12 Autoimmune Diseases and Their Tested Symptoms

Immune system diseases result in incredibly low or excessive immune system activity. The overactive immune system attacks and causes the body to fight and destroy its cells rather than foreign cells.

Immunodeficiency syndrome disorders reduce the body’s capacity to fend against intruders, making it more susceptible to infection.

The immune cells may develop antibodies that attack the body’s tissues instead of defending against infections due to an unknown stimulus.

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The immune cells’ response misidentifies parts of your body, such as your joints or skin, as an alien in an autoimmune illness. Autoantibodies are enzymes that the body produces that attack normal tissues.

Most autoimmune diseases are limited to a single organ like the pancreas. Systemic lupus erythematosus, for example, affects the whole body.

Causes of Autoimmune Diseases

Doctors aren’t sure what exactly causes the immune function to malfunction. However, some people are at a higher risk of developing an autoimmune illness than many others.

As per 2014 research from a national library, women are more likely than males to have autoimmune diseases (6.4 % of women vs. 2.7 % of men). Usually, the illness begins during a woman’s reproductive years, which are between 15 to 44.

Certain ethnic groups are more likely to develop autoimmune disorders. Lupus, in particular, affects African Americans and Hispanics at higher rates than Caucasian people.

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Multiple sclerosis and lupus, for example, are autoimmune diseases that run in families. Although not every family member will develop the same illness, they will all inherit a predisposition for autoimmune diseases.

Since autoimmune diseases are becoming more common, experts believe that environmental factors such as pathogens and chemical exposures or toxins may have a role.

Another possible risk factor for autoimmune disease is increased consumption of the Western diet. Inflammation is connected to eating high-fat, high-sugar, and highly processed meals, triggering an immunological response. This, meanwhile, has not been confirmed.

A 2015 study looked at another theory known as the hygiene hypothesis. Vaccination and antiseptics have reduced the number of germs that youngsters are exposed to nowadays. Their immune response may become prone to overreacting to innocuous chemicals leading to a shortage of exposure.

Symptoms of Autoimmune Diseases

There are about 80 different kinds of autoimmune disorders, some of which share similar characteristics, which makes it difficult for your doctor to diagnose the exact disease that has affected you. It may be aggravating and distressing to get a prognosis.

Several autoimmune illnesses have very similar early signs, like:

  1. Skin rashes
  2. Low-grade fever
  3. Fatigue
  4. Swelling and redness
  5. Trouble in concentration
  6. Muscle aches
  7. Hair loss
  8. Tingling and numbness of hands and feet
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Photo by Nathan Dumlao from Unsplash

Every illness may have its very own distinctive variety of symptoms. Type 1 diabetes, for instance, produces excessive thirst, loss of weight, and tiredness. Inflammatory Bowel Disease is characterized by abdominal discomfort, inflammation, and diarrhoea.

Symptoms of autoimmune illnesses such as psoriasis or Rheumatoid Arthritis might come and go. A flare-up is a time of heightened symptoms. The term “remission” refers to when the symptoms of the disease are no longer present.

Some of the Common Autoimmune Diseases

Out of all the 80 types of autoimmune diseases, many autoimmune diseases have common symptoms. Here are some of the most common types of autoimmune types and their symptoms:

1. Graves’ Disease

Graves’ illness is a condition that affects the thyroid gland inside the neck, leading it to overproduce hormones. The thyroid hormone regulates metabolism, or how much energy the body uses.

Autoimmune Diseases
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A high level of these hormones stimulates your body’s activity, resulting in symptoms such as anxiety, a racing heart, excessive sweating, and weight loss.

Exophthalmos, or bulging eyes, is one possible sign of this illness. According to 1993 research from the National Library, it can develop as part of Graves’ ophthalmopathy, which affects about 30 per cent of people with Graves’ illness.

2. Type 1 Diabetes

A hormone called insulin is generated by the pancreas that helps to regulate glucose levels. The body’s immune assaults and kills insulin-producing cells in the pancreas in type 1 diabetes mellitus.

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Capillaries, along with organs such as the heart, lungs,  kidneys, eyesight, and neurons, can be damaged by elevated blood sugar levels. Insulin injections are the only treatment for this autoimmune disease.

3. Rheumatoid Arthritis

Numerous joints, particularly those in the feet and hands, are affected by this chronic inflammatory disease.

The innate immune system destroys its very own tissue, specifically joints, in rheumatoid arthritis. In severe cases, vital organs are also damaged.

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Rheumatoid arthritis affects the inner lining of joints, causing severe inflammation. The aggravation associated with rheumatoid arthritis can lead to bone degradation and joint deformities over time.

Rheumatoid arthritis seems to have no treatment; however, therapy and medications may help slow the progression of the illness. Anti-rheumatic drugs are a class of drugs that could be used to treat various ailments.

4. Celiac Disease

Celiac illness prevents people from eating foods containing gluten, a protein present in flour, barley, and other grain products. Whenever gluten is present in the small intestine, the immediate immune response is the inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.

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According to 2015 research, celiac disease affects around 1% of the population in the United States. Gluten sensitivity is not exactly an autoimmune illness but can cause comparable symptoms like diarrhoea and stomach pain.

5. Myasthenia Gravis

Myasthenia Gravis is a rare type of autoimmune disease which is also known as a neuromuscular disorder. It is responsible for muscle weakness and tiredness caused by voluntary control.

Nerve impulses that assist the brain in regulating the muscles are affected by myasthenia gravis. Signals can’t guide muscles to contract when a connection between neurons and muscles is disrupted.

Muscle weakness is the most frequent symptom, which worsens with exercise and recovers with rest. Eye motions, muscle aches, eyelid lifting, eating, and facial motions are other symptoms.

6. Psoriasis or Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is a kind of osteoarthritis that impacts persons who have the skin disease psoriasis.

Inflammatory arthritis, such as psoriatic arthritis, is a form of arthritis. Joint pain, soreness, and oedema are common symptoms of this disease that flare up and go away. Morning stiffness also affects many people with this disease. Even moderate psoriasis on the skin can cause severe arthritis.

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Medications to decrease swelling, injections of steroids, and joint reconstructive surgery are all options for treatment.

When skin cells are no longer needed, they naturally develop and then shed. Skin cells proliferate too fast in psoriasis. The excess cells pile up and cause red areas on the skin, sometimes accompanied by silver-white plaque scales.

Swelling, hardness, and discomfort in the joints affect up to 30% of individuals with psoriasis.

7. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s Disease)

Inflammatory bowel disease is a long-term condition that damages the lining of the gastrointestinal system. Inflammatory bowel disease or Crohn’s disease can have life-threatening consequences at times.

Abdominal discomfort, diarrhoea, losing weight, anorexia, and tiredness are symptoms of Crohn’s disease. Some individuals may go their entire lives without experiencing any symptoms, while others may experience severe chronic symptoms that never go away.

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Crohn’s illness is incurable. To delay the course of illness, medications including steroids and immunosuppressant drugs are employed. If these don’t work, the patient may need surgery. Individuals with Crohn’s disease could also require routine colorectal cancer screening due to an elevated risk.

8. Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Whenever the immune response assaults the butterfly-shaped gland inside the neck, it is known as autoimmune thyroiditis (thyroid).

Thyroid inflammation produces a leak, culminating in an overabundance of thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism). The inflammation may cause the thyroid to stop generating adequate hormones over time (hypothyroidism). Fatigue and unexpected weight gain are common side effects.

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Therapy using synthetic hormones is usually successful. Thyroid hormone synthesis slows to a deficit in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Excess weight, temperature sensitivity, tiredness, loss of hair, and thyroid swelling are all symptoms.

9. Pernicious Anemia

Vitamin B12 anaemia is known as pernicious anaemia. Vitamin B12 is required for the formation of red blood cells inside the body. Meat, chicken, seafood, eggs, and milk products are all good sources of this vitamin. Vitamin B12 is bound by a specific protein called intrinsic factor (IF), which allows it to be absorbed in the intestines.

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Weakness and stiffness are two of the causing symptoms of this disease. Pernicious anaemia, if left untreated, can harm the heart and nerves. Vitamin B-12 injections or tablets are used to treat the condition. Older people are more likely to develop pernicious anaemia. As per 2012 research, it affects 0.1 per cent of the population overall, but over 2% of those over 60.

Read more about the benefits of taking Vitamin B12 shots.

10. Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Guillain-Barre syndrome is an uncommon illness in which the immune system affects the nerve cells in our body. The initial signs and symptoms are general weakness and tingling in the limbs. These feelings can spread fast, paralyzing your whole body. The immune system assaults the neurons and myelin sheath1 in this disease.

Acute bacterial or infectious agents might set off the syndrome.

The symptoms begin with tingling and weakness in the feet and legs and then progress to the upper body. It is possible to become paralyzed.

Symptoms can be relieved with special blood therapies (plasma exchange and immunoglobulin therapy). It is necessary to undergo physiotherapy xif individuals are affected by this disease.

11. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Lupus erythematosus is one of the major autoimmune diseases. The innate immune system destroys healthy cells by mistake in this illness. Whenever the immune system causes damage to its tissues, it causes inflammation. Lupus can harm joints, epidermis, kidneys, erythrocytes2, the brain, and the heart.

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Fatigue, joint discomfort, and fever are some of the indications of this disease. These symptoms can worsen and then improve regularly.

Although there is no cure for lupus, modern therapies aim to improve the quality of life by reducing flare-ups and managing symptoms. This starts with changes in one’s lifestyle, such as protection from the sun and nutrition. Medicines like anti-inflammatories and antibiotics are also used to control the illness.

12. Addison’s Disease

Addison’s disease, commonly known as adrenal insufficiency, is a rare illness that comes under autoimmune diseases, in which your body fails to generate enough hormones.

The adrenal glands, in particular, generate inadequate levels of the hormone cortisol, as well as aldosterone on occasion. Whenever the body is stressed (for example, battling an illness), a cortisol shortage can cause a life-threatening Addisonian crisis, classified as low blood pressure.

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Headache, uneasiness, skin discolouration, and dizziness upon standing are some of the non-specific symptoms.

Hormone treatment to supplement those not generated by the adrenal glands3 is part of the healing process.

Autoimmune Disease Diagnostic Tests

Most autoimmune diseases can’t be diagnosed with a single test. Your doctor will use a mix of tests to diagnose you, discuss your symptoms, and a physical examination.

When symptoms imply autoimmune diseases, one of the first tests doctors do is the antinuclear antibodies test. A positive analysis confirmed that you might have one of these illnesses, but it does not indicate which one or if you have it for sure.

Additional tests and clinical trials seek autoantibodies that are generated in autoimmune diseases. Your physician may perform imprecise tests to look for the aggravation that these diseases cause in the body.

What is the Main Treatment for Autoimmune Diseases?

Treatment options can’t eliminate autoimmune diseases, but they can help to control the excessive immune system and reduce the inflammatory response, if not eliminate it. The following medicines are utilized to address these circumstances:

Pain, inflammation, tiredness, and skin irritation are symptoms that can all be relieved with the right treatment.

Getting regular exercise and eating a well-balanced diet might also help relieve.

Key Takeaways

There are about 80 distinct types of autoimmune diseases. Their symptoms frequently overlap, making diagnosis difficult. Women’s health is more likely to get affected by autoimmune diseases, and they often run in the family history.

Autoantibody 5blood testing can assist doctors in diagnosing certain diseases. Medications to combat the hyperactive immune response and reduce inflammation throughout the body are among the therapies.

The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association is committed to eliminating autoimmune diseases and reducing hardship and the socio-economic status impact of autoimmune disorders by cultivating and enabling effective and ethical collaboration in the areas of education, public awareness, research, and patient services.


1. What are 10 autoimmune diseases?

Ans. 10 autoimmune diseases are:

  • Addison disease.
  • Celiac disease – sprue (gluten-sensitive enteropathy)
  • Dermatomyositis.
  • Graves disease.
  • Hashimoto thyroiditis.
  • Multiple sclerosis.
  • Myasthenia gravis.
  • Pernicious anaemia.

2. What is the cause of autoimmune diseases?

Ans. The exact cause of autoimmune diseases is not quite exactly known. There is a theory that suggests that some microorganisms and drugs trigger the immune system.

3. What are some of the most fatal autoimmune diseases?

Ans. Some of the fatal autoimmune diseases are:

  • Giant cell myocarditis.
  • Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis.
  • Mixed connective tissue disease.
  • Autoimmune vasculitis.
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  1. Hughes, Alexandria N., and Bruce Appel. “Microglia phagocytose myelin sheaths to modify developmental myelination.” Nature neuroscience 23.9 (2020): 1055-1066. ↩︎
  2. Wang, Yaqi, et al. “The relationship between erythrocytes and diabetes mellitus.” Journal of Diabetes Research 2021 (2021). ↩︎
  3. Kanczkowski, Waldemar, Felix Beuschlein, and Stefan R. Bornstein. “Is there a role for the adrenal glands in long COVID?.” Nature Reviews Endocrinology 18.8 (2022): 451-452. ↩︎
  4. Bindu, Samik, Somnath Mazumder, and Uday Bandyopadhyay. “Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and organ damage: A current perspective.” Biochemical pharmacology 180 (2020): 114147. ↩︎
  5. Lazaridis, Konstantinos, and Socrates J. Tzartos. “Autoantibody specificities in myasthenia gravis; implications for improved diagnostics and therapeutics.” Frontiers in immunology 11 (2020): 511152. ↩︎

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