Updated: Jan 22
Autoimmunity is a condition in which the immune system mistakenly attacks and damages the body's own tissues and organs. There are more than 80 different autoimmune conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and type 1 diabetes, and they can affect people of all ages.
The exact cause of autoimmune conditions is not fully understood, and it is likely that multiple factors contribute to their development. Here are a few potential causes of autoimmunity:
Genetics: Autoimmune conditions tend to run in families, suggesting that genetics may play a role in their development. However, it is important to note that genetics alone do not determine whether someone will develop an autoimmune condition.
Environmental factors: Exposure to certain environmental factors, such as infections, toxins, or medications, may trigger the development of autoimmune conditions in people who are genetically predisposed to them.
Hormonal imbalances: Hormonal imbalances, such as those that occur during pregnancy or menopause, may increase the risk of autoimmune conditions.
Stress: Chronic stress has been linked to the development of autoimmune conditions, although the exact mechanisms are not fully understood.
Gut health: Research has suggested that the gut microbiome (the community of bacteria and other microorganisms that live in the digestive system) may play a role in autoimmune conditions. Imbalances in the gut microbiome, such as those that occur with certain diets or as a result of antibiotics, may increase the risk of autoimmune conditions.
It is important to note that the exact cause of autoimmune conditions is not always clear, and it is likely that multiple factors contribute to their development. While it is not always possible to prevent autoimmune conditions, taking steps to maintain overall health and manage stress may help to reduce the risk of developing an autoimmune condition. Check out our masterclass entitled Unraveling the Web of Autoimmunity to learn more.