I was not one who thoroughly enjoyed Science in School. Especially Biology.
I know. I know. Right now you cant even deal with Basic Thoughts. You’re feeling Extreme Fatigue, Foggy Brain, Anxiety, Joint pain and swelling, Skin problems, Abdominal pain and digestive issues, Recurring fever, Swollen glands. The list goes on and on…
By now, if you are like me, you have been to a zillion doctors and, as you lay there feeling half dead, are wondering where all these kind and caring Doctors are? The ones who go above and beyond to help their patients find cures and ease their pains and symptoms. Instead, you’re told “it’s all in your head. Take this pill and that one and you’ll be fine.”
What happened? They spent $100,000 on tuition and 10 years in medical school – – then completely lost interest in Medicine?
I agree. I wonder the same things. So, here I am looking at jacks. Or what look like jacks. Trying to figure it all out, just like you.
There are Doctors, Scientists and Researchers out there who care. The problem really lies in our Healthcare System right now. So, if you want to get well, self advocacy is the way to go. Do your own studies and research. That’s where I come in with a RAY OF LIGHT. A RAY OF HOPE.
All of us with an Autoimmune Disease are suffering from basically the same thing. Fighting our Bodies. Read more in AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE INFORMATION AND FACTS.
So our Body is attacking itself. In a way, it’s doing it’s job. Protecting you. Fighting bacteria, infection, toxins. But, it’s community is confused.
But why? Perhaps, some invaders are wearing a mask. It looks somewhat familiar but it’s not quite the same. Are you a friend or a foe? You look like a Thyroid Hormone but Are You?
Play Jacks with me.
When all individuals are exposed to bacteria, viruses and germs, their immune system kicks into gear. It produces autoantibodies that attack the invaders. But sometimes it attacks not only the invading germs but healthy “receptors” and other targets in the brain. This misguided reaction can result in inflammation in the brain, triggering an onset of neurologic and/or psychiatric symptoms. The brain is your Leutenant.
Now, it is sending out Alerts. Attack. Attack.!
Your body loves you. It lives because of you. So, all those millions of cells go to work.
The ray of Light is this. You are IN CHARGE. There are numerous Clinical Studies that show that genetics is certainly a factor in Disease. However, the focus is now more on environmental factors, toxicants, infections, epitopes and dietary considerations.
The concept is this. Infection has induced your auto immunity through what is called Molecular Mimic’ry.
Molecular mimicry plays an important role in immune responses to infection and in autoimmune diseases. It occurs when our immune system mistakenly attacks normal body tissues because of the structural similarities between a particular molecule on an infectious agent and the molecules in our own body tissues.
Also called epitopic and antigenic mimicry, is one of the leading theories that attempt to explain why the immune system turns on its own body in autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes.
In essence, the theory is very simple. The signature that the immune system uses to recognize a specific foreign invader, such as a particular virus or bacteria, also occurs in the body’s own tissue. Thus as well as attacking the invader, the immune system also mistakenly attacks its own body giving rise to autoimmune diseases.
To understand how molecular mimicry is thought to work, it is necessary to understand a little of how the immune system identifies foreign invaders.
The body recognizes viruses, bacteria and fungi (generically called pathogens) by their unique proteins. Proteins are long strands of basic building blocks called amino acids, strung together like beads on a string. The amino acid sequences, and thus the proteins, are directly coded for in an organism’s DNA. There are 20 amino acids found in animal proteins and still others found in plants, bacteria and fungi. Thus, because proteins can be anything from a handful to over five thousand amino acids long, the number of different potential proteins is virtually limitless. The different proteins manufactured by different organisms is not only the reason that they look and behave differently to each other, but it also gives the immune system a unique signature to recognize them by.
When the immune system is introduced to a new pathogen, it locates small sections (around 10 amino acids long) of the pathogen’s proteins as markers to recognize it by and remembers them. These small sections are known as epitopes. This means that when the immune system encounters the pathogen for a second time, it will recognize it straight away and deal with it efficiently. This explains why we only get chicken pox or measles once.
Each pathogen will generate multiple immuno-reactive epitopes, usually several per protein. This helps the immune system recognize a pathogen which has mutated slightly. Even if one changed protein means that one epitope will no longer work for that pathogen, some of the others probably still will.
The immune system uses a type of cell called a lymphocyte to identify and remember the epitopes. Lymphocytes are covered with little receptors that lock into specific epitopes like two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Each lymphocyte has around 100,000 receptors but all the receptors on a single lymphocyte are identical to each other so that any one lymphocyte is only capable of locking onto one specific epitope.
The immune system is potentially able to make about a thousand million million distinct receptors, although the actual number present in the body at any given time is estimated to be somewhere between a hundred million and ten thousand million.
There are two main types of lymphocyte, T cells and B cells. T cells themselves fall into two categories, killer T cells, which directly attack pathogens and inject toxins into them, and helper T cells, which orchestrate the immune response. B cells shed their receptors in a soluble form known as antibodies when activated by their target epitope. B cells can also engulf pathogens and break down their proteins into smaller sections called antigens. These antigens are presented to other lymphocytes, particularly helper T cells, for analysis. This is called antigen presentation.
The problem that the immune system faces is molecular mimicry. What if epitopes located on a pathogen resemble epitopes in the body’s own tissue? The risk is that the same mechanisms used for destroying harmful invaders will be used against self proteins. This is known as autoimmunity.
The problem of autoimmunity is usually solved by testing T cells in the gland responsible for maturing them, the thymus. Here they are tested against a range of the body’s own proteins and those T cells that react with these proteins are not released.
Because B cells aren’t matured in a single location, the problem is slightly more complex. To solve it, the immune system uses antigen presentation to helper T cells. B cells will not release their antibodies or clone themselves unless they can present to a helper T cell with an equivalent receptor. When such a T cell also recognizes the epitope, it sends a signal to the B cell to activate itself. This is called costimulation.
Preventing lymphocytes from attacking self proteins is called self tolerance.
Self antigens are antigens present on SELF tissue that would normally not provoke an immune response unless in a diseased state. Autoimmune diseases happen when the body attacks its self antigens with antibodies made against it.
Well, you say, that kind of makes sense. So what do I do now?
How about we wake up your Doctor? It may have been difficult to get your Diagnosis. Even more difficult to discuss your symptoms and issues with him or her. So, how about writing him or her a letter? Challenge the Diagnosis you have. Question the Cause. Ask what School they went to? You may just invigorate the intellectual and spiritual side of this person.
I did this. A week later I started to get notification from my insurance provider that this Test and that Test were Approved. I don’t even know what these Tests are yet, but I’m sure looking forward to having an Educated discussion about MY HEALTH when I get to my next Appointment!!
The intent here is not to ridicule or embarrass your Doctors, but to spark and reinvigorate their interest in their chosen profession. Medicine. They, too, are human. Maybe they got bored with their job. Maybe they are sick too. Who knows?
While you are waiting for your Next Appointment or Tests
– READ this 5 THINGS I GOTTA DO IN THE NEXT MONTH
or continue Reading about Mimicry. REFERENCE:
U.S. Department of Health & Human Service, US National Library of Medicine, https://www.nlm.nih.gov/
Originally posted 2019-05-02 12:09:02. Republished by Blog Post Promoter