Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Autoimmune Disease: "A Body Gone Haywire"

Primarily our immune system protects us from disease.
Ideally, antibodies, which are part of the immune system, recognize and destroy infections like bacteria and viruses so we don't get sick. To do this successfully our body must be able to distinguish between "self" and "non-self" other words bacteria and viruses.

When our "body goes haywire" autoimmune diseases occur.
The body misinterprets "self" as "non-self" resulting in the destruction of its own cells.

Scientists say immune system diseases appear when multiple genes work together to make an individual vulnerable and ultimately a trigger occurs that disrupts proper functioning of the immune system.
The trigger could be an infection, medication, or environmental exposure.

Autoimmune disease "family members" include: Multiple Sclerosis, Psoriasis and Lupus.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic disease resulting in inflammation that attacks and affects multiple parts of the body including skin, blood vessels, heart, lungs as well as any other parts not exclaimed.

It's of interest that two-thirds of people with rheumatoid arthritis are women. As with other autoimmune diseases, Rheumatoid Arthritis is thought to be be caused by a combination of genetics risks possibly triggered by infections or exposure to an unknown substance in a person's environment.

I highly recommend reading the book, "The Autoimmune Epidemic" by Donna Jackson Nakazawa. The book sheds light on why there's an increase in autoimmune diseases in developed countries.

Good Health to You!

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