Autoimmune Diseases are defined by the Portuguese Society of Internal Medicine for the Study of Autoimmune Diseases as “frequent pathology which probably affects 5% of the population, affecting any organ of the body, sometimes several, presenting a wide spectrum of gravity and resulting in the malfunction of the immune system and starts by attaching the body tissue”.
Some of these are rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, vasculitis, ankylosing spondylitis, autoimmune thyroiditis, Sjogren's syndrome, Behcet's disease, systemic scleroderma, mixed connective tissue disease, some forms of hepatitis and many others.
The multisystem character of these diseases together with their variability, potential severity and respective treatment make these autoimmune diseases typically the responsibility of Internal Medicine.
Autoimmune Diseases are not contagious, they are chronic diseases, often difficult to diagnose, which can cause serious injury to organs and in some cases endanger human life.
For the wellbeing of the patient and in order for them to live longer, an early diagnosis is fundamental in order for treatment to begin as soon as possible. Correcting the deficiencies caused to the organs is of utmost importance in the treatment of Autoimmune Diseases.
Treatment ranges from anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, immune-suppressants and biological agents. Biological Agents are a new class of drugs that have shown beneficial effects in certain patients suffering from some specific diseases.