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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Autoimmune Diseases and Antinuclear Antibody Testing: Methods and Staining Patterns. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Common Autoimmune Diseases

The table describes some of the more common autoimmune diseases:
Autoimmune Disease Description
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) Inflammation of joints and surrounding tissues
Systemic lupus erythematosis (SLE) A systemic disorder that affects skin, joints, kidneys, brain, and other organs
Celiac sprue disease Reaction to gluten (found in wheat, rye, and barley) that causes damage to the lining of the small intestine
Pernicious anemia (PA) Decrease in red blood cells caused by inability to absorb vitamin B-12
Vitiligo  White patches on skin caused by loss of pigment
Scleroderma Connective tissue disease that causes changes in skin, blood vessels, muscles, and internal organs
Psoriasis Skin condition that causes redness and irritation, as well as thick, flaky, silver-white patches
Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) Group of inflammatory diseases of the colon and small intestine
Hashimoto's disease Inflammation of the thyroid gland
Addison's disease Adrenal hormone insufficiency
Graves' disease Overactive thyroid gland
Reactive arthritis Inflammation of the joints, urethra, and eyes; may cause lesion on the skin and mucous membranes
Sjögren's syndrome (SjS) Destroys glands that produce tears and saliva causing dry eyes/mouth; may affect kidneys and lungs
Type 1 diabetes Destruction of insulin producing cells in the pancreas