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World Autoimmune / Auto-inflammatory Arthritis Day was established by the International Foundation for Autoimmune Arthritis (IFAA) in 2012. It falls on May 20th. The event unites groups around the world. Education and information is provided to patients and the public. This event provides patients from anywhere in the world the ability to find hundreds of resources for managing their disease by logging onto the internet.

Autoimmune and Auto-inflammatory: what is the difference between the two?

The immune system is divided into two parts:  the originating and the developed parts.  Research into the immune system has advanced. Some diseases were thought to be natural or originating. Now, these same diseases are now categorized as auto-inflammatory or having auto-inflammatory components. This means they developed over time. Some will fall somewhere in between the two.

There are over 80 autoimmune diseases. Some include the symptoms of arthritis. These diseases share the common characteristic of disorders that attack the body’s own immune system.

Symptoms usually include:

  • Extreme and debilitating fatigue.
  • Low grade fever.
  • Flu-like symptoms.
  • Joint pain in multiple areas of the body.

Some diseases that often include inflammatory arthritis are:

  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Scleroderma
  • Polychondritis and many others

Auto-inflammatory diseases are caused by genetic mutations in the molecules. They are not contagious. The range and severity of the diseases varies from person to person. Not everyone will have the same symptoms.

World Autoimmune/Auto-inflammatory Arthritis Day is a virtual, online race. Managed between nonprofits to see how much education and awareness can be spread globally in 47 hours. Posts will be shared on social media.