Definition of autoimmune disease and autoimmunity
Autoimmune diseases are characterized by the body's own immune system is too active and by mistake attacks the body itself (autoimmunity). Autoimmune diseases attack approx. 5% of the world's population and about 80% are women.
In the autoimmune process, rheumatic inflammation (inflammation) is formed, which is distinguished from infection by the absence of bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi or other microbes. In some cases, blood tests show signs of inflammation with elevated CRP (C-reactive protein) and high SR (lowering reaction). In many autoimmune diseases, the immune system reacts by producing special proteins, so-called Antibodies.
Different autoimmune diseases
There are many different autoimmune diseases. These are distinguished by the immune system attacking characteristic organs that also reflect the typical symptoms of each disease. Different antibodies also help to differentiate the autoimmune diseases. Among the most common autoimmune rheumatic connective tissue disorders is:
Among autoimmune vasculitides is:
- Behcet's disease
- Eosinophilic granulomatous polyangiitis (EGPA) / Churg-Strauss vasculitis
- Granulomatous polyangiitis (GPA) / Wegener's granulomatosis
- Enoch-Schönlein purpura / IGA vasculitis
- Polyarteritis nodosa (PAN)
- Takayasu arteritis
- Temporalis arteritis
Autoimmune joint diseases (arthritis) include:
- children Arthritis
- Bekhterev's disease (ankylosing spondylitis)
- Psoriatic Arthritis
- Reactive arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis (arthritis)
Other autoimmune diseases are: Autoimmune hepatitis (liver inflammation), Crohn's disease, Celiac Disease, Myasthenia, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Psoriasis, Thyroiditis (thyroid inflammation), Ulcerative colitis og vitiligo (white skin).
Treatment of autoimmune disease
Some of the autoimmune diseases are treated by attenuating the overactive immune system with drugs such as cortisone (Prednisone), mild chemotherapy (methotrexate, cyclophosphamide with more) and Biological drugs. Thus, the affected organs are spared from serious injury.
The autoimmune diseases also differ in severity. Some are harmless and should not be treated, while in other cases treatment is essential. Most often, the GP does the basic examinations and refers to the specialist if necessary. The various autoimmune diseases are distributed among specialists, depending on which organs are most affected.
- Zimmermann KA, 2018 (Immune system, Lifescience)
- Murphy, Travers & Wa / port. Janeway's Immunobiology. Garland Science.