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  • If immune system is hyperactive then how can you be immune compromised?

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    Old 10-14-2004, 10:47 PM   #1
    UT_mom
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    If immune system is hyperactive then how can you be immune compromised?

    Hello my lovely smart friends--
    I'm asking this to anyone smarter than me (most days that seems like everyone ). I just wonder if someone can help me understand this...
    If autoimmunity means your immune system is hyperactive then why at the same time are autoimmune folks considered immune compromised?? I'm just trying to sort this one out inside my little brain. Hope you have a happy day!
    Love,
    Shawnee

     
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    Old 10-15-2004, 03:28 AM   #2
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    Re: If immune system is hyperactive then how can you be immune compromised?

    I have my own theory on this. People with lupus do have a very overactive immune system - that we know. However, that being said, anything that our bodies may perceive as a foreign substance (ie-colds, flu, medication, not to mention stress and fatigue) can send our bodies into a state of chaos, hence the flares. And once this starts, it snowballs, and then our bodies have to fight even harder. I'm not sure if there are any facts to support this. Maybe there's a completely different reason for this, I've often wondered the same thing. If anybody has any theories, please share them.

    Shari

    Last edited by Sampy123; 10-15-2004 at 03:29 AM.

     
    Old 10-16-2004, 09:45 AM   #3
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    Re: If immune system is hyperactive then how can you be immune compromised?

    Perhaps this won't make sense to anyone but over doing anything causes extreme reactions on the oposite side of normal. For instance, we have all heard the warnings about too much vitamin c. You need vitamin c to ward off virus and bacterial infections, but when you get too much it can cause kidney and bladder spasms and create urinary tract infections. Vitamin c taken with zinc will cause this quicker if you overdose.

    Perhaps this is a bad anology but perhaps not. Consider you want to make pasta. First thing you need to do is boil the water. The water boils and you add the pasta but you forget to watch it and keep it at just a boil. The water comes to a rolling boil. It will still cook the pasta, but it will also cook over the pot too and create a mess on the stove.

    This is how a hyperactive immune system reacts. It protects us from infections but while fighting them instead of just using what it needs, it uses everything and causes overflow problems all over our bodies.

    I hope this makes sense to someone other than me.
    May God Bless and Keep You
    Bonnie

     
    Old 10-16-2004, 11:40 AM   #4
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    Re: If immune system is hyperactive then how can you be immune compromised?

    Bonnie,

    That makes sense to me! Thanks.

    Shari

     
    Old 10-16-2004, 01:54 PM   #5
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    Re: If immune system is hyperactive then how can you be immune compromised?

    I did forget one thing. According to the transplant Dr.s my sister has, anytime your immune system doesn't work correctly, be in too little or too much, it is considered compromised. Too little it won't attack foreign bodies at all and too much never stops the attack and does the body harm. I hope this helps you Shawnee and Shari.

    May God Bless and Keep You
    Bonnie

     
    Old 10-16-2004, 07:24 PM   #6
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    Re: If immune system is hyperactive then how can you be immune compromised?

    Hi, Shawnee.

    I've been reading this thread with interest to see how others have distilled all that reading... Makes more sense to me than a LOT of what I've read, actually.

    Have you read that with some of the rashes, the dermies find pooled "immune junk" where it should not be, between the dermal & epidermal layers of skin? It's that stuff that "lights up" under iummunofluorescent testing. The "stuff" shouldn't be there, obviously, and got there via an out-of-control immune response.

    Also, how about the run-of-the-mill insect bite that turns wild on some people? The ER actually had to CUT a dress off me once, as I couldn't pull my arm backward through the sleeve. (And I LIKED that dress---had bought it on BIG sale, too!)

    No wonder people like us get antsy about seemingly everyday things. We react differently, and often have done so all our lives. I get very nervous when I have a bee swarming around me. This reaction does not strike many people as "normal", I've learned.

    Anyway, I'm headed back to the baseball game. Bye for now. All my best, Vee

     
    Old 10-17-2004, 06:04 AM   #7
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    Re: If immune system is hyperactive then how can you be immune compromised?

    Dear Vee,

    You're right. I remember that mosquito bite that went from normal to taking up half my arm just a few weeks ago. Also, my mother told me when I was a child I got bites that got infected. I have 3 scars from what they say were spider bites. In all three occasions the bites swelled up, a streak started up my leg or arm, and a Dr. had to cut away the infection. My mother describes is as horrible. Back then they didn't numb the area. She said 4 to 6 people held me down and the Dr. did what he had to. I'm soooooo glad I don't remember it but it is another thing to add to my history for Rheumie should he decide to read it all some night. Thanks for the reminder. One never knows what will matter and what won't.

    May God Bless and Keep You
    Patience 50

     
    Old 10-22-2004, 09:24 AM   #8
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    Re: If immune system is hyperactive then how can you be immune compromised?

    One of the reasons people with Lupus are considered immune suppressed is because of the drugs we are on. Remember, any of the followiing suppress your immune system; Prednisone, methatrexate, cellcept, plaquenill and there are a host of others. I happen to be on all of those 4 that I've mentioned and am considered to be very immune suppressed.

     
    Old 12-03-2004, 10:16 AM   #9
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    Re: If immune system is hyperactive then how can you be immune compromised?

    Here's my 2 cents worth. All the explanations are right on, and very well put. The 2nd part of it is, treatment for lupus is use of medications to suppress the immune system. I am currently on 3 immune suppressive medications, nothing has helped but we're still trying. Anyway I just wanted to congratulate the posts on having a good understanding of lupus be it just that part or more. I don't think there is a way to fully understand this crazy illness. I am in such bad shape I cannot work age 43, would love to work. But I am on so many medications my lab looks okay, so I am having to fight to try and get short / long term disability benefits from work. It is awful.

     
    Old 12-03-2004, 08:07 PM   #10
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    Re: If immune system is hyperactive then how can you be immune compromised?

    I know more about this from an MS perspective. . . .

    Whenever we are exposed to germs/cold/flu, our body's natural defense is to kick start the immune system. Wellllll, instead of attacking the foreign invader, our silly immune systems attack our own bodies. . .. and we are "compromised" in our sense of fighting infection b/c our immune systems are too busy attacking our own bodies.

     
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