What is an Autoimmune Disease?

To understand how autoimmune diseases and
immunodeficiency disorders effect the immune
What is an Autoimmune
Our immune systems are designed to
be able to tell the difference
between self and non-self, but
sometimes the immune system can
make a mistake. When this happens,
the immune system attacks a healthy
part of the body because it thinks it
is a pathogen and is harmful, even
though it isn't. This is called
autoimmunity; "auto" means "self",
so "autoimmunity" is an immune
response against itself. When an
autoimmune reaction does harm
the body it is called an
autoimmune disease.
The Immune System
Your immune system is not located
in one place of your body, but
rather is a network of cells, tissues,
and organs, that protect your body
from "invaders” which are usually
Pathogens. Pathogens are disease
producing agents such as bacteria,
parasites, fungi, and viruses that
can cause infections. Your body is
an ideal environment for many of
these pathogens. It is the job of
your immune system to keep them
out, or if they enter, to seek them
out and destroy them – T cells.
How does it impact the
Immune System?
An Autoimmune disease turns the immune system against
itself. Depending on the type of autoimmune disease,
affects which part of the body is being targeted. Some
of the symptoms of an autoimmune disease are:
•Sensitivity to cold
•Weight gain
•Muscle weakness and cramps
•Dry hair
•Tough skin
2 general types of autoimmune diseases
There are over 80 different autoimmune diseases and they can
be categorised into two general types:
Localised – organ specific
affecting mainly one particular part
of the body
• Crohn’s disease
• Addison’s disease
Systemic –
affecting multiple parts of
the body
• Connective tissue disease
• Inflammation in blood
Self and non-self
A healthy immune system is able to tell the difference between your
cells – “self”, from an invader's cells – “non-self”. Both have markers,
distinguishing them as self and non-self. When a healthy immune system
recognizes the non-self markers, it launches an attack on them in an
attempt to keep your body healthy. The autoimmune response occurs
when something goes wrong in your immune system. Your immune system
starts to attack your own cells - self rather than non-self.
Crohn’s disease – an Autoimmune disease
What is Crohn's disease? Crohn’s disease is a disease that causes
inflammation, or swelling, and irritation of any part of the digestive
tract. The part most commonly affected is the end part of the small
intestine, called the ileum.
Crohn’s disease effects
these parts of the body
People who suffer from Crohn’s
disease often suffer from
• painful abdominal cramping
• frequent bowel movements
• diarrhoea
• general fatigue
• Rectal bleeding and
• weight loss.
Crohn’s disease is considered an
Autoimmune disease as it is the
result of the immune system
attacking the digestive tact which
causes the inflammation, swelling
and irritation.
• http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/immuneSystem/pages/selfnonse
• http://www.duq.edu/sepa/regmed/autoimmune/index.shtml
• http://related.wisegeek.com/related/?kw=Crohn+S+Disease+S
• http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/crohns/
What is an immunodeficiency
Immunodeficiency disorders occur when the
body's immune response is reduced or
absent. Basically saying that if the body has
a virus the body has an inability to fight back
against it as the immune system has a
reduced response or it appears absent.
First of all what is the immune system?
Most of you should know by now what the immune system is
but if I explain it now it will make it somewhat easier to
explain how immunodeficiency disorders affect the immune
system. The immune system is made up of lymphoid tissue in
the body, which includes the bone marrow, lymph nodes,
thymus, tonsils, and parts of the spleen and gastrointestinal
tract. In addition, there are proteins and cells in the blood that
are part of the immune system. The immune systems main
functional purpose is to protect the body against antigens such
as: bacteria, toxins, cancer cells ect…
How does the immune system work?
The immune system in short detects an antigen of some
description which produce proteins called antibodies to fight
back and defend the body against antigens. Which then leads
us to immunodeficiency. Immunodeficiency occurs when the
immune system does not fight back against harmful substances
like it should. It can occur in any part of the immune system
and generally happens when B or T lymphocytes don’t work as
efficiently as they should and don’t produce enough antibodies
to protect the body.
Immunodeficiency can be developed from two different
Inherited: Inherited immunodeficiency that effect the B cells
and the most common disorders that result from this are:
 Hypogammaglobulinemia, which usually causes respiratory
and gastrointestinal infections
 Agammaglobulinemia, which results in frequent severe
infections early in life, and is often deadly
Inherited immunodeficiency disorders that affect T cells may
cause increased susceptibility to fungi, resulting in recurring
yeast infections. Inherited combined immunodeficiency affects
both T cells and B cells. It may be deadly within the first year
of life if it isn't treated early.
Immunodeficiency doesn’t specifically target any one area of
the body it can occur anywhere and to any area or organ as
the body can develop illness through various aspects.
Acquired immunodeficiency may be a complication of
diseases such as HIV infection and malnutrition (particularly
with a lack of protein). Many cancers may also cause
immunodeficiency. Acquired immunodeficiency then leads to
talk about HIV or aids which is one of the most common forms
of an immunodeficiency disorder where the bodies immune
system simply shuts down its defensive mechanisms.
B cell: A type of white blood cell and, specifically, a type of
Many B cells mature into what are called plasma cells that
produce antibodies (proteins) necessary to fight off infections
while other B cells mature into memory B cells.
B cells work in co-ordination as whilst one set may produce
antigens in order to fight off infection or bacteria whilst the
other set recall if the body has already suffered from a
specific virus that allows it to have a more efficient reaction
to defend the body.
T cell: A type of white blood cell that is of key importance to
the immune system and is at the core of adaptive immunity,
the system that tailors the body's immune response to specific
pathogens. The T cells are like soldiers who search out and
destroy the targeted invaders.
HIV also known as human immunodeficiency virus which is
apart of the group of viruses known as retroviruses.
Retrovirus is a virus composed not DNA but RNA that can
transcribe their RNA to DNA after entering a cell so it works
in reverse.
Once the HIV virus has entered the body it then proceeds to
damage and destroy the cells of the immune system whilst the
body continues to produce more cells eventually the virus wins
and the bodies ability to fight infections and diseases is
progressively lower.
Once the HIV virus has destroyed so many of the bodies
healthy immune system cells this then leads to AIDS which is
known as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. This is where
there are virtually no healthy immune cells left to fight
disease or infection so the body is susceptible for any
infections even a small cold could kill them.
-Peter and quartet singYou have aids.
Yes you have aids.
I hate to tell 'ya boy that you have aids.
You've got the aids.
You may have got it when you stuck that filthy needle in here.
Or maybe all that unprotected sex what you hear,it isnt clear.
But what we're certain of is you have aids.
Yes you have aids.
Not HIV but full blown aids.
Be sure that you see that this is not HIV.
But full blown aids.
I really mean it yes its full blown aids.
Im sorry i wish it was somthing less serious.
But its aids.

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