Friendly Fire: An introduction to autoimmune diseases

Before I was diagnosed in 2009 with a rare autoimmune disease, called Churg Strauss Syndrome, I had little to no knowledge of autoimmune diseases.  If someone was to mention that word to me, the first thing that would come to my mind is AIDS.  From what I understand with my new knowledge, AIDS is not even an autoimmune disease, instead it is a virus that interferes with a person’s immune system.  An autoimmune disease is when your immune system overreacts and just up and attacks your body’s healthy cells in response to stuff that is normally present in the body.  I think of it as a “friendly fire” of sorts, or a mob that just gets out of control and destroys everything!  So, in other words, AIDS and autoimmune diseases are NOT the same.  I now know this, and hopefully I have educated another unaware mind or two out there!

Autoimmune diseases are not catchy, though some are hereditary, and there is not a lot known about what exactly causes them. In the case of Churg Strauss, and other types of autoimmune diseases, there are some interesting facts that I would like to explore.  What IS known is that allergic reactions are your immune system’s response to something in your body, and an autoimmune disease is when your immune system attacks your body’s cells.  I really think there is some kind of connection here and will explore this in later posts.  Funny…as I was writing this I decided to look up some facts that I could quote here and found really good explanations on a site I have visited before, American Autoimmune Related Diseases.  I have never watched the informational videos, but they have described a lot of this in very similar terms to what I have used.  There is a lot of easy to read and easy to understand information on the website. With the vast number of autoimmune diseases out there such as Lupus, Crohn’s Disease, Celiac Disease, Type 1 Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, and many many more, you are bound to know someone that is affected.  So please educate yourself!

After my diagnosis I have come to find out that there are a crazy amount of autoimmune diseases out there and most of them are rare.  Even though they are rare, millions of people are affected because there are just so many different types!  They affect various parts of the body, and present themselves through many different symptoms.  No one really knows what is causing these diseases and there is no cure, only medications to prevent damage from the immune system attacks, and hope for remission.  I do not want to rely on medication for the rest of my life and I feel that there is something either in the environment or in our diets that is causing this!  So, I am on a mission to make myself healthy and to reduce, or even stop, my medication dependence.  This blog will allow me to share my experiences with you as I “experiment” with myself.

My next few posts are going to focus on health and my experiences that I feel are relevant to my diagnosis.  Since it’s a lot of information, I am going to try and keep the posts short and to the point.  I don’t have the patience or attention span to read lengthy posts myself, so I am going to assume most people out there are like me.  That doesn’t mean that from time to time I won’t have lengthy posts, because I can tell you right now that I have a lot to write about and I might get carried away!

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One thought on “Friendly Fire: An introduction to autoimmune diseases

  1. Pingback: Let’s Get Dirty!! « Jen Busy Bee

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