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What are some of the most common autoimmune diseases?

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Quick Answer

Some of the most common autoimmune diseases are lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and Type 1 diabetes, according to MedlinePlus and MedicineNet. In an autoimmune disease, a person's immune system attacks the body. It is not known what causes this.

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What are some of the most common autoimmune diseases?
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Full Answer

Systemic lupus erythematosus, as its name implies, affects just about every system in the body, according to MedlinePlus. It mostly afflicts women between 10 and 50 years old. Though symptoms are different for different people, nearly every person with lupus has pain and swelling in the joints. A patient experiences fatigue, unexplained fever, a feeling of malaise and chest pain when breathing deeply.

Rheumatoid arthritis is much like lupus in that it affects the joints in the hands and the feet, claims Mayo Clinic. In RA's case, the lining of the joints are attacked, and over time, the fingers become deformed. It is also like lupus in that the sufferers are mostly women, but it usually strikes after age 40.

In Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, the lining of the digestive tract is inflamed, which leads to pain, diarrhea and rectal bleeding, according to MedicineNet.

In Type 1 diabetes, the body attacks the pancreas, the gland that produces insulin, according to WebMD. This type of diabetes most often strikes children.

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