Autoimmune diseases occur when the body generates an immune response against itself. Some people with rheumatic or autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, develop an autoimmune lung disease. Marked by lung inflammation and possible scarring, it’s easier to treat if detected early.
Previously thought to affect mainly children, celiac disease is now understood to be a systemic disorder that can develop at any age. A recent study found a small but significant risk of increased mortality in those with CD, but managing the condition through proper diet and medical care can mitigate the risk.
Approximately 1% of the population has vitiligo, a skin condition in which areas of skin lose their color. While topical treatments and light therapy help some, research with a class of medications not previously used for this condition has shown promising results.
People who think they have hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid) may expect or request a wide range of blood tests to confirm diagnosis. Yet a much simpler, less costly test can identify hypothyroidism in almost everyone.
An observational study found that people diagnosed with stress-related disorders were more likely to develop an autoimmune disease, but was unable to provide proof of a directly causal relationship.
Scleroderma is a painful, potentially debilitating autoimmune disease without good treatments. A novel approach to treating severe scleroderma using stem-cell transplantation to “reboot” the immune system shows great promise but not without potentially serious side effects.