Autoimmune disorders affect about 8% of the world population and doctors don’t fully understand why these events take place. Currently there are more than 80 different types of autoimmune disorders. The best way to explain what happens during autoimmunity is your body’s immune system recognition mechanism stops working. During this break down it starts defending itself from its own cells and organs. This attack is manifested in many different ways exhibiting symptoms that often confuse doctors before they find the right diagnosis. This attack can last a short time or be a permanent disorder requiring a lifelong change for patients with these conditions.
Why is Vitiligo an Autoimmune Disorder
The reason doctors refer to Vitiligo as an autoimmune disorder is because your body starts attacking your own pigment cells. During this attack the production of melanin is stopped causing depigmentation in spots on your skin through out your body.
Association of Vitiligo and other Autoimmune Disorders
The association of Vitiligo and other autoimmune disorders is not conclusive or well understood. While some patients with Vitiligo will exhibit other autoimmune conditions the vast majority don’t have any autoimmune disease. Some of the most common autoimmune disorders associated with Vitiligo are:
- Hyperthyroidism – over active thyroid gland
- Adrenocortical insufficiency – under production of corticosteroid by the adrenal gland
- Alopecia areata – loss of hair in patches or over the entire body
- Pernicious anemia – low red blood cell levels in the body
Other Autoimmune Disorders
What Causes Autoimmune Disorders?
To date doctors do not know the exact cause of the many autoimmune disorders affecting the millions of people around the world. They believe certain triggers such as bacteria, viruses, medication or other outside element promptthe immune system to malfunction in people who are genetically predisposed to get autoimmune disease. This is also a hypothesis and more research is being conducted to validate these theories.
Autoimmune disorders can not be prevented and the condition can disappear without any explanation. The therapy available for these conditions can help you deal with the symptoms but a cure is not always possible.