IMMUNE SYSTEM REACTIONS AGAINST "SELF"
WHAT & WHY
Face it. No matter how you slice it, the immune system is complicated ---- incredibly complicated. Why do you think that the medical community sometimes resorts to actually removing the autoimmune patient's THYMUS GLAND ---- the headquarters of the immune system --- in their attempt to squelch the out-of-control autoimmune responses known as an "Autoimmune Storm"? A significant part of the problem is that few people in healthcare (mainstream or alternative) truly understand the underlying issues that can leave a person sensitive to foods (for instance, Gluten is heavily related to Autoimmunity --- HERE) or environmental toxins (i.e. MERCURY & ALUMINUM. which are commonly found in VACCINES). As the body becomes increasingly saturated with INFLAMMATION (to understand today's post you need to click this link) the Immune System will begin to attack one's own tissues, organs, or glands.
The immune system can essentially be broken down to four parts, TH-1 & TH-2, TH-3, and TH-17.
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Regulates TH-1 & TH-2 Responses
When the TH-3 System that regulates and balances TH-1 & TH-2 gets out of whack, the body can go into a full-blown tailspin. An "Autoimmune Storm" takes place when the body feels it is so backed into a corner immunologically that it says, "I'm going to destroy myself rather than let this infection or invader destroy me." The problem is that the body is not typically being attacked by infection, or at least not an active or acute infection (often times these infections are subclinical --- HERE). It frequently perceives it's being "attacked" by things that are no more toxic than, say, grain.
For reasons that we do not fully understand (HERE), the body creates immune responses to certain foods. It also creates immune responses to things like PARASITES, chronic (hidden) virus or bacteria (see link in previous paragraph), aluminum, mercury, YEAST, MOLD, etc, etc, etc. Whatever the case, this frequently causes a massive, "whole body" (Systemic) immune system response that we call Inflammation. Inflammation is a group of chemicals which are part of the normal immune system response. However, when the body over-reacts to an invader (whether real or perceived), the inflammatory response usually leads to something called LEAKY GUT SYNDROME. But the Immune System reaction does not stop there.
In a final desperate, attempt to stop the invader (whether said invader is real or perceived), the TH-17 System can kick in. It is essentially a Self Destruct Mechanism. If the body cannot kill the invader (GLUTEN, for instance), then by golly it is going to make sure that it follows a scorched-earth policy so that there is nothing left of a particular organ, gland, or tissue for the invader to get a hold of. This is a full-blown Autoimmune Storm. Stopping an Autoimmune Storm is critical because every day that it continues, tissue is dying (THYROID, for instance, is an exceedingly common tissue to be attacked in Autoimmunity).
(Cellular Apotosis System)
If you want any real hope of squelching an Autoimmune Storm (as opposed to simply squelching the Immune System itself), you will have to figure out what is driving the Inflammation and Leaky Gut. Is it Gluten? Is it a parasite (yeah, don't kid yourself --- they are more common here in America than you can imagine)? Is it a latent (occult) bacterial or viral infection (latent virus's are all over the medical literature these days)? Is it a food sensitivity (namely an IgG reaction)? Remember; once we make IgG Antibodies to food, we begin making antibodies to self! Is it a sensitivity to Mercury, Aluminum, or some other environmental toxin? Is it an ADRENAL GLAND ISSUE (Cortisol -vs- Melatonin)? Whatever the case may be, the one and only way to find out is to get tested.
The next thing to do is to figure out whether any "Deal Breakers" are present. Deal Breakers are problems that will prevent you from ever really healing yourself and getting better. The main Deal Breakers in dealing with Autoimmunity are.....
- Anemia (HERE)
- Blood Sugar (HERE) & Adrenal Stress Index (ADRENAL FATIGUE)
- GI / Liver (LEAKY GUT SYNDROME & PHASE I AND II Liver Detox --- at the end of the linked post)
- Fatty Acid Metabolism
Although it might require some testing from a doctor versed in Functional Medicine, there are any number of things that you can do on your own. Many are generic (eat a healthy diet, get more sleep, exercise, blah, blah, blah). The things that are going to help you the most are specifically geared at changing your diet and lifestyle --- sometimes in a fairly radical way. To see how my SISTER and a CLOSE FRIEND accomplished this, click on the links. For general protocols, HERE is the place to look.