Global spread of autoimmune disease blamed on western diet
In each case, the immune system gets its wires crossed and turns on healthy tissue instead of infectious agents.
In the UK alone, at least 4 million people have developed such conditions, with some individuals suffering more than one. Internationally, it is now estimated that cases of autoimmune diseases are rising by between 3% and 9% a year. Most scientists believe environmental factors play a key role in this rise.