NNLM Reading Club: Autoimmune Disease

NNLM Reading Club: Autoimmune Disease


Topic: Autoimmune Disease
Left Box

NNLM Reading Club Topic: Autoimmune Disease

Your immune system protects you from disease and infection by attacking germs that get into your body, such as viruses and bacteria. Your immune system can tell that the germs aren't part of you, so it destroys them. However, if you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system attacks the healthy cells of your organs and tissues by mistake.

Chart of number of Americans living with 5 autoimmune diseasess
Benaroya Research Institute | Factsheet [PDF]

There are more than 80 diseases that occur as a result of the immune system attacking the body’s own organs, tissues, and cells. Some of the more common autoimmune diseases include Type 1 Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Lyme Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Overall, autoimmune diseases are common, affecting more than 23.5 million Americans.

Education

Empower patients to ensure they are supported from diagnosis to identifying treatment options, accessing care, and managing the effects of an autoimmune disease.

MedlinePlus

MedlinePlus logoUse MedlinePlus.gov to find and share free, trustworthy health information from the National Library of Medicine (NLM).

Reference Book

Reference books can be a great way to answer your questions and learn more. 

Immune book cover image

Enlivened by engaging full-color graphics and immersive descriptions, Immune turns one of the most intricate, interconnected, and confusing subjects—immunology—into a gripping adventure through an astonishing alien landscape.

Each chapter delves into an element of the immune system, including defenses like antibodies and inflammation as well as threats like bacteria, allergies, and cancer, as Dettmer reveals why boosting your immune system is actually nonsense, how parasites sneak their way past your body’s defenses, how viruses work, and what goes on in your wounds when you cut yourself.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Immune: A Journey into the Mysterious System That Keeps You Alive | Philipp Dettmer | Random House | 2021 | 368 pages | ISBN: 978-0593241318 | WorldCat

Right Box

Awareness

Autoimmune diseases can affect anyone. Yet certain people are at greater risk for some autoimmune diseases. For instance, type 1 Diabetes is more common in white people. Lupus [Infographic PDF] is most severe for African-American and Hispanic people.

Four times more women than men are affected by autoimmune disease
The Office on Women's Health is dedicated to education and research for the many immune system diseases effecting both women and men.

Celebrities Living With an Autoimmune Disease

Autoimmunity Disease hits mainstream media when a celebrity uses their influence to raise awareness of their diagnosis.

Venus Williams was diagnosed in 2011 with Sjögren’s syndrome and had to drop out of the U.S. Open that year.

Selma Blair made headlines in 2019 when she accessorized her evening gown by carrying a custom monogrammed cane with a pink diamond. The year before, she had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

Selma Blair Vanity Fair photo carrying a cane
Source: Selma Blair Instagram

Christina Applegate also announced her recent Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis after experiencing increasing tingling and numbness of her extremities.

Lady Gaga's 2017 documentary shows the highs and lows of her living with Fibromyalgia.

When Selena Gomez was diagnosed with Lupus in 2013, she found herself in need of a kidney transplant.

Ted Danson has Psoriatic Arthritis. He manages his recurring back and hip pain through meditation, breathing, exercise, and diet.

Ashton Kutcher had Vasculitis that impaired his hearing, vision, and walking ability.

Turning Pages book cover image
Turning Pages: My Life Story | Sonia Sotomayer | Penguin Random House | 2018 | ISBN: 978-0525514084 | 4-8 years

Screen shot from the book Turning PagesRecording artists Nick Jonas and Bret Michaels as well as Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor manage their Type 1 Diabetes with insulin.

Research and Advocacy

The exact cause of autoimmune disorders is unknown. One theory is that some microorganisms (such as bacteria or viruses) or drugs may trigger changes that confuse the immune system. This may happen more often in people who have genes that make them more prone to autoimmune disorders.

What we do know? More medical research is needed.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is the leading medical research institute studying the immune system. Treatments are available for many autoimmune diseases, but cures have yet to be discovered. Overview of the Immune System

National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP)

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) is the leading medical research agency studying Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases

ClinicalTrials.gov is a resource maintained by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It provides easy access to information on publicly and privately supported clinical studies on a wide range of diseases and conditions. Learn more about ClinicalTrials.gov or Find an Autoimmune Clinical Trial.

The Autoimmune Association is the world’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to autoimmune awareness, advocacy, education, and research.

Global Autoimmune Institute is empowering solutions in the diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune disease (AD) through research, education, and community, while supporting multidisciplinary approaches to wellness. The organization makes available a list of medical institutions across the United States that specialize in diagnosing and treating various autoimmune diseases.

Book: The Invisible Kingdom
Left Box

NNLM Reading Club Book

Do you want to share this book with your reading group? The Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) has made it easy to download the discussion questions, promotional materials, and supporting health information.

Promotion Material

The Invisible Kingdom Social MediaFacebook or Twitter JPG
Customizable PDF* [8.5 x 11]
How to edit PDF files

Discussion Guide

Discussion Guide for The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness
Download and print the PDF

Right Box

Book

The Invisible Kingdom book cover imageA landmark exploration of one of the most consequential and mysterious issues of our time: the rise of chronic illness and autoimmune diseases. A silent epidemic of chronic illnesses afflicts tens of millions of Americans: these are diseases that are poorly understood, frequently marginalized, and can go undiagnosed and unrecognized altogether. Renowned writer Meghan O'Rourke delivers a revelatory investigation into this elusive category of 'invisible' illness that encompasses autoimmune diseases, post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome, and now long COVID. Drawing on her own medical experiences as well as a decade of interviews with doctors, patients, researchers, and public health experts, O'Rourke traces the history of Western definitions of illness, and reveals how inherited ideas of cause, diagnosis, and treatment have led us to ignore a host of hard-to-understand medical conditions, ones that resist easy description or simple cures. And as America faces this health crisis of extraordinary proportions, the populations most likely to be neglected by our institutions include women, the working class, and people of color.ebook iconAudio book icon

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | FINALIST FOR THE 2022 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR NONFICTION

The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness | Meghan O'Rourke | Penguin Random House | 2022 | 356 pages | ISBN: 978-1594633799 | WorldCat

Author

Meghan O'Rourke photoMeghan O’Rourke is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness and The Long Goodbye, as well as the poetry collections Sun In Days, Once, and Halflife. Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, and The New York Times, and more. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Radcliffe Fellowship, and a Whiting Nonfiction Award, she resides in New Haven, where she teaches at Yale University and is the editor of The Yale Review.

Official Website of Meghan O'Rourke

Book: Pain Woman Takes Your Keys and Other Essays from a Nervous System
Left Box

NNLM Reading Club Book

Do you want to share this book with your reading group? The Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) has made it easy to download the discussion questions, promotional materials, and supporting health information.

Promotion Material

Pain Woman social mediaFacebook or Twitter JPG
Customizable PDF* [8.5 x 11]
How to edit PDF files

Discussion Guide

Discussion Guide for Pain Woman Takes Your Keys and Other Essays from a Nervous System
Download and print the PDF

Right Box

Book

Pain Woman book cover image

Pain Woman Takes Your Keys, and Other Essays from a Nervous System is a collection of literary and experimental essays about living with chronic pain. Sonya Huber moves away from a linear narrative to step through the doorway into pain itself, into that strange, unbounded reality. Huber addresses the nature and experience of invisible disability, including the challenges of gender bias in our health care system, the search for effective treatment options, and the difficulty of articulating chronic pain. She makes pain a lens of inquiry and lyricism, finds its humor and complexity, describes its irascible character, and explores its temperature, taste, and even its beauty.ebook icon

Firecracker Award Finalist 2018 | Council of Literary Magazines and Publishers

Pain Woman Takes Your Keys and Other Essays from a Nervous System | Sonya Huber | University of Nebraska Press | 2017 | 204 pages | ISBN: 978-0803299917 | WorldCat

Author

Sonya Huber photo

Sonya Huber is an associate professor of English at Fairfield University. Her award-winning work has been published in literary journals and magazines including The New York Times, Creative Nonfiction, Brevity, Fourth Genre, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and the Washington Post Magazine

Official Website of Sonya Huber

Book: What Doesn't Kill You
Left Box

NNLM Reading Club Book

Do you want to share this book with your reading group? The Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) has made it easy to download the discussion questions, promotional materials, and supporting health information.

Promotion Material

What Doesn't Kill You Social MediaFacebook or Twitter JPG
Customizable PDF* [8.5 x 11]
How to edit PDF files

Discussion Guide

Discussion Guide for What Doesn't Kill You: A Life with Chronic Illness - Lessons from a Body in Revolt
Download and print the PDF

Right Box

Book

What Doesn't Kill You book cover image

Tessa Miller was an ambitious twenty something writer in New York City when, on a random fall day, her stomach began to seize up. At first, she toughed it out through searing pain, taking sick days from work, unable to leave the bathroom or her bed. But when it became undeniable that something was seriously wrong, Miller gave in to family pressure and went to the hospital—beginning a years-long nightmare of procedures, misdiagnoses, and life-threatening infections. Once she was finally correctly diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, Miller faced another battle: accepting that she will never get better.

Today, an astonishing three in five adults in the United States suffer from a chronic disease—a percentage expected to rise post-Covid. Whether the illness is arthritis, asthma, Crohn's, diabetes, endometriosis, multiple sclerosis, ulcerative colitis, or any other incurable illness, and whether the sufferer is a colleague, a loved one, or you, these diseases have an impact on just about every one of us. Yet there remains an air of shame and isolation about the topic of chronic sickness. Millions must endure these disorders not only physically but also emotionally, balancing the stress of relationships and work amid the ever-present threat of health complications.ebook iconAudio book icon

Named one of BuzzFeed's "Best Books of 2021"

What Doesn't Kill You: A Life with Chronic Illness - Lessons from a Body in Revolt | Henry Holt and Co | 2021 | 320 pages | ISBN: 978-1250751454 | WorldCat

Author

Tessa Miller photo
Photo Credit: Rachel Scroggins

Tessa Miller is a Brooklyn-based health and science journalist. Her writing has appeared in the New York TimesNew York magazine, SelfVice, and Medium, among others. She was a senior editor at Lifehacker and the Daily BeastWhat Doesn’t Kill You is her first book.