Why is an autoimmune screening recommended?
About 5% of adults in Europe are suffering from an autoimmune disease. Many such diseases are diagnosed very late, since they often commence with only diffuse and irregular symptoms, such as local pain, stiff joints or exhaustion.
What is an autoimmune disease?
A disease where the body’s immune system turns its lymphocytes and antibodies against endogenous molecules that occur on the cell, in the cell and between the cells. This is not only painful but also harmful, since these molecules have functional and structural tasks that they cannot meet . Disease progresses from mild to life-threatening.
But watch out: the evidence of auto antibodies does not automatically mean an autoimmune disease. The antibody class and its behaviour are relevant.
Examples of autoimmune diseases:
- Disease of the adhesive tissue and joints, collagenase or mixed collagenases, rheumatoid arthritis, primary chronic polyarthritis, Lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, Raynaud-syndrome
- Muscle diseases: Polymyalgia rheumatica, myasthenia gravis
- Diseases of the nervous system: Multiple sclerosis, polyneuropathy
- Gastrointestinal diseases: chronically atrophic gastritis, coeliac disease, Crohn’s disease, Colitis ulcerosa, idiopathic chronic pancreatitis
- Liver diseases: chronically active autoimmune hepatitis, primary bilious cirrhosis
- Cardiovascular disease, myocarditis, endocarditis lenta, postcardiotomy syndromes, post-infarction syndrome, specific forms of hypertension
- Lung diseases: Boeck’s disease, Goodpasture syndrome
- Kidney diseases: Glomerulonephritis, interstitial nephritis, Goodpasture syndrome
- Illnesses of the metabolism and endocrine system: Diabetes mellitus, Hashimoto thyroiditis, Addison’s disease
- Illnesses of the blood-forming systems: thrombocytopenic purpura, perniciose anaemia
- Skin diseases: idiopathic eczema, neurodermitis diffusa, discoid lupus erythematosus, pemphigus
- Specific forms of infertility and probability of miscarriage
For diagnosis of autoimmune diseases, we recommend the combination of scholastic and molecular biological treatments such as: T-cell vaccines, plasmapheresis, photopheresis and (immunosuppressives/TNF-antibodies).