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Health Tip: Understanding Autoimmune Diseases

Health Tip: Understanding Autoimmune Diseases

04/18/11

(HealthDay News) -- Having an autoimmune disease means that the body's germ-fighting immune system mistakenly attacks normal cells.

The womenshealth.gov Web site says there are more than 80 known autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and psoriasis.

While anyone can acquire an autoimmune disease, the site mentions these factors that increase a person's risk:

  • Being a woman of childbearing age.
  • Having a family history of one or more autoimmune diseases.
  • Exposure to certain chemicals and environmental factors.
  • Being of a particular ethnic background or race. Risk varies based on the particular disease.
Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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