Not many people know approximately how many auto-immune Chronic Illnesses there are that afflict all ages, all races. I am working on a list of the most prevalent one’s that affect many of us.

Depending on the type, an autoimmune disease can affect one or many different types of body tissue. It can also cause abnormal organ growth and changes in organ function. There are as many as 80 types of autoimmune diseases. Many of them have similar symptoms, which makes them very difficult to diagnose.

Most Common Autoimmune Diseases

Rheumatoid ArthritisRheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic inflammation of the lining of the joints, leading to pain and swelling typically in the hands and feet. It can affect anyone but is most prevalent in women over 40. Rheumatoid Arthritis can sometimes affect other organs as well, such as skin, eyes, lungs and blood vessels. As with all autoimmune disorders, treatment focuses on managing pain and minimizing bone erosion and joint damage.

Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis – Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis is the most common form of Arthritis in Children under 16. Symptoms usually include pain and swelling in the joints, and can vary from moderate to severe. In some cases, symptoms will subside over time while others can persist well into adulthood.

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (Lupus)Lupus can be difficult to diagnose because it shares symptoms with many other disorders. The inflammation resulting from lupus can affect many different areas of the body, from the lungs, heart, joints, skin, kidneys, and brain. Like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus is more prevalent in women and can sometimes be identified by a butterfly-shaped rash on the face, along with photosensitivity, fatigue and fever, joint pain, and other skin lesions that worsen under sun exposure.

Psoriatic Arthritis – People with the skin condition psoriasis sometimes develop Arthritis as well, but in certain cases, the joint inflammation can occur before the skin rash. The main symptoms of psoriasis are joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. The condition can affect any part of the body, such as the fingertips and spine, and range from mild to severe.

Inflammatory Bowel Arthritis (Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis) – With inflammatory bowel arthritis (or IBA), inflammation affects the intestines. With ulcerative colitis, the colon or large intestine are affected. Crohn’s Disease can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract, but usually, occurs in either the small intestine or colon or both.