Autoimmune diseases are conditions in which the body makes antibodies against one's own normal body chemicals.
When the antibodies attack the cells containing these normal chemicals, the reactions can be local (in just a small area) or systemic (throughout the entire body). The skin and connective tissues (cartilage, bone, tendons) are most affected by autoimmune diseases, but other tissues (including nerves and muscles) can also be affected.
Examples of autoimmune diseases include:
- Sjögren’s syndrome
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, or lupus)
- Antiphospholipid syndrome
- Myasthenia gravis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Autoimmune diseases may vary in severity, from mild to life-threatening. Everyone with an autoimmune disease requires clinical care by a physician or other healthcare professional. For more information, please contact your Hurley physician or your primary care practitioner.