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As Number Of People Suffering From Autoimmune Diseases Rises, New Research Finds Cause, Treatment

Autoimmune diseases, like lupus, multiple sclerosis or Crohn’s disease, are becoming more and more common today. The National Institutes of Health now estimate that 23.5 million Americans suffer from autoimmune diseases.

But, new research out of Yale University may have found the cause behind these diseases, which turn your body’s immune system against itself.

Researchers found that a bacteria called E. gallinarum can travel outside of your gut and trigger an autoimmune response. And they were able to show that antibiotics can help treat that response — they even created a vaccine that worked to prevent it in the mice in their study.

Dr. Martin Kriegel is an assistant professor of immunobiology at the Yale School of Medicine and was the senior researcher of the study. The Show's Lauren Gilger got a hold of him to talk more about it.

This research came as good news to the many millions of people who deal with autoimmune diseases on a daily basis. And, to get a sense of how happy this made them, we hear from Ashlee Whittemore. She is the founder of WeRVisibleFoundation.org and she reached out to Dr. Kriegel after his research was published and offered to help fund his efforts to find the cause of autoimmune diseases.

Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.