What Causes Autoimmune Diseases?
Your immune system is supposed to be one of your body’s natural heroes. It’s meant to fight against illness and disease, attacking viruses and bacteria before they have the chance to take you down. But what happens when that immune system loses sight of what it should be attacking, and starts going after your own body instead? In these instances, it can feel like your immune system has morphed from hero to enemy.
Autoimmune diseases are conditions that develop when the immune system “malfunctions” and becomes hyperactive, going after healthy tissues, cells, and organs. There are more than 80 conditions that fit this category, according to the National Institutes of Health, including:
- Type 1 diabetes
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis
These diseases can be life-altering for those afflicted with them, so of course people with autoimmune conditions want to know what caused them.