Autoimmune Diseases

Do germs cause type 1 diabetes?

Germs could play a role in the development of type 1 diabetes by triggering the body's immune system to destroy the cells that produce insulin, new research suggests.

May 16, 2016
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Autoimmune diseases arise from an inappropriate immune response of the body against substances and tissues normally present in the body. In other words, the immune system mistakes some part of the body as a pathogen and attacks its own cells. This may be restricted to certain organs (e.g. in autoimmune thyroiditis) or involve a particular tissue in different places (e.g. Goodpasture's disease which may affect the basement membrane in both the lung and the kidney). The treatment of autoimmune diseases is typically with immunosuppression—medication which decreases the immune response.

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