What are they?
Autoimmune diseases refer to problems with the immune system, which usually fights off viruses, bacteria and infection. The problem causes your immune cells to attack your body by mistake. These diseases can affect almost any part of the body.
What are the symptoms?
Most autoimmune diseases cause redness, heat, pain, and swelling. Many autoimmune diseases affect more than one part of the body. The symptoms you have will depend on the body part(s) affected, such as:
- Joints, which can cause joint pain and stiffness.
- Thyroid, which might cause you to be tired, gain weight, or have muscle aches.
- Skin, which can cause rashes, blisters, and color changes.
What causes them?
No one is sure what causes autoimmune diseases. In most cases, your disease may have been caused by:
- Genes, which may make you more likely to have the disease.
- Environment, such as a virus that triggers the disease if you have the gene(s).
How are they treated?
Treatment depends on the type of autoimmune disease. In most cases, your doctor will prescribe medications to reduce redness, pain, and swelling.