More and more often you can hear in the media about autoimmune diseases. Today we will briefly explain what AUTOIMMUNIZATION actually is. Therefore, it is a process in which our body begins to attack its own tissues and cells – leading to their destruction through cellular or humoral mechanisms (with the use of autoantibodies directed against its own antigens). Often, in the context of these diseases, we also talk about self-aggression. All concepts are correct because these diseases result from the impairment of the immune system’s function to distinguish its own antigens from foreign ones. Autoimmune diseases develop – and most of them are, unfortunately, only symptomatically treated. They affect about 4% of the world’s population, most often women suffer from them (this is explained by the possibility of estrogens to create the phenomenon of immunosuppression).
What are the most common autoimmune diseases?
The most frequently diagnosed autoimmune diseases include Graves-Basedov’s disease, multiple sclerosis, type I diabetes (insulin-dependent), myasthenia or systemic lupus erythematosus. These diseases account for as much as 95% of all autoimmune diseases! They can be divided into organ-specific and non-specific (i.e. systemic) diseases. The division depends on the location of the autoantigen, which may be located within one organ or cell type, but may also be dispersed throughout the body, such as autoantigens of connective tissue cells. The development of these diseases is influenced by genetic factors, but the main triggering mechanism is still determined by environmental factors such as stress, drugs, infections, and even inadequate diet.