8. Autoimmune conditions
There are more than 100 recognized autoimmune conditions—defined as conditions in which your immune system mistakenly attacks your body’s own cells. This causes inflammation in certain parts of the body or throughout the body. Some common autoimmune conditions are celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, endometriosis, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, chronic Lyme disease, narcolepsy, peripheral neuropathy, and thyroid diseases.
Researchers don’t know exactly what causes autoimmune conditions, and it’s clear that different factors trigger autoimmune conditions in different people. Risk factors include:
- An injury or infection that doesn’t resolve
- Having someone in your family with an autoimmune condition
- Being overweight
- Certain medications
- Environmental pollution and chemical toxins
Another significant risk factor is being female. Overall, research shows that 75% to 80% of autoimmune condition sufferers are women. Researchers have identified a trigger for autoimmune conditions, called Age-associated B Cells, that may help explain why women tend to suffer from them more than men.
Taking steps to reduce sources of inflammation, like making changes in diet and reducing stress, are often effective in alleviating autoimmune conditions. If you suffer from an autoimmune condition, do your research, look at all 12 causes of inflammation in this post, and consider how you might be able to reduce inflammation in your body.