Autoimmune diseases

Need to check your thyroid? Maybe not

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.

Autoimmune disease and stress: Is there a link?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

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.

Stem-cell transplant: A possible high-risk/high-reward treatment for scleroderma

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

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.