The immune system helps protect the body against harmful substances. An autoimmune disorder is when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue. ESR is often higher than normal in people with an autoimmune disorder.
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David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.