Autoimmune dysfunction occurs when the immune system recognizes your bodies own cells as targets. The list of conditions with autoimmune components is vast and includes type I diabetes, lupus, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and more.
Your immune system is like a teeter-totter that gets tipped to one side or the other depending on the type of pathogen it is fighting. The Th1 branch looks after taking care of viral infections and cleaning up precancerous cells. The Th2 branch is responsible for antibody production against bacteria and is the branch that is activated by vaccinations. When one of these branches get overstimulated with a underlying inflammatory process in the body, they can trigger an autoimmune condition.
Risk factors for developing a autoimmune disease include genetic factors, pregnancy, environmental toxins, infections triggering cross reactivity reactions, and blood transfusion.