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Overactive immune system

An overactive immune system is a condition described by off-center behavior of the immune system in which it begins to attack and fight against its own cells. Immune system plays an important role in human’s health. It heals the body and protects it from cancer, bacterial and viral infections. Sometimes, the immune system may misunderstand the body’s signals and start to fight against it. Resulting effect shows inflammation and pain in the affected region, and if it becomes chronic, it may lead to autoimmune diseases or allergies due to disproportion in white blood cells of the body and other immune factors..

Causes

Autoimmune dysfunction affects around 5% to 8% of the world population. As much as 75% of diseases occur in women. Some studies show that autoimmune diseases may even trigger a cancer. Immune system dysfunction is caused by the over activity of the immune mechanism that fails to distinguish enemy cells from the body’s cells. Immune system over activity may, after some time, lead to numerous health conditions like multiple sclerosis or arthritis. In multiple sclerosis, immune system attacks myelin shearth, while in arthritis it fights against synovial membranes that are connecting the joints. Other common autoimmune diseases are lupus, psoriasis fibromyalgia, inflammatory bowel disease, Sjögren's syndrome, Churg-Strauss Syndrome, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Graves' disease, and many more. Genetic predisposition may be one of the causes of immune system disorders, but it isn’t rare to meet a patient with no previous cases of overactive immune system in the family.

Symptoms

When immune system mechanism starts to attack its own cells and tissues it provokes localized inflammation fallowed by a number of related symptoms. For example, if the immune system attacks the synovial membrane (like in arthritis) patient will experience the symptoms of inflammation at joints followed with pain.

Treatment

Not so many years ago, the only available treatment for autoimmune disorders included steroids, chemotherapy and vital immunosuppressants. On the other hand, these medical solutions had severe side effects. Lately, the effective treatments that target only the affected parts of the immune system became available.

Treatment works by blocking particular molecules in the inflammatory pathway. Also, one of the most promising measures of treatment is the method of autologous haematopoietic stem-cell transplants, which removes dysfunctional immune system cells and replaces them with new ones. However, the most commonly used treatment method is to conduct an appropriate diet and take medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs and steroids that may help to relief the pain.

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