Whats An Autoimmune Disease
When you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system misidentifies healthy tissues and organs as being foreign. This causes the body to produce antibodies that attack your bodys own tissues.
Your symptoms might come on quickly or gradually. You may feel overwhelming fatigue, crippling pain, and debilitating weakness. Or you may feel dizzy and have brain fog.
You may feel miserable like youre on a roller coaster of good days and bad days with no end in sight. These diseases can be frustrating and isolating, but each experience is unique.
All autoimmune diseases share one common theme: an out-of-sync immune system that has turned inward, attacking parts of the body as if they were foreign invaders.
In fact, autoimmune diseases can show up in at least 80 different ways in all areas of the body.
But all autoimmune diseases share one common theme: an out-of-sync immune system that has turned inward, attacking parts of the body as if they were foreign invaders.
Your immune system is crucially important, serving the purpose of protecting your body from infections and bacteria. But when its functions are out of balance, your immune system can become dangerous.
Immunologic And Autoimmune Lung Disease
Respiratory problems are common and can be serious in patients who have a connective tissue or autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. With an autoimmune disease, a persons own immune system attacks the lungs, causing inflammation and scarring that can impair lung function and breathing. Rheumatoid arthritis may lead to a group of lung conditions categorized as rheumatoid lung disease. These include shortness of breath or dyspnea caused when the lung lining gets inflamed and filled with fluid . Common lung problems for people with connective tissue disease are interstitial lung disease , including pulmonary fibrosis and pulmonary sarcoidosis, and pulmonary hypertension. Patients with autoimmune disease may also present with bronchiectasis and lung nodules.
Board-certified pulmonologists and thoracic surgeons at the Brigham and Womens Hospital Lung Center provide specialized medical and surgical services for immunologic and autoimmune lung diseases. They collaborate with a multidisciplinary team that crosses many specialties: rheumatology, radiology, pathology and pulmonary rehabilitation. Together with our diagnostic microbiology and rheumatology laboratories, we provide patients with accurate diagnosis and comprehensive disease treatment and management.
Limit The Immunodeficient Patients Exposure To Infectious Disease Remove Immunodeficient Children From Day Care Or Pre
- Vaccines used to treat immunodeficient patients and their families and close contacts should be killed vaccines, since live vaccines pose a serious risk.
- Prompt and rigorous treatment of apparent bacterial infections associated with sinusitis and bronchitis. Treat adequately with antibiotics until you are certain that the infection has been completely resolved.
- Frequent follow-up visits are needed to assure treatment is truly effective as well to identify infection in its early stage.
- When infection is resistant, prolonged courses of oral antibiotics and/or parenteral treatment may be required.
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How Is Asthma Connected To The Immune System
Scientists are still studying exactly how asthma is connected to the immune system. They think the immune system has a role in the asthma response and the development of asthma.1
Scientists do not know exactly why some people develop asthma. Some think asthma could be caused by an immune response to viruses. They believe standard viruses could cause the immune system to develop the behavior that leads to asthma in some people.5,6
The causes of intrinsic asthma are not well understood. This is because it can be triggered by so many things. But some scientists also think an autoimmune response may have a role in causing it. This potential link could help people with intrinsic asthma, who are sometimes more difficult to treat. It is possible that intrinsic asthma could respond to treatment with medicine used for autoimmune conditions.1
Autoimmune Phenomena In Asthma: Evidence From Molecular Studies
Cutting-age molecular techniques, including Genome Wide Association Studies , microarray platforms, omics data from large cohort studies, etc., have revealed common genetic variants between asthma, allergy and the wide spectrum of autoimmune diseases. In 2001, polymorphisms within IL-4 receptor alpha were reported to be relevant in autoimmune diseases such as SLE and Crohn’s disease. In the asthma-related GWAS studies such as the GABRIEL and AUGOSA, genes such as SLC22A5/A4 located on chromosome 5q31.1 were identified to be asthma susceptibility genes,, with known pathomechanism in progression of Crohn’s disease and inflammatory bowel syndrome. Recent meta-analysis of 2 GWAS studies examined 290 genes commonly associated with autoimmune diseases. Twenty-nine genes were significantly associated with allergic diseases at a false discovery rate of < 0.05. Common loci such as HLA-B, Smad3, Myc, IKZF1 and IL2R/IL15R were shown to be on the same direction of the effect, suggesting increasing risk of both autoimmune and allergic diseases.
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When To See A Healthcare Provider
If you’re worried you may be experiencing symptoms of an autoimmune condition, be sure to see a healthcare provider for a comprehensive evaluation, which will include a thorough physical examination, blood tests, and possibly imaging tests.
If your primary care or family healthcare provider suspects an autoimmune process, you will likely be referred to a specialist, such as a rheumatologist , an endocrinologist , or a gastroenterologist .
What Are Common Symptoms Of Autoimmune Disease
Between taking care of yourself and family members and trying to manage a social life and career, its common for women to feel tired and achy. But are these symptoms of a stressful life, or could they be tied to an underlying condition like autoimmune disease?
Ana-Maria Orbai, M.D., M.H.S., is a rheumatologist at the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center. Rheumatologists specialize in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal diseases and autoimmune conditions . Orbai talks about how to recognize common autoimmune disease symptoms and when you should see a doctor.
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New Drug Target For Asthma Autoimmune Disorders Identified
Using a new tool for probing the molecular makeup of cells, researchers have discovered that PD-1 a marker that already serves as a drug target for some cancers may also serve as a drug target for asthma and other autoimmune disorders.
The researchers, led by a group from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the United Kingdom, report their work in the journal Nature.
Immune disorders arise because the immune system either fails such as by not removing unwanted cells during infection or cancer or becomes too active.
When it is too active, the immune system attacks healthy cells and tissue, giving rise to autoimmune diseases or allergies such as asthma, where the airways become swollen or inflamed.
In the new study, the researchers examine a recently discovered group of cells in the immune system called innate lymphoid cells . Within this group, there is a subgroup called ILC2 cells that influences immune responses during infections and asthma.
Scientists have observed that levels of ILC2 cells shoot up when triggered by pollen or toxins, causing lung inflammation.
However, as yet, they know little about how ILC2 cells develop from ILC progenitor cells in bone marrow, and whether they sport distinguishing markers once activated.
For the first time, the study team used a new tool called single-cell RNA sequencing to investigate ILC cells.
- There is no cure for asthma, but it can be managed with drugs and by avoiding triggers
Infections Impact On Asthma
Asthma can be triggered by a variety of things. One of the most common triggers are infections, including respiratory viruses and, to a lesser degree, bacterial and fungal infections of the respiratory tract.
Respiratory viruses are the predominant infectious cause of asthma attacks. As the viruses attach to receptors on the lining of the airways, they effectively trip the alarms for the immune system to attack, leading to inflammation and the onset of acute asthma symptoms.
In some cases, the symptoms of the infection will precede the attack in others, the infection and asthma symptoms will co-occur.
Among the respiratory viruses closely link to asthma symptoms are:
- Rhinoviruses, the predominant cause of the common cold
- Coronaviruses, some of which cause colds
- Adenoviruses, associated with colds, bronchitis, and pneumonia
- Influenza viruses, associated with flu
- Parainfluenza viruses, which mainly affect infants and young children
- Respiratory syncytial virus , which most children get by the age of 2
Viral-induced asthma attack is extremely common, affecting roughly 85% of children and 50% of adults with asthma.
Less commonly, bacteria like Streptococcus pneumoniae, Hemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis have been known to trigger asthma attacks, particularly if a sinus infection is involved.
Fungal infections are more closely associated with poor asthma control rather than the onset of an attack, although it can occur.
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Working Hypothesis Of Autoimmune
There is a growing body of evidence that cumulatively indicates the presence of autoimmune mechanisms underpinning disease severity in a subset of asthmatics, in particular, the late-onset non-atopic severe asthmatics. In fact, the underlying pathomechanism in this subset till date remains obscure and uncertain. Based on available evidence a plausible theory of breach of tolerance and localized autoantibody production has been schematically represented in .
APC, antigen presenting cell ANA, anti-nuclear antibodies BAFF, B cell activating factor BCA-1, B cell attracting chemokine CSR, class switch recombination DAMP, danger-associated molecular pattern EET, eosinophil extracellular trap EPX, eosinophil peroxidase Ig, immunoglobulin IL, interleukin NET, neutrophil extracellular trap MC, mast cell MPO, myeloperoxidase.
What Is Niehs Doing
Unraveling the genetic and environmental underpinnings of autoimmune disease is a focus at NIEHS and the National Toxicology Program . Progress happens through multiple research efforts, such as:
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Causes Of Autoimmune Disease
What causes autoimmune disease? Its a bit difficult to say that. Speaking of the precise reason of autoimmune disease, it is somewhat unfamiliar. Yet, there are many facts that might be responsible for prompting autoimmune disease. Concerning to the asthma, is asthma an autoimmune disease? Is asthma a major cause for autoimmune disease? We must be conscious about that. It is clear that asthma is an autoimmune disease. It is not the cause for any other types of autoimmune disease as it the disease itself.
Sometimes gene also play the role for causing the disease. You ought to be more cautious if anyone within your family member is affected by autoimmune disease. It may also be transmitted through the gene. However, it cannot be the assured cause for the disease. Some causes may be different including
- Viruses or bacteria
- Chemical present in the surrounding
- Drugs and medications
Any of them could be the reason for autoimmune disease. The causes for the autoimmune disease is not necessary to be the one. Tracking down the actual reason for the disease is really very challenging.
Autoimmune Disease And Your Health
Having lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis raises your risk for heart disease. While taking steps to reduce heart disease is always a good idea, it is even more essential if you have one of these conditions. Talk to your doctor about what you can do to keep your heart healthy and strong. For example, keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol levels within healthy ranges, eating a nutritious diet and exercising regularly can be lifesaving.
These steps can also help reduce the symptoms of autoimmune disease. Orbai admits that making time for healthy living can be hard, given womens fast-paced lives, but she insists that finding the balance is key to living with autoimmune disease.
Its something thats going to involve commitment, and sometimes its going to be tough, she says. But learning to listen to your body and being smart about what triggers your disease is important. Its something you do for yourself.
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Maternal Pregnancy Conditions And The Risk Of Childhood Asthma
High urbanization levels may increase the risk of childhood asthma compared with low urbanization levels. The highest urbanization level had an OR of 1.26 with 95% CI of 1.241.29. Preterm birth or low birth weight had an increased risk of childhood asthma . When the maternal age was more than 35 years, the risk of childhood asthma decreased . Therefore, the decreased risk of childhood asthma was related to high parity in mothers. The risk of childhood asthma under different maternal pregnant conditions and comorbidities is shown in Table 2.
Table 2. Risk of childhood asthma in different maternal pregnant conditions and comorbidities.
Introduction To Immunological Theories
Before constructing a working hypothesis, it is pertinent that we review the concepts of immunology with context to autoimmunity. The concept of self/non-self when introduced by MacFarlene Burnet in 1949, was neither a theory nor a metaphor, but an analogy for descriptive host-defence that failed to explain the phenomenon of autoimmunity. This remained true even for Charles Janeway’s Infectious non-self model that introduced the concept of antigen presenting cells recognising evolutionarily conserved consensus patterns on infectious agents termed pathogen-associated molecular patterns to be triggers for an immune response. Autoimmunity is defined as an anomaly within the body’s immune response where the immune cells generate antibodies that attack self, leading to injury, falls outside the realm of both theories. A fresh perspective was offered by Matzinger’s Danger model around early 2000s,, based on Paul Ehrlich’s forethought on horror autotoxicus. Autoimmune responses were described to stem from deficiencies in normal physiological processes and specific tissue response to danger-associated molecular patterns released as a result of inflammation, continual tissue-injury and impaired repair.
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Autoimmune Diseases Include Common And Rare Diseases
Autoimmune diseases are a broad range of more than eighty related disorders, ranging from common to very rare. They affect around 5% of people and are an important health issue in Australia and New Zealand:
Common autoimmune diseases include thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes.
Less commone autoimmune diseases include systemic lupus erythematosus , also known as lupus, and vasculitis disorders .
How Does The Immune System Work
Your immune system defends your body against substances it sees as harmful or foreign. These substances are called antigens. They may be germs such as bacteria and viruses. They might be chemicals or toxins. They could also be cells that are damaged from things like cancer or sunburn.
When your immune system recognizes an antigen, it attacks it. This is called an immune response. Part of this response is to make antibodies. Antibodies are proteins that work to attack, weaken, and destroy antigens. Your body also makes other cells to fight the antigen.
Afterwards, your immune system remembers the antigen. If it sees the antigen again, it can recognize it. It will quickly send out the right antibodies, so in most cases, you don’t get sick. This protection against a certain disease is called immunity.
Eosinophilic Granulomatosis With Polyangiitis
Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis was first described by Churg and Strauss in 1951 . The disease progresses through three overlapping phases: adult-onset asthma, peripheral and tissue eosinophilia, and necrotizing vasculitis with tissue infiltration of eosinophils . EGPA is an idiopathic type of small vessel vasculitis and is also part of the hypereosinophilic syndromes . It is associated with HLA and IL-10 polymorphisms . About 40% of EGPA patients have perinuclear ANCA antibodies against myeloperoxidase , resulting in the classification of EGPA as an ANCA-associated vasculitis . The presence or absence of ANCA in EGPA may indicate two clinical subtypes with different organ involvement. ANCA-positive patients have more frequent vasculitis and glomerulonephritis, whereas ANCA-negative patients have more frequent heart and lung involvement .
Blood eosinophils in EGPA show an activated phenotype expressing high levels of CD69 and CD11b . Moreover, they express IL-25, a cytokine that increases release of IL-4, -5, and -13 from T cells. Serum IL-25 is increased in patients with active EGPA compared to inactive disease or healthy controls. It is also detectable in eosinophils from lesional biopsies. T cells in these biopsies and in the blood express the IL-25 receptor IL-17RB . This suggests a feed-forward loop between eosinophils and Th2 cells in EGPA.
Autoimmune Disease Risk Factors
Researchers dont know what causes autoimmune disease, but several theories point to an overactive immune system attacking the body after an infection or injury. We do know that certain risk factors increase the chances of developing autoimmune disorders, including:
- Genetics: Certain disorders such as lupus and multiple sclerosis tend to run in families. Having a relative with autoimmune disease increases your risk, but it doesnt mean you will develop a disease for certain, says Orbai.
- Weight: Being overweight or obese raises your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis. This could be because more weight puts greater stress on the joints or because fat tissue makes substances that encourage inflammation.
- Smoking: Research has linked smoking to a number of autoimmune diseases, including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, hyperthyroidism and MS.
- Certain medications: Certain blood pressure medications or antibiotics can trigger drug-induced lupus, which is often a more benign form of lupus, Orbai says. Our myositis center also discovered that specific medications used to lower cholesterol, called statins, can trigger statin-induced myopathy. Myopathy is a rare autoimmune disease that causes muscle weakness. Before starting or stopping any medications, however, make sure to talk to your doctor.
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