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 diabetes B. Rheumatoid arthritis C. Psoriasis D. AIDS E. A, B, and C 2. If a person has an autoimmune disease, what happens with the immune system?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is Antibodies attack the body's tissues, organs, or cells.A. The person's immune cells die B. Antibodies from the person's immune system mistakenly attack tissues in the body C. The person's immune system produces too many immune cells D. None of the above 3. 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 12 B. Men older than 40 C. Women of childbearing age D. Women older than 50 4. 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. Skin B. Joints C. Thyroid D. All of the above 5. 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. Caucasians B. African-Americans C. Hispanics D. B and C 6. 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, such as rheumatic fever, develop after a streptococcal infection. People taking methyldopa for high blood pressure can develop lupus. Stopping the drug usually stops lupus. Some autoimmune diseases run in families, which suggests that genes play a role.A. It may be triggered by a virus, such as mumps B. It may be a complication of an existing infection, such as strep throat C. It may be caused by exposure to an environmental agent D. Most do not have an obvious cause E. All of the above 7. 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 diagnostic tests make them difficult to diagnose.A. Symptoms may be vague B. No specific lab tests exist to confirm a diagnosis C. Symptoms may come and go, making it hard to pinpoint the problem D. All of the above 8. 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. Lupus B. Multiple sclerosis C. Scleroderma D. None of the above Your 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: Holloway, Beth, RN, MEd
Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Date Last Reviewed: 5/13/2014