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Auto Immune Diseases





Rheumatoid Arthritis

Posted by on Nov 23, 2012 in Auto Immune Diseases

Like other types of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis is a condition marked by inflammation in the joints. But unlike the more common osteoarthritis, which is caused by wear and tear on the cartilage that cushions the joints, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. The immune system attacks the joints, resulting in inflammation, irritation, and cartilage damage. Rheumatoid arthritis usually occurs in joints on both sides of the body. Common sites of swelling, pain, and redness include the hands, wrists, and knees, but other joints and organs may be affected. Treatments are aimed at quelling inflammation and halting disease process, but new regenerative medicine approaches are also being explored. Read More

Multiple Sclerosis

Posted by on Nov 23, 2012 in Auto Immune Diseases

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that affects the brain and central nervous system. This inflammatory condition is marked by damage to the myelin sheaths that cover and protect nerve cells. Affecting twice as many women as men, it is usually diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40 years. Multiple sclerosis flareups tend to be episodic, often but not always followed by periods of remission. They vary in severity, length, and location, and symptoms may manifest in virtually every area of the body. There is no known cure for multiple sclerosis, and the drugs usually prescribed are riddled with adverse effects. Therefore, researchers are looking for promising alternatives. Read More

Lupus

Posted by on Nov 23, 2012 in Auto Immune Diseases

Lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE) is an autoimmune disease. In this and related conditions, the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues, leading to inflammation, pain, swelling, and tissue destruction. Most patients with lupus experience symptoms in the joints of the hands, fingers, wrists, and knees. However, this disorder also often presents with other symptoms, such as a characteristic rash, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and fever. Lupus is usually treated with anti-inflammatory drugs, but there is no known cure. However, cutting-edge approaches are being studied. Read More

Crohn’s Disease

Posted by on Nov 23, 2012 in Auto Immune Diseases

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that usually affects the intestinal tract. Symptoms, which can range from mild to severe, often come and go and include bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and impaired absorption. As a result, weight loss and nutritional deficiencies are quite common. Scientists aren't in agreement as to the exact cause of Crohn’s disease, but many experts believe it is an autoimmune disease. Patients are typically treated with anti-inflammatory drugs, diet changes, and, in severe cases, surgery to remove damaged sections of the colon. However, there is growing enthusiasm for a breakthrough approach to Crohn’s disease. Read More

Hepatitis

Posted by on Nov 23, 2012 in Auto Immune Diseases

Hepatitis is characterized by inflammation of the liver. In some people, the underlying cause is an autoimmune attack in which the immune system destroys the body's own tissues. (These individuals may also be dealing with other autoimmune diseases.) The primary cause of hepatitis, however, is viral infection (hepatitis A, B, and C) . Other common causes include excessive use of alcohol, overdoses of acetaminophen and other medications, and bacterial infections. Whatever the cause, it is important to arrest the progression of hepatitis. If left untreated, it may progress to cirrhosis, liver cancer, and complete liver failure. Read More

Other Autoimmune Diseases

Posted by on Nov 23, 2012 in Auto Immune Diseases

Autoimmune diseases affect increasing numbers of people of all ages and walks of life. Caused by an immune system gone awry, the hallmark of all autoimmune diseases is an attack on the body’s own tissues. This results in chronic inflammation and, depending on the specific disorder, damage to the joints, myelin sheaths that insulate nerve cells, insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, the thyroid gland, and other tissues. Examples of autoimmune diseases include Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Graves disease, type 1 diabetes, scleroderma, myasthenia gravis, Sjogren syndrome, as well as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and dozens of other conditions. Breakthrough approaches are sorely needed for these chronic and progressive disorders. Read More