“Women develop many types of autoimmune diseases much more often than men. And if you have one autoimmune disease, you are more likely to get another”.1

Umbrella
What may the Autoimmune Diseases Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Autoimmune Diseases/Disorders
  • Celiac Disease
  • Graves’ Disease
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome
  • Hashimoto’s Disease
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Multiply Sclerosis
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Psoriasis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Scleroderma
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
  • Type 1 Diabetes

Definition

What are autoimmune diseases?

DotS the definition of autoimmune diseases (ADs) may vary. The (United States) National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases’ (NIAMS) definition is:

“Your immune system is the network of cells and tissues in your body that work together to defend you from viruses, bacteria, and infection. It tries to identify and destroy the invaders that might hurt you.

In autoimmune diseases, proteins known as autoantibodies target the body’s own healthy tissues by mistake, signaling the body to attack them”.2

Types

What are some of the more common autoimmune diseases?

In Autoimmune Diseases the (United States) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) elaborate on:

“More than 80 diseases occur as a result of the immune system attacking the body’s own organs, tissues, and cells. Some of the more common autoimmune diseases include type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and inflammatory bowel disease”.3

In Autoimmune Diseases: In-Depth – Types of Autoimmune Diseases the NIAMS explain:

“There are several types of autoimmune diseases. These include the following:

  • Alopecia Areata…
  • Pemphigus…
  • Psoriasis…
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis…
  • Scleroderma…
  • Sjögren’s Syndrome…
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus…
  • Vitiligo…”.4

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia

Are chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, autoimmune diseases?

In Autoimmune Diseases – Are Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Autoimmune Diseases? the Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Womenshealth.gov (OWH) note:

“Chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis, or ME/CFS, and fibromyalgia (feye-broh-meye-AL-juh) (FM) are not autoimmune diseases. But they often have symptoms of some autoimmune disease, like being tired all the time and pain”.5

Cause

What causes autoimmune diseases?

The NIAID explain:

“Although the causes of many autoimmune diseases remain unknown, a person’s genes in combination with infections and other environmental exposures are likely to play a significant role in disease development. Treatments are available for many autoimmune diseases, but cures have yet to be discovered”.6

Common or Not

How common are autoimmune diseases?

In Autoimmune Diseases: How Common Are Autoimmune Diseases? the (United States) Cleveland Clinic elaborate on:

“Many autoimmune diseases are more common in women than in men. The diseases are common — 1 in 15 people in the U.S. have an autoimmune disease. One million people in the U.S. have lupus and 1.4 million have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis”.7

Women

Is there an association between women and autoimmune diseases?

In Autoimmune Diseases: Summary – Who Is At Risk for Autoimmune Diseases? the (United States) MedlinePlus note:

Autoimmune Diseases“Women develop many types of autoimmune diseases much more often than men. And if you have one autoimmune disease, you are more likely to get another”.8

In Autoimmune Awareness Month: Facts About Autoimmune Diseases the Autoimmune Association note:

  • “80% of people living with autoimmune disease are female
  • Autoimmune disease tends to cluster in families. If one person in your family has an autoimmune disease, it’s likely that someone else does, too — although they might not have the same disease”.9

Health Care Provider

What if I think I have an autoimmune disease?

If you think you have an autoimmune disease it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this.

In Autoimmune Diseases – How Do I Find Out If I Have An Autoimmune Disease?  the OWH elaborate on:

“Getting a diagnosis can be a long and stressful process. Although each autoimmune disease is unique, many share some of the same symptoms. And many symptoms of autoimmune diseases are the same for other types of health problems too. This makes it hard for doctors to find out if you really have an autoimmune disease, and which one it might be. But if you are having symptoms that bother you, it’s important to find the cause. Don’t give up if you’re not getting any answers”.10

The OWH also note:

  • “Get a second, third, or fourth opinion if need be. If your doctor doesn’t take your symptoms seriously or tells you they are stress-related or in your head, see another doctor”.11

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics A-Z related to Autoimmune Diseases?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

Where may I find Autoimmune Diseases Links?

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Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. Autoimmune Diseases: Summary. Last Updated: 26 January 2024. MedlinePlus https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/autoimmunediseases.html Accessed: 11 April 2024
  2. Autoimmune Diseases: Overview of Autoimmune Diseases. Last Reviewed: March 2023. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/autoimmune-diseases Accessed: 11 April 2024
  3. Autoimmune Diseases. Content Last Reviewed: 06 October 2022. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases https://www.niaid.nih.gov/diseases-conditions/autoimmune-diseases Accessed: 11 April 2024
  4. Autoimmune Diseases: In-Depth – Types of Autoimmune Diseases. Last Reviewed: March 2023. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/autoimmune-diseases/advanced#tab-types Accessed: 11 April 2024
  5. Autoimmune Diseases: Are Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Autoimmune Diseases? Page Last Updated: 22 February 2021. Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Womenshealth.gov https://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/autoimmune-diseases.html Accessed: 11 April 2024
  6. Autoimmune Diseases: Overview. Content Last Reviewed: 06 October 2022. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases https://www.niaid.nih.gov/diseases-conditions/autoimmune-diseases Accessed: 11 April 2024
  7. Autoimmune Diseases: How Common Are Autoimmune Diseases? Last Reviewed 21 July 2021. Cleveland Clinic https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21624-autoimmune-diseases Accessed: 11 April 2024
  8. Autoimmune Diseases: Summary – Who Is At Risk for Autoimmune Diseases? Last Updated: 26 January 2024. MedlinePlus https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/autoimmunediseases.html Accessed: 11 April 2024
  9. Autoimmune Diseases: How Do I Find Out If I Have An Autoimmune Disease? Page Last Updated: 22 February 2021. Office on Women’s Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Womenshealth.gov https://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/autoimmune-diseases.html Accessed: 11 April 2024
  10. Autoimmune Awareness Month: Facts About Autoimmune Diseases. Autoimmune Association https://autoimmune.org/autoimmune-awareness-month/ Accessed: 11 April 2024
  11. Autoimmune Diseases: How Do I Find Out If I Have An Autoimmune Disease? Page Last Updated: 22 February 2021. Office on Women’s Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Womenshealth.gov https://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/autoimmune-diseases.html Accessed: 11 April 2024
Topic Last Updated: 14 May 2024 – Topic Last Reviewed: 11 April 2024

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