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Thread: Low Immunity Vs Autoimmunity with infections

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    Default Low Immunity Vs Autoimmunity with infections

    I'm curious to the differerence between autoimmunity & low immunity in the case of getting sick.
    Last edited by merryalliss30; 06-05-2011 at 01:40 PM.

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    LOW IMMUNE SYSTEM

    A powerful immune system does wonders for your well-being and is the gateway to a healthy life. A low white blood cell count, hence a weak immune system, leaves the body defenseless and open to attack. Many people wonder why they are so susceptible to colds and other viral infections, oblivious that their own immune system may be the culprit.

    The Structure of Your Immune System
    The lymphoid organs are located in the entire body. They host the small white blood cells (lymphocytes) that help to guard the body against disease. These lymphocytes plus phagocytes (the blood cells that protect the body against foreign particles and bacteria) comprise the immune system. All immune system cells must work together to operate effectively. When this fails to occur, a weak immune system develops.
    Excess Sugar May Hurt Your Immune System
    By consuming too much sugar, your immune system loses its ability to destroy germs by 40 percent. Sugar suppresses the immune system and begins affecting the body within minutes after consumption, and can last for up to 5 hours. To combat virus and bacteria, the white blood cells need a high supply of Vitamin C. When excess sugar is inside the body it erodes the Vitamin C present and breaks down the immune system cell structure.
    Diseases Weaken Your Immune System
    When part of the immune system malfunctions or is absent, an immune deficiency disease can develop. Immune deficiency diseases are bred either from an inborn immune system cell defect (primary immune deficiency disease) or from an extrinsic environmental agent (secondary immune deficiency disease). Example: AIDS is caused by an extrinsic force (HIV) and is therefore a secondary immune deficiency disease. Autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and lupus affect the tissue that connects the body tissue and organs, triggering a breakdown in the immune system.
    Alcohol Can Hurt Your Immune System
    Excessive alcohol intake deprives the body of valuable nutrients and causes nutritional deficiency. It stops the white blood cells from multiplying and disables the macrophages (the cells that ingest foreign particles) from generating tumor necrosis factors (proteins). This shortage of immune system cells results in a weakened immune system. The amount of damage caused by alcohol to the immune system depends on how much the user ingests.
    Allergens Affect the Immune System
    When the immune system views otherwise harmless materials such as pollen and dust or a certain food type as a threat, it goes into attack mode, hence an allergic reaction. The body's intestinal lining is generally an impenetrable wall built to block foreign invaders. When an allergy occurs, the wall is destroyed leaving the immune system open to invaders and other toxins.
    Treatment for a Weak Immune System
    For patients with a low immune system, physicians will sometimes prescribe immune-boosting medicines such as interferon, which includes protein for combating viral infections. Maintaining a balanced diet and increasing vitamin intake are also highly recommended.

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    IINFECTIONS AND AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS

    Autoimmune disorders occur when the body's immune system, which normally helps protect you against infections, instead turns against your organs and tissues. It’s not yet clear exactly what causes autoimmune disorders, but a number of factors appear to play a role.

    Some researchers believe that people who have had certain infections may be at higher risk of developing several types of autoimmune disorders. In fact, scientific evidence has linked autoimmune disorders with infection for well over a century.

    Infection and Autoimmune Disorders: What's the Connection?

    If you have an autoimmune disorder, your immune system has essentially malfunctioned. And because it will no longer recognize your body's own tissues as healthy "self" tissues, it will begin to produce an immune response against them. This immune response involves the production of a type of antibody known as an auto-antibody, which causes the body to attack its own organs and tissues.

    Since bacteria and viruses trigger a similar immune response, some researchers have suggested that antibodies produced in response to certain infections may also attack some of normal cells because they somehow resemble the bacteria or virus that caused the infection. Others say that infections may actually damage your immune system, leading to the development of autoimmune disorders.

    No single infection has been found to be responsible for the development of autoimmune disorders. In fact, researchers have found that many different infections may be linked to a single autoimmune disorder. Some of the infections and their potential related autoimmune disorders include:

    Multiple sclerosis: Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and measles virusType 1 diabetes: coxsackievirus B4, cytomegalovirus (CMV), mumps virus, and rubella virusRheumatoid arthritis: EBV, hepatitis C virus, Escherichia coli bacteria, mycobacteriaLupus: EBVMyocarditis: CB3, CMV, ChlamydiaMyasthenia gravis: hepatitis C virus, herpes simplex virusGuillain-Barré syndrome: EBV, CMV, Campylobacter bacteria. Of course, not everyone who gets these infections will develop an autoimmune disorder, since it seems that in addition to the infection, some sort of genetic predisposition is involved in the development of such conditions.

    Many other infections may also be related to the development of autoimmune disorders. Because these infections usually occur well before any autoimmune disorder-associated symptoms develop, it can be difficult to determine a definitive link between one infection and a specific autoimmune disorder.

    It is important to note that while the evidence is certainly mounting, researchers don't yet know for certain that previous infections increase the risk of developing autoimmune. But current studies are looking at exactly how infections may lead to the development of autoimmune disorders, and which specific infections may be responsible. The hope is that this research will one day lead to new strategies for preventing and treating autoimmune disorders.

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    This is off the Lupus Foundation website:

    Why Do People With Lupus Get Infections So Easily?

    An individual with lupus is more susceptible to infection than most people for two reasons:
    Lupus directly affects a person's immune system and reduces his or her ability to prevent and fight infection.
    Many of the drugs used to treat lupus suppress the function of the immune system and leave the body more prone to infection.
    Effects Of Medications Used In The Treatment Of Lupus
    Cortisone-like drugs (prednisone) and cytotoxic drugs such as azathioprine (Imuran) and cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) increase a person's susceptibility to infections because they suppress both normal and abnormal immune system function. However, controlling lupus is usually more important than the danger posed by a possible infection due to the use of immunosuppressive medications.

    The risk of infection parallels the dose and the duration of treatment with steroids: a daily dose of 20 mg. of prednisone is enough to impose a significant risk of infection taking steroids every other day ("alternate day" treatment) decreases the risk and incidence of infections

    Direct Effects of Lupus On The Immune System
    People with lupus have abnormalities in their immune systems, so they are more likely to develop infections. They are more susceptible to infection even if they do not take corticosteroids. Lupus experts such as Dr. Marian Ropes sparingly used steroids in treating her patients in the 1940s and 1950s. Yet, the data she published showed that the majority of her patients developed serious infections, even on low-dose steroids.

    This is from the Johns Hopkins website:

    When you develop lupus, you make antibodies against self. Your immune system goes doubly wrong when you have lupus because not only are you making antibodies against yourself, but your immune system doesn't work as well against infection. It's very unfair! But that's what lupus is all about antibodies against self.

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    MaryAlice - good question, I have wondered this myself! It doesn't make much sense if you try to analyze it in detail, but if you just say that your immune system doesn't know what the heck it's doing, then it's easier to understand. LOL

    My immune system is actually very strong - my white blood count is always HIGH and I never get infections, not even colds. I figured it was because my immune system was so ramped up that it was fighting everything, foreign and domestic.

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    Hi Gizmo,

    What you wrote does make sense and i added those posts as it gives full details on both.

    If your healthy then you carry a good immune system but if infections start or if anything connected to Lupus comes down to heavily on our system, then our immune system breaks down and like you said involves white cells sometimes, then it's not got the strength to fight back and that's where alot of meds are called in to help the system because our immune system fights our own bodies and we've got not protection, it's all down to what can help the system regarding meds like i mentioned.

    Plus if your autoimmune system goes really low e.g like mine you keep getting more affects of whatever illness or infections your carrying.

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    I don't know why I can't just think my immune system is flawed, it's going to act up, instead of trying to dig deeper into the situation and figure it all out. I'm interested in things when it comes to medicine and I like to learn all I can, and when something arises that I can't figure it out, it really gets my mind going.

    Last year I wasn't on any steriod/immunosuppressant when these infections kept recurring, and hadn't been on treatment for AI disease for 10 yrs, and it took antimalarials to stop it from occuring repeadedly.

    I enjoyed reading all this. While I was looking online today, they stated that it is thought chronic infections can lead to AI diseases. Interesting EBV is included in that theory. What my very first diagnosis was based on, EBV/CFS/and my immune system attacking itself. I have never known that I had an EBV infection but my test results showed I did. I can sure tell without question when I get sick anymore.

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    Mary,

    Your wondering about this and you've just answered your own question, the antimalerials helped stop it because they do surpress the system and are good in the use of Lupus symptoms.

    I enjoy looking up stuff when my brains not in a terrible slow mood and the last 2 days have'nt been to bad for me.
    Last edited by Peridot20_Gem; 05-30-2011 at 01:40 PM.

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    Though antimalarial's do not treat HSV, they have stopped it from constantly recurring regardless, if that is infact what I have, and I'd say it's the likely chance. It would of had to of done that by reducing the trigger, my fatigue, or calming my immune system down to where it worked better. Why is it doctors don't see it that way? The one I saw said frequent HSV infections are due to a weekened immune system. Sometimes I think they don't even have a clue what's what.

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    The HSV which you have could have possibly lowered your immune system plus there is no proper cure for it either, so doctor's do have to think the best way of helping the immune system (Doctor's are only playing god with us all) and by using different meds it shows them what's the best to help.

    Mary i'm going to add some info below on HSV and it tells you the lot about the condition and i'm also adding a pic, which is identical to what your suffering on your lips, i thought you may like to read it.
    Last edited by Peridot20_Gem; 05-30-2011 at 01:53 PM.

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