Immune system diseases are caused by a dysfunction in the body’s immune system. These diseases are categorized in three ways. The first is if the components of the immune system are affected. The second is if the condition is acquired or congenital. The third is if the immune system is underactive or overactive. The International Union of Immunological Societies has identified more than 150 primary immune system diseases. These are considered congenital or autoimmune diseases. There are also acquired immune diseases which impact the body’s ability to produce antibodies.
Autoimmune disorders will create an abnormally high activity or low activity within the body’s immune system. When the body reacts to some unknown trigger, its immune system can begin producing antibodies which attack the body’s own tissues instead of fighting infections. This reduces the body’s ability to fight invaders and making it vulnerable to infections. There are several types of autoimmune diseases.
Types of Autoimmune Diseases
Rheumatoid arthritis is caused when the body produces antibodies which attach to the joint linings. The joints then become inflamed, painful, and swollen.
Lupus causes the body to develop antibodies which attach to the body’s tissues. This disease can affect the nerves, lungs, joints, kidneys and blood cells.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) occurs when the body produces antibodies which attack the intestinal lining. Rectal bleeding, diarrhea, fever, urgent bowel movements, weight loss and abdominal pain will often occur. The two primary forms of IBD are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is another autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the body’s nerve cells. This causes severe symptoms including blindness, pain, poor coordination, weakness and muscle spasms.
Another autoimmune disorder is Type 1 diabetes mellitus. With this disease, the body produces antibodies which attack the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.
Guillain-Barre syndrome causes the body to produce antibodies that attack the nerves which control the leg muscles. This disease can also affect the muscles of the upper body and arms.
Grave’s disease causes the body to produce antibodies which overstimulate the thyroid causing it to release excess amounts of hormones. This is called hyperthyroidism and can result in symptoms such as bulging eyes, nervousness, weight loss, irritability, weakness, rapid heart rate and brittle hair.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is another autoimmune disease impacting the thyroid. With this disease, antibodies attack the thyroid gland. These antibodies slowly destroy the thyroid’s ability to produce the thyroid hormone. This disease may develop slowly over a number of years and create fatigue, weight gain, constipation, dry skin, depression, and sensitivity to cold.
Autoimmune diseases are inherited or congenital. Acquired immune diseases are caused by an outside influence.
Acquired Immune Diseases
One of the most common types of acquired immune diseases isAcquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or AIDS. This disease is caused by a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. When someone gets HIV, the body’s helper T-cells are inactivated. These cells stimulate the body to produce the antibodies which help destroy bacteria, viruses, and cancer.
Immune system diseases are either congenital or acquired. Both of these types of immune diseases impact the body’s ability to produce healthy antibodies to fight off disease.
Our immune system does an excellent job in fighting off diseases. However, it can become dysfunctional. Our lifestyle, genetics and acquired diseases can influence our immune system health and play an important role in our overall health.
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Source: Alternative Health Concepts