Medical Subject Headings (MeSH): Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune diseases are a group of disorders in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy cells and tissues. There are over 80 different autoimmune diseases, each with its own set of symptoms and treatment options. Some common autoimmune diseases include: Rheumatoid arthritis: a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the joints and surrounding tissue. Multiple sclerosis: an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system, causing a range of symptoms including weakness, difficulty with balance and coordination, and problems with vision. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE): a chronic autoimmune disease that can affect many parts of the body, including the skin, joints, and organs. Type 1 diabetes: an autoimmune disease that destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, leading to high blood sugar levels. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): a group of autoimmune disorders that cause inflammation in the digestive tract, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Autoimmune diseases can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms can vary widely and may be similar to those of other conditions. A healthcare provider will typically perform a physical exam and order a variety of tests, including blood tests and imaging studies, to help diagnose an autoimmune disease. Treatment options may include medications, such as corticosteroids and immunosuppressants, as well as lifestyle changes, such as changes to diet and exercise.

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