Debunking The Myths: All You Need To Know About Autoimmune Disorders And Its Facts

Debunking The Myths: All You Need To Know About Autoimmune Disorders And Its Facts
28 May 2024
7 min
Table Of Content
Debunking The Myths: All You Need To Know About Autoimmune Disorders And Its Facts

    Imagine the life of a person who is affected by an unknown or a complex disease which itself is caused by a very own immune system. First, they might need time to clearly understand what sort of things they are facing in their life. Second, they need guidance that helps them manage their struggle and improve their quality of life rather than creating an unnecessary fear that can mislead. Today, we are going to debunk the myths that have surrounded the autoimmune disorder for many years.

    What is an autoimmune disorder?


    An autoimmune disorder is a condition in which the body's own immune system has mistakenly recognized its cells or tissue as a foreign particle and creates an immune response against it. Most autoimmune disorders can lead to inflammation, which can affect many parts of the body. The body part that is being affected is based on the type of autoimmune disease that has originated in the individual's body. It is estimated that there are more than 80 autoimmune disorders that are affecting people.

    Type Of Autoimmune Disorder


    There are several types of autoimmune disorders that affect people. Some of the types of autoimmune disorders are given below:


    1. Alopecia areata: Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that affects the hair follicles of individuals.
    2. Pemphigus: It affects the skin and the mucous membranes of the body and can lead to blistering of the skin, mouth, nose, throat, eye, and genital areas.
    3. Psoriasis: Psoriasis is a serious autoimmune disease that causes the skin cells to multiply too fast, forming scaly and inflamed skin.
    4. Rheumatoid arthritis: It affects the lining of the joints in individuals, which can cause inflammation of the joints and its surrounding tissues.
    5. Scleroderma: It can affect the connective tissue of the body and lead to inflammation and thickening of the skin and connective tissue.
    6. Sjogren's syndrome: It is a condition in which the immune system attacks the glands that are involved in secreting fluids, tears, and saliva in the body.
    7. Systemic lupus erythematosus: It is a condition in which the immune system can affect many parts of the body (skin, joints, heart, blood cells).
    8. Vitiligo: Vitiligo is a condition in which the immune system affects the skin cell (melanocytes) which is involved in producing pigmentation in the skin.
    9. Type 1 diabetes: It affects the pancreas, which involves producing insulin to maintain the blood glucose level.

    Debunking The Myths and Facts


    Here are some of the myths and facts which you need to know:

    1. Rheumatoid arthritis:


    Myth: Rheumatoid arthritis can only affect older people.

    Facts: No, rheumatoid arthritis can affect anyone at any age, but the chance of getting RA is increased with aging. It is estimated that the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis is high in the age of sixties. However, the exact reason for this is still unknown.

    Myth: Men do not get rheumatoid arthritis, while women are often affected by it.

    Facts: No, men are also affected by rheumatoid arthritis. The chance of getting rheumatoid arthritis is three times higher in women when compared to men. But, it does mean that rheumatoid arthritis does not affect men. It might be due to the hormonal changes in which the women have gone through in the menopausal stage. But there is limited information only available to connect the link between the hormones and arthritis in women.

    2. Diet

    Myth: Diet can cure autoimmune disorders.

    Fact: There is no cure for autoimmune disorders. Eating a healthy diet can influence immune tolerance and disease in individuals, which helps alleviate symptoms of autoimmune disorders. However, it does not prevent or cure them.

    3. Type 1 diabetes

    Myth: Type 1 diabetes can be cured by lifestyle changes like exercise and diet.

    Fact: No, it is an autoimmune disorder that any procedure cannot cure. You can manage type 1 diabetes by eating a healthy diet, doing regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight along with the intake of doctor-prescribed medicine.

    4. Stress

    Myth: Stress is the only reason for an autoimmune disorder

    Fact: No, there are various other unknown factors that increase the risk of autoimmune disorders in individuals. Moreover, stress can act as a trigger, which can cause immune dysregulation, which may cause autoimmune disorders in individuals.

    5. Contagious

    Myth: Autoimmune disorders are contagious.

    Fact: No, autoimmune disease is not a contagious disease. It is a chronic condition caused by the loss of immunological tolerance to self-antigen (one's own cell or tissue).

    6. Treatment or medication

    Myth: Autoimmune disorder does not need treatment or medication.

    Fact: Even Though it can be cured by any treatment or medication, certain medicine and treatment which are recommended by the doctor, can help you to alleviate the symptoms caused by the autoimmune disorder. Stopping or skipping the recommended dose without doctors knowledge can even worsen the symptoms of autoimmune disorder.

    7. Breastfeeding

    Myth: You should not breastfeed if you have an autoimmune disorder.

    Fact: The American Academy of Pediatrics (ACR) and World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended breastfeeding for people who can and who wants to, including women with rheumatic disease. However, it is recommended to consult your doctor about breastfeeding, because some autoimmune disorder medicine may pass through breast milk.



    An autoimmune disorder is a complicated condition that certain medicines and treatment plans can manage. It is recommended to speak with your doctor and clarify each and every concern about the disease and its treatment plans. It will help you to get proper guidelines and can prevent the misleading that are caused by the myths that were popularly surrounding the autoimmune disorder. Always remember to follow the instructions of the doctor rather than believing all those myths that will mislead you about the proper treatment plans.

    Written by
    Ishwarya RMasters in Biochemistry
    AboutIshwary R is a Medical Content Writer at MrMed. She completed her PG from the University of Madras, Chennai. She did her final year project in CSIR-CLRI, Adyar, entitled Studies on production of Biosurfactant by bacillus subtilis using Leather industry bioproduct. She did her offline internship and learned clinical Laboratory skills in Billroth hospital and her online internship in SS Healthcare. She strengthened her skills in research, writing, editing, and proofreading medical content, blogs, and scientific articles.
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