Updated: Jul 22
Over 100 different diseases are caused by a compromised immune system.
Top 10 Autoimmune Diseases
Rheumatoid Arthritis - The immune system produces antibodies that attach to the linings of joints. Immune system cells then attack the joints, causing inflammation, swelling, and pain and gradually causes permanent joint damage.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (Lupus) - People with lupus develop autoimmune antibodies that can attach to tissues throughout the body. The joints, lungs, blood cells, nerves, and kidneys are commonly affected in lupus. Treatment often requires daily oral prednisone, a steroid that reduces immune system function.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) - The immune system attacks the lining of the intestines, causing episodes of diarrhea, rectal bleeding, urgent bowel movements, abdominal pain, fever, and weight loss. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are the two major forms of IBD. Oral and injected immune-suppressing medicines can treat IBD.
Crohn's Disease - Affects your digestive system and is characterized by symptoms such as diarrhea, intense abdominal cramping, and severe weight loss. The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America suggest that around 1.6 million Americans are diagnosed with this common autoimmune disease. Although there is no clear link as to why some people develop this condition, a controlled diet, medication, and even surgery can be necessary.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) - The immune system attacks nerve cells, causing symptoms that can include pain, blindness, weakness, poor coordination, and muscle spasms. Various medicines that suppress the immune system can be used to treat multiple sclerosis.
Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus - Immune system antibodies attack and destroy insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. By young adulthood, people with type 1 diabetes require insulin injections to survive.
Guillain-Barre Syndrome - The immune system attacks the nerves controlling muscles in the legs and sometimes the arms and upper body. Weakness results, which can sometimes be severe. Filtering the blood with a procedure called plasmapheresis is the main treatment for Guillain-Barre syndrome.
Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy - Similar to Guillian-Barre, the immune system also attacks the nerves in CIDP, but symptoms last much longer. About 30% of patients can become confined to a wheelchair if not diagnosed and treated early. Treatment for CIDP and GBS are essentially the same.
Psoriasis - In psoriasis, overactive immune system blood cells called T-cells collect in the skin. The immune system activity stimulates skin cells to reproduce rapidly, producing silvery, scaly plaques on the skin.
Graves' Disease - The immune system produces antibodies that stimulate the thyroid gland to release excess amounts of thyroid hormone into the blood (hyperthyroidism). Symptoms of Graves' disease can include bulging eyes as well as weight loss, nervousness, irritability, rapid heart rate, weakness, and brittle hair. Destruction or removal of the thyroid gland, using medicines or surgery, is usually required to treat Graves' disease.
Hashimoto's Thyroiditis - Antibodies produced by the immune system attack the thyroid gland, slowly destroying the cells that produce thyroid hormone. Low levels of thyroid hormone develop (hypothyroidism), usually over months to years. Symptoms include fatigue, constipation, weight gain, depression, dry skin and sensitivity to the cold.
Full List of Auto-Immune Diseases