About 10 million people in the United States are affected by autoimmune diseases, which include lupus, multiple sclerosis and insulin-dependent, or type 1 diabetes. Blamed on exposure to infectious agents and genetic susceptibility, autoimmune diseases are also caused by factors in the environment. Many recent studies have found a connection between these specific diseases and exposure to agents in the environment like vinyl chloride, metals, mycotoxins, and organic compounds. Your research paper should seek to define autoimmune diseases and outlines their causes and risk factors.
Currently there are more than 80 autoimmune diseases. They are chronic conditions, can be life threatening, and are a major concern to this country's public health administrators and health care workers. A few autoimmune diseases that are more common are:
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
- Multiple sclerosis
- Autoimmune thyroiditis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
The diseases above occur when the body's immunities attack healthy tissues and cells. Normally protected against these attacks, tissues and cells that are assailed and destroyed by autoimmune diseases react by becoming inflamed. Sometimes one organ is affected. Sometimes many organs and tissues are affected. Depending on the severity of the condition, the most common symptoms of autoimmune diseases can range from a mild rash to life-threatening circumstances and almost always include fatigue, dizziness, malaise, and low-grade fever. And while each autoimmune disease is different, all patients who suffer with one experience immune system malfunction. Paper Masters can compose a custom written research paper on Autoimmune Diseases that follows your guidelines.
Autoimmune Disease: Genetic and Environmental
According to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, "all autoimmune diseases are a consequence of impaired immune function that results from interactions of genetic and environmental factors." The organization's website states that genetic factors account for about one-third of all autoimmune diseases. The rest are blamed on non-inherited events, like being human and the diversity of the human immune system, which reacts to a wide range of viruses, infections, and bacteria.
Most people experience a mild form of autoimmune response when their immune systems mount an attack on one of its own tissues. That's natural. But when a person is predisposed to autoimmunity by genetics or environmental factors like toxic chemicals, drugs, bacteria, or viruses, a full-blown reaction can be triggered. For example, one recent study found that non-autoimmune strains of mice treated with estrogen, a female sex hormone, suppressed the action of their helper T cells while stimulating the production of B cells, which produce antibodies. The imbalance that results was found to increase the incidence of autoimmune disease. More studies have revealed that certain environmental factors can be linked to specific autoimmune diseases. One study discovered that exposure to certain dietary characteristics contribute to the acquisition of type 1 diabetes. Other studies found that ultraviolet radiation is linked to multiple sclerosis; ionizing radiation blamed for systemic lupus erythematous; rheumatoid arthritis was blamed on stress, and exposure to heavy metals could account for some cases of autoimmune glomerulonephritis.