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What are Autoimmune Diseases?

Have you ever heard of Autoimmune Disease?  Virginia Ladd, President of the American AutoImmune-Related Diseases Association explains what these diseases are:

"Autoimmune diseases are where the immune system turns on the self, producing antibodies.  They include diseases like lupus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, scleraderma, type one diabetes, and autoimmune liver disease."

These conditions may seem like they're rare, but according to Ms. Ladd,

"Autoimmune diseases effect about 30 million American women, as autoimmune diseases have a very high incidence in women". 

While these conditions differ greatly from each other, they have several factors in common.  We don't yet know why an unknown factor causes the immune system to attack itself.  We don't yet know what predisposes certain women to these conditions.  Is there a hormonal component?  There does seem to be a genetic component and affected family members might also suffer from other autoimmune disorders.  We'll be discussing each of these diseases in the next few weeks on "Dr. Donnica's Daily Women's Health Report".

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Created: 11/21/2000  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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