immune system starts attacking the normal cells thinking of their foreign cells. As a result, more than 80 different types of autoimmune diseases attack the different parts of the human body. 

Statistics confirm that women are more prone to Auto Immune disease than men. For example, a 2014 study reveals that 2.7% of men can get this disease, while it can happen to 6.4% of women. Also, the diseases usually appear during the age of childbearing. 

Some ethnic groups are more prone to this disease compared to others. For example, Hispanics and African people are more prone to autoimmune diseases than white people. In addition, lupus and sclerosis tend to be common in some families.

Causes Of Autoimmune Diseases

Causes Of Autoimmune Diseases

The causes behind autoimmune diseases are still not clear to doctors. However, some risk factors can potentially cause autoimmune diseases to kick in. 

  • Some medications can cause side effects making autoimmune diseases kick in. 
  • Sometimes autoimmune diseases can be genetic. It is sometimes visible among families and bloodlines. 
  • Smoking can be a potential reason behind the autoimmune disease ( but it is not confirmed).
  • Having one autoimmune disease can cause another to appear. 
  • Being Exposed to toxins can also cause autoimmune diseases. 
  • Females are more prone to autoimmune diseases. 
  • Obesity, infections, and some other reasons are often behind autoimmune diseases. 


Types Of Autoimmune Diseases

More than 80 types of autoimmune diseases are there. But, here, I have listed the most prominent ones.

1. Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that attacks the insulin-producing cells in our pancreas. Our pancreas produces insulin, helping us regulate blood sugar levels. But our blood sugar balance deteriorates due to the immune system attacking the pancreas. 

Diabetes mellitus can damage the blood vessels in our body, including other organs like kidneys, hearts, nerves, and eyes. 

2. Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is caused when the immune system attacks the joints of the human body. It causes warmth, redness, soreness, and stiffness in our joints. 

3. Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis hastens skin cells’ growth, multiplying, and shedding. The build-up of piled skin cells forms red patches and tiny, scaly plaques. Swelling, joint pain, and stiffness are common among people with Psoriatic Arthritis. 

4. Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis

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The protective coating that surrounds the nerve cells of your central nervous system is called the myelin sheath. It causes the brain, and spinal cord’s functionality (response) to slow down. As a result, patients with Multiple Sclerosis have trouble walking, weakness, and other balance issues. Fifteen years into this disease might cause walking disability in patients. 

5. Lupus


Although lupus was initially identified as a skin disease, it can affect the kidney, brain, heart, and other places of our body. Fatigue, joint pains, and rashes are the common symptoms of lupus. 

6.Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

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IBD is the effect of inflammation caused by the lining of the wall of the intestine. There are two different types of it, affecting different parts of the GI tract. Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis are two different types of this disease. 

7. Addison’s Disease

Addison's Disease

Adrenal glands produce the hormone named cortisol. When Addison’s disease affects the adrenal glands, the production of cortisol and aldosterone, the decrease in cortisol can affect the body’s capability to store and use carbohydrates. On the other hand, aldosterone deficiency can cause a loss of sodium and increase the level of potassium in your blood. 

Autoimmune Disease Symptoms 

Most autoimmune diseases have very common early symptoms. Here are some of them – 

  • achy muscles
  • Fatigue
  • hair loss
  • Low-grade fever
  • numbness 
  • tingling in the limbs
  • swelling and redness
  • trouble concentrating
  • skin rashes


Aside from autoimmune diseases, individuals have different and unique symptoms. Due to type one diabetes, you might experience an extreme level of thirst, fatigue, and weight loss. Patients with IBD experience bloating, Belly pain, diarrhea, etc. 

The symptoms of autoimmune diseases like RA and psoriasis can experience the symptoms to come and go frequently. This type of symptom is called a flare-up. The time when the symptoms go away is named remission.

Other symptoms previously talked about can also come alongside the symptoms of these diseases can also manifest. For instance, the patients can experience fatigue, swelling, muscle aches, and redness. 

Frequently Asked Questions: (FAQs):- 

Here are some questions people usually ask about autoimmune diseases. 

1. Can Autoimmune Be Cured?

Ans: It is not possible to cure autoimmune diseases in general. However, it is possible to ease the symptoms. According to different medical histories, treating such diseases is done using anti-inflammatory drugs for pain and inflammation. In addition, corticosteroids are often used to reduce inflammation.

2. Who Usually Gets Autoimmune Disease?

Ans: This disease affects a huge number of people. According to data, a massive number of 23.5 million American People get affected due to autoimmune diseases. People affected by these diseases have their immune systems attacking themselves. 

3. What Is An Autoimmune Diet?

Ans: The autoimmune diet, or the AIP, is a diet designed to reduce the symptoms caused by autoimmune diseases. The main purpose of this diet is to reduce inflammation in general. The AIP diet has two different phases that help you identify and avoid the food that causes inflammation. 

Bottom Line 

The number of autoimmune diseases is close to or more than 80. The symptoms of some of them often overlap and make the diagnosis hard. However, if you can get it diagnosed as early as possible, you can avoid the causes to reduce the symptoms. But, the autoimmune disease still is not completely curable. 

I hope that this article was helpful. If you need any further help with the same, you can comment below. 

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