What Are the Different Types of Systemic Autoimmune Disease?

Article Details
  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 17 January 2020
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article

A systemic autoimmune disease is a type of medical condition that affects multiple organs or body systems and is related to a faulty immune system. Some of the most well-known examples of these diseases include lupus, multiple sclerosis, and scleroderma. Additional examples of systemic autoimmune disease include rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, and Sjogren's syndrome. Symptoms for each of these conditions vary, although fatigue, low-grade fever, and dizziness are common to most of the diseases. Any questions or concerns about a specific systemic autoimmune disease should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

Lupus is a type of inflammatory systemic autoimmune disease that affects the skin, joints, and various internal organs. This disease is more common among women than men, although the cause for this is not clearly understood. Multiple sclerosis causes destruction of the protective covering that surrounds the various nerves of the body. This eventually leads to irreversible damage to the nerves themselves and often causes some form of permanent disability. Prescription medications may be used to treat specific symptoms, although there is no specific cure available for these autoimmune disorders.


Scleroderma is a systemic autoimmune disease that causes the skin and connective tissues of the body to become hardened. Organs such as the heart, kidneys, and lungs may be affected, leading to gradual failure of these organs. In many cases, scleroderma is fatal. Rheumatoid arthritis causes the joints to become inflamed and can cause a significant amount of pain. Over time, the affected joints may become deformed, leading to varying degrees of disability.

Celiac disease is a type of systemic autoimmune disease that causes the body to react negatively to the proteins found in wheat, barley, and rye. Abdominal pain, diarrhea, and flatulence are common symptoms of celiac disease. Weight loss, muscle pain, and menstrual irregularities may also develop as a result of this medical condition. The only completely successful treatment method for this condition is to avoid foods containing these proteins.

Sjogren's syndrome causes the mucous membranes of the mouth and eyes to become abnormally dry as a result of decreased production of saliva and tears. Treatment consists of managing symptoms as they appear, and the condition frequently clears up on its own over time, even with no specific medical treatment. This type of systemic autoimmune disease is more common among women and may be present alone or in combination with other autoimmune disorders.



Discuss this Article

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?