In the last section, we covered how the Rh-Negative Factor works as a recessive trait and how it does not just disappear, but rather is simplified right out of the equation we are used to hearing. Most sources will tell you that the Rh-Negative Factor is not important to your health, except during pregnancy. I do not agree agree with that entire statement, but I do agree there can be complications due an incompatible pregnancy.
It is commonly known that Hemolytic or Rh Disease can occur in
an incompatible Rh-Negative Pregnancy. Let's explore why!
When an Rh-Negative woman is pregnant with an Rh+ baby there can be complications if there is any opportunity for the baby's blood to enter the mother's system. If this occurs, it can cause the mother to create antibodies to fight against the Rh factor, which again is a protein on the baby's RBC's. This process is caused by an autoimmune response that allows the mother's body to see her own baby and the RBC's as an invader or a foreign body; which it will attack and destroy. If this occurs, the Rh-Negative Mother is said to be Sensitized, as her body is not programmed to create these antibodies that can lead to the swelling and rupture of babies RBC's, causing a minimum of anemia. However, in severe situations, Rh-disease can cause serious illness, jaundice, brain damage and death. While Rh antibodies may be considered harmless in a mother's first pregnancy, if sensitized and pregnant again with an Rh+ child, her Rh antibodies may quickly recognize and begin to attack the body.
A person's Rh-factor is classified according to the presence of a protein on the surface of the red blood cells (RBC's) that indicate the Rh-factor. If you DO carry this protein then you are classified as Rh-positive (Rh+) and if you DO NOT carry this protein; you are classified as Rh-Negative (Rh-).
So what about the person who is Rh(+/-)?
Since am an Rh(-/-) person by way of two Rh-Positive (Rh+/-) parents, this made me ask more questions about how I came to be Rh-Negative. As I learned about the "Recessive Process" of the Rh-Negative Factor, I realized that my mother was not really Rh+ and that the Rh- portion of her still existed within her or she could not have passed it to me. While it had been simplified out of the equation, it was still there.
While researching my Rh-Negative origin, my mother became ill and began to experience chronic and migrating pain and inflammation. It seemed her conditions were a mystery even to her physicians and I had just learned the phrase HLA-B27 positive. This genetic marker; HLA-B27 is highly recognized as being associated with certain Rheumatic and Inflammatory Autoimmune Conditions, which I could easily relate to members in my own family. The deeper my research became while investigating my family origin in relationship to my rare blood type; the more I noticed that I was continuously coming across similar information, statistics, geographical similarities and other associations between Rh-Negative Individuals and many of the various Autoimmune Conditions. I was convinced this HLA-B27 gene was the culprit of my mother's mystery conditions and we approached her doctor to have her tested. The condition is so rare, I literally had to explain it to her doctor and to his surprise, as the gene marker is had by less than 8% of the population, I was correct
, she was positive. We have since tracked it down through at least five generations of our family.
Recently, I have also found supportive information from the medical community. According to Randall Johnson
at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, "Only 7% of the US population tests positive for the HLA-B27 gene; this gene, found only in persons with Rh-Negative blood
, can trigger the immune system to operate overtime at WARP SPEED in times of medical emergency." While this information IS supportive, it is also highly arguable, even by me. This is because I can prove that the HLA-B27 genetic marker CAN be found in Rh+ individuals; like my own children and my mother who are all Rh-Recessive (Rh+/-).
Autoimmune Conditions are disorders in which the primary cause is an inflammatory reaction
is caused by the body's own immune system attacking the body's own tissues.
After explaining this, I hope my theory will be easier to understand. First of all, I believe there should be at least 3 final Rh-Factor Blood Classifications; Rh-Positive (Rh+/+), Rh-Negative (Rh-/-) and Rh-Recessive (Rh+/-). This being said and considering the response of an Rh-Negative mothers natural biological autoimmune response to an Rh+ fetus; I believe that there can be an imbalance or dis-ease of the human condition when there is an incompatibility within the body itself. We have established that the Rh-Negative factor can be recessive, but it does not disappear. Where do those Rh-Negative cells, the ones without that Rh-Protein go to hide within the body?
This incompatibility I believe, may result in Autoimmune Conditions;
as the body just does not recognize all of its own parts!
Obviously the recessive Rh-Negative blood cells do not just morph into Rh-Positive blood cells. If that happened, a parent would not have them to pass down from their recessive gene pool. So, where do they go and what happens when they come out of hiding? Could it cause an autoimmune reaction? We can deduct logically, that since an Rh- Recessive people do, in fact, live beyond childbearing years and into old age; that their Rh-Negative RBC's did not ever attack and rupture their Rh-Positive RBC's and take over the system. If that had happened, they probably would have died and would not test Rh-Positive.
What happens if those recessive Rh-Negative RBC's are triggered by something? Maybe an infection, something environmental or systemic can trigger this recessive part of the body and allow it to come alive with a vengeance. If our immune response is strong it would attempt to destroy, as an intruder or foreign object, a fetus created with half of our very own genetic material...what might it do against the half of its own body; if it sees it as an intruder as well. When you add this theory to the relationship of Rh-Negatives and HLA-B27-Positives, the big picture starts to form!