Autoimmune disease is when the body's immune system cannot distinguish between your own cells and foreign cells, causing the body to attack its own cells. Different types of autoimmune disease affect different areas and organs of the body or can cause problems all over the body. For example, Crohn's affects the intestines and colon, rheumatoid arthritis attacks the joints, and type I diabetes damages your pancreas. Lupus can cause widespread problems. Doctors are still not sure exactly what causes autoimmune disease, but some things that factor in are environmental exposures, ethnicity, and even whether you are male or female.
Some symptoms of possible autoimmune disease are extreme fatigue, weight loss or weight gain, widespread pain, and weakness. If you suspect you are having symptoms, you should talk to your doctor right away to have testing for accurate diagnosis and treatment. Early treatment sometimes can make a difference in your quality of life and health. Many autoimmune diseases are manageable with the right treatment.