Our immune systems work to keep our bodies healthy by attacking invading cells such as viruses or bacteria that could potentially make us sick. In some instances, however, the immune system may malfunction and begin to attack healthy cells in the body. This is called an autoimmune disorder, and it is unknown what the exact causes of this type of disease are.
The five most common autoimmune disorders
There are approximately 80 different types of autoimmune diseases. Many of them have very similar signs and symptoms, which can often make diagnosis difficult. Below we will take a look at several of the most common.
- Rheumatoid arthritis.
Also known as RA, this disease primarily affects the joints of the wrist and hands. It can be extremely debilitating and painful, causing severe swelling and inflammation and making daily tasks nearly impossible. In recent years, many new medical advancements have made living with rheumatoid arthritis much more manageable, slowing its progression and decreasing the discomfort caused by this disease.