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Autoimmune diseases

Analysis and Comment (11)

Mad Men actor Jon Hamm claims to be diagnosed with the skin condition vitiligo – but what is it, exactly? Mad Men actor Jon Hamm claims to be diagnosed with the skin condition vitiligo – but what is it, exactly? EPA/Gus Ruelas

Explainer: what is vitiligo?

Vitiligo, a human skin condition that turns patches of skin and hair white, it is not a disease we hear much about, although it affects approximately 1% of the population. Most famously, Michael Jackson…
Luckily, gluten-free diets don’t end here. Luckily, gluten-free diets don’t end here. Lettuce leaf by Shutterstock

Explainer: what is gluten intolerance?

Gluten intolerance covers a range of gut problems caused by ingesting proteins found in wheat, barley, rye and in some cases, oats. The three main groups affected are those with a direct sensitivity to…
Many people struggle to balance the facts that too much sun exposure results in skin cancer and too little causes vitamin D deficiency. Many people struggle to balance the facts that too much sun exposure results in skin cancer and too little causes vitamin D deficiency. August Allen/Flickr

Should you be worried about getting enough vitamin D?

With daylight saving ending yesterday across most of the country and winter approaching, Australians are moving from fears of too much sun exposure resulting in skin cancer to too little sun exposure and…
When cells attack - autoimmune disease develop when immune cells mistakenly attack a part of the body. When cells attack - autoimmune disease develop when immune cells mistakenly attack a part of the body. Ari Moore/Flickr

Explainer: what are autoimmune diseases?

Autoimmune diseases, which include a range of around 80 different illnesses from rheumatoid arthritis to type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis, occur when the immune system attacks the body. These diseases…
Balancing our body’s ecosystem with a parasite smoothie. Balancing our body’s ecosystem with a parasite smoothie. Prideandvegudice

Parasites harder to swallow, but we already take probiotics

Autoimmune disorders including Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Crohn’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Type 1 Diabetes, as well as chronic asthma and allergies are at an all-time high across the globe. Some…
Indigenous Australians are one of the minority groups with high rates of lupus. Indigenous Australians are one of the minority groups with high rates of lupus. Len Matthews

Addressing lupus in Indigenous Australian communities

Lupus is a chronic inflammatory systemic autoimmune disorder. It affects various tissues of the body, particularly the heart, joints, lungs, skin and kidneys. An autoimmune illness is one in which body’s…
Chron’s disease causes the wall of the intestine to become inflamed. Chron’s disease causes the wall of the intestine to become inflamed. Flickr/Rob Wiltshire

Explainer: Crohn’s disease and intestinal immune balance

Scientific and medical articles, and websites by Crohn’s disease associations give similar definitions of the illness: “Crohn’s disease is a chronic, inflammatory disorder which may involve any part of…
The difficulty in diagnosing lupus lends itself to the treatment it receives on the TV show House. The difficulty in diagnosing lupus lends itself to the treatment it receives on the TV show House. eeb d o/Flickr

Why ‘It’s never lupus’ - television, illness and the making of a meme

On the television show House, doctors try to diagnose mysterious illnesses, and often when time is running out all other options have been exhausted, one of the characters will offer a diagnosis of last…
Could cleanliness be causing the rise of auto-immune diseases and allergies? Could cleanliness be causing the rise of auto-immune diseases and allergies? Arlington County/flickr

How clean is too clean? Trust your gut instincts

Could our obsession with cleanliness in our homes be working against us? Advertisers fetishise germ-free kitchens and bathrooms where the threat of “harmful bacteria” is always lurking but can be eradicated…

Research and News (1)

Research Briefs (13)

Fourfold increase in UK coeliac diagnosis

The UK has seen a fourfold increase in the rate of diagnosed cases of coeliac disease in the past 20 years, but three quarters…

Gene critical to immune system

Researchers have found that a specific gene is responsible for the function of the immune system, and may be blocked or amplified…

New clues to auto-immune arthritis

New information about a form of auto-immune arthritis which can damage the spine has been found by researchers from the University…

The secrets of green tea

A compound found in green tea has a powerful ability to increase the number of “regulatory T cells” that play a key role…