Celebrities With Autoimmune Diseases

Nick Cannon reclining on a low sofaOur bodies have an immune system, which is a complex network of special cells and organs that defends the body from germs and other foreign invaders.

At the core of the immune system is the ability to tell the difference between what belongs to the body and what’s foreign. A flaw can make the body unable to tell the difference between self and non-self.

When this happens, the body makes auto-antibodies that attack normal cells by mistake. At the same time special cells called regulatory T cells fail to do their job of keeping the immune system in line.

The result is a misguided attack on your own body. This causes the damage we know as autoimmune disease. The body parts that are affected depend on the type of autoimmune disease. There are more than 80 known types.

Some autoimmune diseases are more common or more severely affect certain groups of people more than others. For instance, type 1 diabetes is more common in whites. Lupus is most severe for African Americans.