The immune system helps our body fight infection. White blood cells, lymphocytes and antibodies form part of the defence.
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Topic: Autoimmune disorders
There is generally no cure for an autoimmune disorder but generally the symptoms can be managed.
Most cases of Addison's disease are caused by an autoimmune response that attacks and damages the adrenal glands over time.
When people with inflammatory bowel disease are not experiencing a flare up of their illness, they feel quite well and are often free of symptoms.
Type 1 diabetes can affect anyone of any age, but is more common in people under 30 years.
Most people with Guillain-Barrè syndrome experienced some form of viral or bacterial infection before the onset of symptoms.
Henoch-Schonlein purpura causes a purple spotted skin rash which lasts around one to four weeks, and is often marked by relapses.
In Australia, HIV is most commonly spread when having sex without a condom and when sharing needles and other injecting equipment.
Hughes syndrome is thickening of the blood caused by abnormal immune system cells.
Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is a rare autoimmune disorder in which the platelets that help blood to clot are destroyed by the immune system.
Lupus can be mild or life-threatening, depending on which tissues are affected.
Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease characterised by muscular weakness.
Polymyositis is hard to diagnose and may be mistaken for muscular dystrophy.
Raynaud’s phenomenon can be a sign of a more serious underlying condition, so see your doctor if you experience it.
Reactive arthritis is a form of arthritis that occurs as a result of some bacterial infections.
Retroperitoneal fibrosis is the abnormal growth of tissue on and around abdominal structures including blood vessels and ureters.
Early treatment of rheumatoid arthritis will help you manage the condition more effectively.
The most common symptom of scleroderma is a thickening and hardening of the skin, particularly of the hands and face.
Sjögren’s syndrome can be managed with medications and products such as artificial tears and saliva.
Hashimoto’s disease progresses very slowly over many years, so the symptoms may go unnoticed.
Hyperthyroidism can be diagnosed with a simple blood test that measures thyroid hormone levels.
Multiple sclerosis - See Neuromuscular system - Multiple sclerosis