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Autoimmune Disorders In Celiac Disease

Each antibody binds to a specific antigen; an interaction similar to a lock and key. Courtesy Wikipedia.

Each antibody binds to a specific antigen; an interaction similar to a lock and key. Courtesy Wikipedia.

What Are Autoimmune Disorders?

Autoimmune disorders refer to those conditions that involve an abnormal immune attack on the body’s own tissues perpetuated by the production of autoantibodies directed against the body, or “self.” Auto means self.

Q: Why does the immune system attack the body?

A: The exact answer is not yet known why the immune system turns against body tissue or “self.” 

Normally, the immune system protects the body from harmful substances and pathogens and produces antibodies against the offending foreign substances, called antigens, to get rid of them. The immune system (humoral) thereafter remembers all antigens and is ready for the next encounter should it happen.

Production of autoimmune antibodies is catastrophic because there is no turning off the readiness to attack a remembered threat (antigen) which is unfortunately “self.” 

Yes, steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs can control symptoms, but nothing can undo the memory programmed into the immune system to produce autoantibodies. There is an enormous research effort ongoing for the answer. 

Autoimmune disorders cover a wide range of diseases that may target only a particular organ, such as autoimmune hepatitis (liver), while others are systemic because the autoantibodies target a particular tissue that is part of more than one organ, such as scleroderma (connective tissue).

Autoimmune diseases as a group affect approximately 8.5% of people worldwide.

What Are Autoimmune Disorders In Celiac Disease and/or Gluten Sensitivity?


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