Children's Health and Wellness

How Much Do You Know About Autoimmune Diseases?

Autoimmune diseases can affect anyone, but women are at greater risk. These diseases also share common symptoms: fatigue, dizziness, and low-grade fever, according to the National Women’s Health Information Center. Test your knowledge of this serious--and mysterious--class of diseases.

1. Which of these is an autoimmune disease?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is AIDS stands for "acquired immunodeficiency syndrome," but this disease is not an autoimmune illness. It is caused by a virus (HIV), which damages the person's immune system. Autoimmune diseases include systematic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, type 1 diabetes, Crohn's disease, and multiple sclerosis.A. Type 1 diabetesB. Rheumatoid arthritisC. PsoriasisD. AIDSE. A, B, and C2. If a person has an autoimmune disease, what occurs?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is Instead of focusing on invading bacteria or viruses, the antibodies zero in on the body's own tissues, organs, or cells.A. The person's immune cells dieB. Antibodies from the person's immune system mistakenly attack tissues in the bodyC. The person's immune system produces too many immune cellsD. None of the above3. Autoimmune diseases strike which group more often?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is Researchers don't know why this is so, but one theory suggests that the hormone estrogen may play a role.A. Children younger than 12B. Men older than 40C. Women of childbearing ageD. Women older than 504. What tissues, organs, or body systems can be affected by autoimmune diseases?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is Autoimmune disease can affect any organ in the body, although certain diseases attack specific organs. In Crohn's disease, for instance, the area affected is the gut. In multiple sclerosis, the areas affected are the brain and spinal cord.A. SkinB. JointsC. ThyroidD. All of the above5. Lupus is more common among women in which ethnic group?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is Lupus is more common among African-American women. Hispanic women also are more likely to develop lupus.A. CaucasiansB. African-AmericansC. HispanicsD. B and C6. How does a person develop an autoimmune disease?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is Autoimmune diseases have a variety of causes, although doctors don't yet know them all. Some illnesses, such as rheumatic fever, develop after a streptococcal infection. People taking a particular medication for high blood pressure (methyldopa) can develop the autoimmune illness lupus (the condition usually reverses itself once the drug is halted, but not in every case). Some autoimmune diseases run in families, which suggests that genes play a role.A. It may be triggered by a virus, such as mumps, that's passed from one person to anotherB. It may be a complication of an existing infection, such as strep throatC. It may be caused by exposure to an environmental agentD. Most do not have an obvious causeE. All of the above7. Why are some autoimmune diseases difficult to diagnose?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is For many autoimmune diseases, the vague early symptoms and lack of specific lab tests make them a diagnostic puzzle for doctors.A. Symptoms may be vagueB. No specific lab tests exist to confirm a diagnosisC. Symptoms may come and go, making it hard to pinpoint the problemD. All of the above8. Which of these autoimmune diseases can be cured?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is But some autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, can go into remission, even without treatment. For the most part, though, autoimmune illnesses are chronic, needing lifelong monitoring and care. Medication can help reduce or stop the damage caused by some of the diseases. Medication can also help suppress the immune system's response, helping to ease symptoms caused by the disease.A. LupusB. Multiple sclerosisC. SclerodermaD. None of the aboveYour score was:
Online Source: National Women's Health Information Centerhttp://womenshealth.gov/faq/autoimmune-diseases.pdf
Online Source: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseaseshttp://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/autoimmune/default.asp
Author: Sinovic, Dianna
Online Editor: Sinovic, Dianna
Online Medical Reviewer: Sohrabi, Farrokh MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Ziegler, Olivia Walton, MS, PA-C
Date Last Reviewed: 8/3/2012