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12 common autoimmune diseases you may not know about

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In the United States, there are at least 23.5 million people who suffer from an autoimmune disease. According to the country’s National Institutes of Health, this number shows an upward trend and it is expected that the percentage of people affected by some autoimmune disease will rise in the coming years. There are more than 80 different types, which occur when the immune system mistakenly attacks the healthy cells of the organs and tissues, which can put people’s lives at risk. Here are 12 of the most common autoimmune diseases you should know about!

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS)

People with inflammatory bowel disease generally have two types of diseases: ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. The first leads to inflammation of the digestive tract and ulcers, while the second occurs as an inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract. It is estimated that between 10% and 15% of the US population suffers from this common autoimmune disease, whose main symptoms are diarrhea, fatigue, blood in the stool, weight-loss and stomach pain.


12 common autoimmune diseases

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can present itself in different ways in the body. It generally affects the joints, skin, kidneys and blood vessels, causing inflammation and damage to the tissues of the organs. Currently there is no cure for the different types of lupus, although patients may be referred to different specialists to monitor the state of the organs and try to prevent outbreaks of the disease, as well as to reduce symptoms such as pain and inflammation.

Addison’s disease

Addison’s disease, also called adrenal insufficiency, is considered rare and it can occur at any age when the body is not able to produce enough of certain hormones such as cortisol and aldosterone. Among the most common symptoms of Addison’s disease are gastrointestinal discomfort such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, extreme fatigue, loss of body hair and sexual dysfunction, among others.

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis


People who suffer from Hashimoto’s thyroiditis present symptoms such as fatigue, joint pain, muscle weakness, inflammation of the thyroid, swelling in the face, hair loss and constipation, among many others. This disease directly attacks the thyroid, affecting hormone production. Although anyone can be affected by Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, it tends to attack adult women more frequently.

Type I Diabetes

Type I diabetes is a disease that affects more than 1.5 million people in the United States. Each year, about 65,000 cases are diagnosed in people who report symptoms such as excessive thirst, involuntary weight loss, blurred vision, and fatigue. It can occur at any time in life, although most diagnoses are made during childhood and adolescence. Currently, there is no cure for this disease, but there are treatments available to help people lead as normal a life as possible.

Psoriatic Arthritis

12 common autoimmune diseases

Some common autoimmune diseases can become disabling, especially if they are not detected in a timely manner. This is the case with psoriatic arthritis, a condition that causes inflammation in fingers and toes, back pain, nail changes and eye inflammation. Affected people have red patches on the skin with a silvery texture. Although there’s no cure, psoriatic arthritis should be treated by a rheumatology specialist to prevent progression of symptoms and to avoid permanent damage.

Autoimmune Vasculitis

Autoimmune vasculitis occurs when blood vessels become inflamed, risking obstruction of blood flow. Consequently, patients suffer from organ and tissue damage. This condition can affect one or several organs and, among the most common symptoms, are observed: fever, fatigue, generalized body aches and weight loss.

Alopecia Areata

Hairbrush with a few due to hair loss caused by illness

Known as alopecia areata, this autoimmune disease leads to irreversible damage to the hair follicles. Spontaneous hair loss is a symptom of this disease. It can occur in people of all sexes and ages and, although it can occur due to genetic factors, it has been proven that some diseases, accidents, and even pregnancy, can lead to the appearance of alopecia.

Sjogren’s Syndrome

Have you heard about Sjogren’s syndrome? This chronic disease stands out for the inflammation of the salivary and lacrimal glands, which results in a decrease in these functions. It is characterized by a sensation of dry mouth and eyes, joint pain, inflammation of the salivary glands, dry cough and chronic fatigue. Among the most common complications are cavities and vision problems.

Celiac Disease


About 1.7 million people in the United States have celiac disease, an autoimmune disease caused by gluten and prolamins, especially in individuals with a genetic predisposition to this disease. When it occurs, the immune system has an exaggerated reaction to gluten, causing symptoms such as inflammation and intestinal issues, leading to poor absorption of nutrients.

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease for which there is no cure. This mainly affects the brain and the spinal cord which, in very advanced stages, causes irreversible damage to the nerves. Perhaps one of the most common symptoms is difficulty walking. Although there is no cure, timely treatment will help patients go through periods of remission without presenting symptoms or discomfort associated with this disease.

Rheumatoid Arthritis


Patients with rheumatoid arthritis experience swelling, pain, stiffness, and weakness in one or more joints. It occurs when the immune system attacks the lining of the joints, causing wear and tear that, in severe cases, can even cause deformities and limit mobility. As in other autoimmune diseases, timely care is key to reducing symptoms and preventing disease progression, improving the quality of life of affected patients.

The post 12 common autoimmune diseases you may not have known about appeared first on Mundo Hispanico.

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