5 Most Common Auto-Immune Diseases

The anatomy of the human body is pretty fascinating. Various bacteria’s, viruses, disease’s attack us on a daily basis and our immune system, like a superhero, saves the day by killing those bad boys. But do you know about autoimmune diseases?

Now imagine, what if your immune system fails to understand its damn job?

In fact, what if instead of targetting the bad boys- cells, it kills the good boys-cells, who are your beloved ones, and in a completely healthy state? As much as it sounds like a zombie movie, it is true for many people. In medical terms, such people are often claimed to be going through a disorder or a disease. An autoimmune one!

Intrigued in learning some of the most common autoimmune diseases?

Keep Scrolling!


5 Most Common Auto-Immune Diseases-


1. RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis)-


Image Credit: Biochemical Society Transactions


RA alias ‘Rheumatoid arthritis’ is an attacker of joints. It causes joint inflammation throughout the body, especially targeting hands, fingers and elbow in most cases. In some, it also inflames the hip and knee joint. Although the disease can affect anyone, most of the victims are women.

The joint damage affecting the well-being will usually be present on both sides of your body. So if you have inflammation on the left side of your hip, it is likely that the right side of the hip is in jeopardy as well. This is also one of the most common methods to differentiate RA from other forms of arthritis.

Symptoms– Fatigue, dizziness, low-grade fever, with a classic sign being inflammation, which further causes redness, stiffness, heat and pain in the joint for a long interval- more than 6 weeks

Cause-No one exactly knows the cause of this autoimmune disease, though, a recent research suggests it may be due to a difference in the way, certain genes are expressed in females.

Treatment- Although there is no cure for this disease, with proper care, it can be managed well. This treatment can include NSAIDs anti-inflammatory drugs, cortico-steroids, acetaminophen, dietary changes, rehabilitation exercises for the joints, applying heat and cold to the affected joint and getting enough sleep (8 hours a day).


  1. Rheumatoid Factor- Checks for the protein called rheumatoid factor. More of it is associated with autoimmune diseases, especially RA.
  2. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate- Determines the degree of inflammation in your body.  Doesn’t pinpoint the cause of inflammation.
  3. Anti-CCP- Looks for an antibody associated with RA.
  4. Antinuclear Antibody test- Determines if your immune system is producing antibodies.
  5. C-reactive protein test- Any kind of inflammation in your body can cause your liver to produce C-reactive protein. This test confirms if that is the case.

2. Lupus-


Image Credit: PositiveMed


Mostly affecting people in Africa, Asia and Native America, Lupus is one of the most common autoimmune diseases, mistaking body’s own tissue as foreign invaders. Out of 10 people diagnosed with Lupus, 9 are women. It usually strikes at an age of 15 to 44.

There are two kinds of Lupus:

  1. Discoid Lupus Erythematosus (DLE)- This one doesn’t affect the vital organs in the body, it just affects the skin which is exposed to sunlight. Even after the skin lesions recover, they leave a mark on the skin.
  2. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)- This one is a little more serious, as, along with the skin, it can also disturb the functionality of other vital organs. SLE can also inflame/damage the connective tissue in the joint, skin and muscles as well as damage the blood vessels if left untreated. In hardly some cases, can it affect the brain!


Symptoms- Fever, Fatigue, joint pain, rashes-including a butterfly one on the face, skin lesions, chronic dry eyes, shortness of breath.

Cause- Genetics, Environment- smoking, stress, toxins, silica dust, however, the precise cause is still unknown.

Treatment-  Inclusion of anti-inflammatory medicines or corticosteroids to suppress the immune system.


  1. ESR- Determines the degree of inflammation in your body.  Doesn’t pinpoint the cause of inflammation.
  2. CBC- Anemia or low white blood cell in CBC can be a sign of Lupus.
  3. Urine Test- Increased protein levels or RBC in urine can be an indication.
  4. Antinuclear Antibody test- Determines if your immune system is producing antibodies.


3. Type 1 Diabetes-


Image Credit: EndocrineWeb


In Diabetes, the body either doesn’t produce enough or any insulin, or it fails to properly use the produced amount, or perhaps a combination of both.  When that happens, the body is unable to transport sugar from the blood to the cells, which results in a high level of blood sugar.

There are three kinds of Diabetes:

  1. Type 1 diabetes
  2. Type 2 diabetes
  3. Gestational diabetes

Out of these three, type 1 is considered to be an autoimmune condition. What makes Type 1 diabetes autoimmune, is your immune system here stimulates your pancreas to produce more and more insulin, until it no longer can meet the demand. So the production decreases and the sugar in the blood increases.


Symptoms- Excessive thirst and hunger, blurry vision, fatigue, frequent urination, dry/itchy skin.

Cause- The exact cause is unknown. Contributing factors may include genetics, being overweight and lack of exercise.

Treatment- The treatment may include an intake of insulin, Metformin- which doesn’t cause your pancreas to make insulin, but it helps your body to use the insulin better.

Test- Fasting blood glucose test and a random blood glucose test. Both are to determine the level of sugar in your blood with and without food.

You can check out the diet chart for the people with Diabetes


4. Inflammatory Bowel Disease-


Image Credit: The scientist


IBD is an intestinal disorder which causes inflammation of the digestive tract. A usual digestive tract function includes breaking down food, extracting the nutrients and removing any unused material and waste products. Inflammation, anywhere along the way from mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine to the large intestine, can disrupt this function.

Two of the most common diseases under IBD umbrella includes Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. While Ulcerative colitis involves inflammation of the large intestine, Crohn’s disease can cause inflammation in any part of the digestive tract.


Symptoms- Diarrhea, bleeding ulcers, weight loss, anemia, cramping and bloating of the stomach. In some, IBD can also cause eye inflammation, skin disorders and arthritis.

Cause- While the exact cause is unknown, genetics and problem with the immune system are associated with its causes.


  1. A stool test and blood test- Basically to look for infection and other diseases.
  2. Barium enema- X-Ray exam of the colon and small intestine.
  3. Colonoscopy- A camera is inserted through the anus tract and then doctors look for ulcers, fistulas, and other damage. This test is majorly used to examine the large intestine.
  4. Capsule endoscopy- Designed specifically for the small intestine, where you swallow a capsule containing a camera. Once the camera is passed through the stool, you can see the pictures.

5. Graves’ Disease: 

Graves’ is a common autoimmune disorder. Causing your thyroid gland to make too much of thyroid hormone, it is one of the most common forms of hyperthyroidism.

In this disorder, your immune system produces antibodies called ‘thyroid-stimulating’ immunoglobulins, which further attach themselves to healthy thyroid cells, causing too much production of the hormone.

It mainly affects your nervous system, brain development and body temperature. If left untreated, it can cause excessive weight loss, an excessive amount of crying/laughing and physical/mental fatigue.

There are Thyroid diets available to keep it in control.


Symptoms- Hand tremors, weight loss, fatigue, nervousness, goitre, difficulty sleeping, rapid heart rate. Some people also experience reddened, thickened skin around the shin area.

Cause- Not known but heredity, stress, age and gender is associated with the cause.

Treatment- Anti-thyroid drugs, RAI therapy, thyroid surgery in some cases.


  1. Blood test
  2. Thyroid scan
  3. TSH test
  4. TSI test


Summation: Having any of this autoimmune diseases where your body is attacking your own welfare, it may look like a helpless situation. While many treat their condition with prescribed medication, some also try to reverse the condition by treating the underlying cause. Though no evidence is linked to the reversing possibility.


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