Sandeep Gupta, MD

Board Certified Rheumatologist

Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune diseases affect 50 million Americans, as per the AARDA (American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association). An autoimmune disease manifests itself when the body’s immune system, which defends against disease, reprograms itself to view the body’s healthy cells are foreign. As a result, your immune system turns against its healthy cells and attacks them. An autoimmune disease affects various different types of body tissue. It can also give way to abnormal organ growth and fluctuations in organ function.

There are up to 80 different forms of autoimmune diseases. Most have very similar symptoms, which makes it very difficult to diagnose which specific type is affecting the body. It’s also common to have more than one at a specific time. Autoimmune diseases normally fluctuates between periods of remission and flare-ups. Since there isn’t a curative therapy available for autoimmune diseases, treatment is currently focusing its efforts on alleviating symptoms in addition to preventing further complications.

Autoimmune diseases is often genetically driven and run in families. 75% of people affected most commonly includes women, according to AARDA. African-Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans are found to have an increased risk level of developing an autoimmune disease.

Related Informational Links

Arthritis Foundation

Lupus Foundation of America

Scleroderma Foundation