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Autoimmune Diseases - Overview

Autoimmune diseases occur when our own body’s immune system attacks our own body’s tissues, for reasons which are not immediately clear. The list of autoimmune diseases is as long as the list of organs in the body – and longer, since organs may respond to attack in many different ways. Diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, hepatitis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Graves disease, cardiomyopathy, psoriasis, vitiligo, multiple sclerosis… The list goes on and on. One common denominator may be leaky gut – an inflamed GI tract can allow larger food molecules to leak out into the circulation. Many of these molecules (particularly gluten, a break-down product of wheat) may look very similar to our own tissues. So the antibodies we make to the foreign food molecules start to attack our own organs. And voilà – autoimmune disease.