Your immune system is your body's natural defense against infection and other foreign material. Before you can have a reaction to a particular substance, your immune system must first be sensitized to it. This happens in an earlier contact with the substance. Once sensitized, your body will react every time you have contact with that substance. Many substances can cause an allergic reaction. The most common are pollen, mold, animal dander, dust and dust mites, latex, medicines, insect stings and foods. Autoimmune diseases arise from an overactive immune response of the body against substances and tissues normally present in the body. In other words, the body actually attacks its own cells. This may be restricted to certain organs (e.g. in thyroiditis) or involve a particular tissue in different places (e.g. Goodpasture's disease which may affect the basement membrane in both the lung and the kidney). The treatment of autoimmune diseases is typically with immunosuppression—medication which decreases the immune response.
Private MD Lab Services offers the following autoimmune disease-related tests:
|Antinuclear Antibodies (ANA) Direct|
|Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Factor|
|Sedimentation Rate, Modified Westergren|