Autoimmune diseases are fairly common, yet few people know exactly what the term means. To shed some light on this, here are 10 facts everyone should know about autoimmune diseases.

There are more than 80 types of autoimmune diseases. The most common autoimmune diseases are type 1 diabetes mellitus, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriasis, multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), celiac disease, Graves' disease, Addison's disease, Sjögren's syndrome, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, myasthenia gravis, pernicious anemia and autoimmune vasculitis.

Autoimmune diseases happen when the immune system attacks healthy cells. This occurs when the immune system cannot tell the difference between foreign cells and your own cells. The body releases proteins called autoantibodies that attack healthy