Dr. med. Uta Schmieden-Lindner, GP, VohenstrauB, Germany
In medicine autoimmune disease is an umbrella term covering a range of disorders caused by an excessive reaction by the immune system to endogenous tissue. The immune system incorrectly identifies endogenous tissue as a foreign body to be eradicated. This leads to severe inflammatory reactions that can damage the affected organs.
Autoimmune disease can affect virtually all bodily organs and tissues, e.g. the skin (Lichen sclerosus, Alopecia areata), colon (Crohn's disease), small intestine (celiac disease), joints (rheumatic polyarthritis), thyroid gland (Hashimoto's thyroiditis), nervous system (multiple sclerosis), connective tissue (scleroderma), salivary glands (Sjogren's syndrome) and many others, to name but a few.
The immune system is generally responsible for identifying and defending the body against foreign substances, micro-organisms and viruses. T-cells play a vital role. These are tra...