Cyrex Laboratories has created Array 5- Multiple Autoimmune Reactivity Screen - a blood test that measures auto-antibodies against 24 different tissue "targets". Elevated levels of any of these antibodies are associated with increased risk of developing (or having) one or more autoimmune diseases.
Array 5 measures antibodies that can damage the gastrointestinal tract, liver, skin, endocrine system, reproductive system, musculoskeletal system, cardiovascular system, and nervous system. Autoimmune diseases don't typically develop over night - usually it takes years. Auto-antibodies are immune system proteins that target tissues for destruction. These antibodies can be measured in the blood before people have symptoms; they can be detected years before autoimmune disease is clinically diagnosable. One of the measurements on Array 5, "ASCA + ANCA", is strongly predictive of developing Crohn's disease within the next three years - if nothing is done. But something can be done.
Array 5 is a good test for anyone with unexplained symptoms. Array 5 is also a valuable test for anyone who wants to be proactive and stay healthy. Because of genetic predisposition, It is particularly important when there is a family history of autoimmune disease. It is also important for people with a diagnosed autoimmune disease because the biggest risk factor for getting an autoimmune disease is having one already; when your immune system loses tolerance for one tissue in your body, it is more likely to start attacking other tissues, as well.