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Autoimmune Diseases

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More than 80 diseases occur as a result of the immune system attacking the body’s own organs, tissues, and cells. Some of the more common autoimmune diseases include type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and inflammatory bowel disease. The chronic and debilitating nature of these diseases, which can lead to high medical costs and reduced quality of life, is a burden on patients and also affects their families and communities. Although the causes of autoimmune disease remain unknown, a combination of a person’s genes together with infections and other environmental exposures are likely to play a significant role in disease development. Treatments are available for many autoimmune diseases, but cures have yet to be discovered.

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Last Updated January 07, 2014

Last Reviewed August 10, 2012