Autoimmune diseases are chronic inflammatory reactions in which the immune system builds antibodies against body´s own substances. The immune system recognizes by mistake body´s own tissue as foreign object which needs to be eliminated and focuses his defense against it. This inflammatory reactions cause damages to the affected regions. If this erroneous attack of the immune system is not treated it will continue lifelong, even until the target structure is completely destroyed.
Why autoimmune diseases are developed is despite intensive research until today not known. Accepted hypotheses assume that autoimmune diseases are acquired by genetic predisposition in combination with external influences. Owns a person a genetic predisposition which is combined with inappropriate environmental factors like heavy stress, infections and pregnancy it can come to an break-out of an autoimmune disease (bad luck and bad genes).
Target structures of an autoimmune disease can be a defined organ or the entire body (several organs and the vascular system). Hybrid forms with several autoimmune diseases are not unusual.
specific organs (tissue structures) are attacked by the immune system.
Systemic or non-organ-specific diseases:
systemic inflammatory rheumatic diseases like collagenoses, which represent five to ten percent of the rheumatic diseases .
hybrid forms or transitional forms which cause a broad immune response.