What is autoimmunity?
Autoimmunity is a condition in which the body’s immune system attacks the very body tissues it is supposed to protect. Autoimmune diseases result from damage or loss of physiological function in organs and tissues due to an autoimmune response.
The immune system is constantly on the lookout for any invading foreign body that has penetrated our body, and as soon as it finds it, it begins to trap, attack and get rid of it in a coherent and harmonious chain between the different members of the immune system. Normally, the immune system responds to foreign bodies, such as bacteria and viruses, by secreting antibodies or lymphocytes that are sensitive to these foreign bodies.
What are autoimmune diseases?
There are about 80 types of autoimmune diseases, ranging from mild to severe. Depending on what part of the body is being attacked and to what extent. These diseases appear when the immune system mistakenly begins to attack the body’s organs, treating them as enemies.
Women are more vulnerable than men, especially when they reach childbearing age. Presumably, sex hormones are partially responsible. The symptoms of autoimmune diseases can be controlled, but there is usually no cure.
Diabetes is a group of diseases characterized by elevated glucose levels as a result of defects in the body’s ability to produce or use insulin. Obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and sedentary lifestyle are some of the risk factors for people with diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes is clinically divided into 4 types.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that can affect areas other than the joints. This disease can damage a wide range of body systems, including the skin, eyes, lungs, heart and blood vessels.
Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that affects some people with psoriasis, a condition in which red patches appear on the skin covered with silvery scales. Most people develop psoriasis several years before they are diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. But for some, joint problems begin before or at the same time as the skin patches.
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic neurological disease that affects the central nervous system, affecting the brain and spinal cord and causing damage to the membrane that surrounds nerve cells called myelin. This leads to hardening of the cells and, therefore, slows or stops the movement of nerve impulses traveling between the brain and the body’s organs.
How can the immune system be strengthened?
A healthy immune system is crucial for good health. An inadequate diet can affect the state of our defenses because our body obtains essential substances for the proper functioning of the immune system through food.
The World Health Organization considers “nutrition as one of the basic pillars of health and development. Improving nutrition includes promoting the health of children, mothers, youth and adults; strengthening our immune system, reducing possible complications during pregnancy and childbirth, reducing the risk of developing non-communicable diseases (such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases)”.