Autoimmune Diseases That Can Be Fatal: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Learn about 10 autoimmune diseases that can be fatal, including their symptoms, diagnosis and treatment options.

Article By:  By By By Christine Comizio

Blog Source From : https://www.usnews.com/

Life and death with an autoimmune disease

Normally, your immune system fights off disease and protects your body from infection. However, when you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system instead mistakenly attacks healthy cells, tissues and organs, doing damage to the body.

There are more than 100 autoimmune diseases. According to the National Institutes of Health, up to 23.5 million Americans suffer from an autoimmune disease. The list of potentially fatal autoimmune diseases or those that can shorten your lifespan is long.

“Almost all autoimmune diseases decrease life expectancy,” says Dr. Betty Diamond, director of the Institute of Molecular Medicine at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research at Northwell Health in Manhasset, New York.

One notable exception is hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid, she says. Some studies suggest that hypothyroidism, in fact, prolongs lifespan. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that people with low-normal thyroid function live up to 3.5 years longer than those with high-normal thyroid function. Researchers theorized that an underactive thyroid may promote energy conservation, which helps you cope with acute and chronic stressors, or that there could be a genetic factor linked with increased life span.

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