Re: family with a lot of autoimmune diseases
Hi, Autoimmune disease is caused by a malfunction (at the molecular level) of the componants of the immune system, causing antibodies to be activated against self tissues. This is an autoimmune response to self, and it usually occurs in people who are genetically predisposed to this phenonoma. This can or not be hereditary, depending on the disease. Auto is Greek for self, so this autoimmune response now produces Autoantibodies. An autoimmune disease can be "triggered" by certain drugs, or as in Dermatitis Herpetiformis (skin condition) by gluten, but again only in a predisposed person.
A person may have two quite different autoimmune diseases themselves, or there may be other autoimmune diseases within the family, for eg. one may have Rheumatoid Arthritis, another diabetes, and another an autoimmune bullous (blistering)skin disease. On the other hand there may be no direct family member, even grandparents, with an autoimmune condition, but maybe some ancestor may have had one in the past. All however are genetically predisposed to having an autoimmune disease once triggered. These conditions are idiopathic (no known reason) but in those that are drug induced once the drug is removed the conditrion does not return.It is understanding how this malfunction occurs and in the production of these abnormal antibodies,being, (ie:= autoantibodies), which is still in research now. There are no cures,and diet has no affect on autoimmune disease itself, immunosuppressants are needed to suppress the autoantibody that has been activated. All that can be done is to control and suppress the production of these autoantibodies by taking immunosuppressants or steroids, which in themselves carry varying degrees in severity of symptoms and risks.
Autoimmune disease often has unexplained periods of remission, (I had a remission period of 18years!),and waxes and wanes in severity during any period of the disease being active.
I have an autoimmune blistering skin condition, LIGA Bullous Dermatosis)which has been active for the second time in my life, this time for the past 15 years, during which time it has totally blinded me. I had OOKP surgery 4 years ago to one "eye" which has resulted in restored vision to that eye, by using one of my teeth to support an optic prostethsis.
Last edited by cottonsocks; 06-20-2007 at 09:55 AM.