Some of the worst diseases that you can get are those that turn your own immune system against you. There are diseases out there that will cause your body to betray itself, causing your white blood cells to damage other parts of your body because they get confused on what they’re supposed to be going after. These diseases, known as autoimmune disorders, can be very serious if not treated, and put your immune system at serious risk.
One autoimmune disease that you’ve likely heard of is type-1 diabetes. Type-1 is differentiated from type-2 by the fact that type-2 comes from being unhealthy and eating excessive amounts of sugar, while type-1 is genetic and unavoidable for most people. Type-1 diabetes causes your immune system to go after the parts of your body that produce insulin, which regulates your blood sugar levels and helps your cells make use of it for energy. Without insulin, your body will not use the sugar properly, and you can very easily lose consciousness, so those afflicted with this disease need to inject themselves with doses of insulin.
Lupus is a very serious autoimmune disease if it’s not treated. Essentially, your body will target certain tissues and begin to fight them, causing irritation and rashes to spring up in various places. It can affect anything from skin and joints to your heart or lungs. Untreated, this disease is very serious, and can certainly be deadly. However, with treatment, the symptoms can be heavily reduced, though they can never be fully healed.
One autoimmune disease that’s typically experienced by older people is rheumatoid arthritis, or RA. This disease causes your immune system to go after the soft lining of your joints, which can be very painful and cause inflammation in that area. This can make things like walking difficult if it’s in your knees or picking things up hard if it’s in your elbows or wrists. The reason these diseases are so dangerous is that they’re typically chronic, meaning that they don’t just pop up and go away like the flu does. Instead, they’re something you have to deal with for prolonged periods of time, and once you get it, your immune system is going to be far less effective, making you more susceptible to things like pneumonia, the flu, and the common cold. By treating the symptoms, you’re able to relieve this problem somewhat, but many autoimmune diseases are never fully cured.