There appears to be a very common issue at the "Base Cause and Effect" of Autoimmune Conditions, Rh-Factor Incompatible Pregnancy and Organ Transplants. The human body simply recognizes something within itself, as a foreign object or intruder, which activates the immune system to do its job and attack, but that attack may eventually turn on an attack the body itself!
HLA - In fact, the HLA profile defines the cells from an individual or “self”, distinguishing them from those from other individuals showing a different HLA profile, “non-self”.
Autoimmunity is the failure of an organism to recognize its own constituent parts as "self", which allows an immune response against its own cells and tissues.
Rh-Negative Incompatible Pregnancy is when a mother's immune system responds to any mixing of the baby's Rh+ red blood cells into the mother's system. Her body sees the baby's Rh+ red blood cells as an intruder or foreign object and it creates antibodies against them. These antibodies will then attack an Rh positive baby's blood, causing causing the red blood cells of the baby to swell and rupture. This hemolytic disease can cause anemia, illness, brain damage and death.
Transplant rejection occurs when a transplanted organ or tissue is not accepted by the body of the transplant recipient. This is explained by the concept that the immune system of the recipient attacks the transplanted organ or tissue.
Would it not make sense after seeing this basic trend, that we look deeper at the basics of our creation, our blood types, Rh-factor, proteins, DNA and RNA to see what is causing our bodies to find themselves as a foreign object or intruder? Knowing that you are Type A- like me is one thing, but really knowing that I am AO-/- may tell another story. Knowing your true blood type and factors as they were passed down to you may make a huge difference to your health; we may never know because it sees not many are looking!
One thing is clear, there is an argument or "dis-ease" occurring in many of our bodies right now! While statistics will vary and certain groups may suffer from higher frequency; Autoimmune Disease and Rh-Negative Blood do not discriminate. They show up in just about every ethnic group, people of every color, and any faith of religion. They exist today on each and every Continent and in every Country; while People of all ages and both sexes suffer every day...and still there is NO KNOWN CAUSE and NO KNOWN CURE!
The key to improving the outcome of most of these Autoimmune Diseases and related Cancers is early diagnosis!
When these conditions are allowed to progress due to a prolonged diagnostic period, the result can be more damage to the body. This damage is sometimes irreversible, may cause pain and add contributing symptoms which make diagnosis even more difficult. Most Autoimmune Diseases and Conditions have no known cause and no known cure. The treatments available are either set up to slow the progression of the disease, suppress the immune systems response and/or to make the pain and symptoms tolerable.
The more educated we all become with the symptoms, genetic marker inheritance and potential causes; the better we can recognize the onset of one of these conditions. This will allow us to better communicate the issues, concerns and symptoms to our doctors; which will then allow them to better use their education to try an help you or a loved one. Early diagnosis is said to lead to reduced mortality rates, limited damage to the affected body and better treatment outcome.
We hear everyday, cases of cancer being discovered in the 3rd and 4th Stages and of Autoimmune Diseases taking months to years to be diagnosed. In time, responsible and self-requested genetic may be more freely available and affordable. However, at this time, it is not. There must be a clinical explanation to justify the request for testing. Your physician only sees you or your child for a few moments each visit. It is really our own responsibility to recognize the symptoms and relay that information to our doctors and physicians, so that they can investigate the connection further. Now, we can further improve that system by not only relaying symptoms but also information on how it may be genetically related. This could either help lead to a faster diagnosis and/or to more quickly rule a condition out of the equation.
Prevention from Progression! If we know we have a genetic predisposition or increased risk for a specific disease or condition, we can become proactive, prepare and prevent rapid progression! Since most of these Autoimmune Conditions have no known cause and no known cure; we need to do everything we can to slow the progression or delay the onset.
"Triggers" may play a big role in delaying the possible onset of a hereditary autoimmune condition. For instance, if you know that there is a generational connection to a specific autoimmune condition in your family like Ankylosing Spondylitis or Celiac Disease; you can choose to raise your children Gluten and Starch free from birth. This could lead to a reduced risk of developing the disease and/or disease like symptoms. Most of us have been poking our immune system for years with a gluten based, starch covered stick for years before we learn about the condition.
There are many ways that knowledge can help us attempt to prevent deterioration of our bodies. Exercise, stretching and mobility play a large role in maintaining the overall health of an autoimmune body, especially those that lead to deformities like Ankylosing Spondylitis or Rheumatoid Arthritis. If we are better educated about the diseases, we can learn how to benefit from exercise and reduce the pain or injuries that can come from doing it incorrectly. We can make proper adjustments in our daily life to protect the bones, joints, muscles and organs that may be at a greater risk from our own bodies response. We all know that smoking is said to contribute to many diseases but it can be especially dangerous to people with autoimmune conditions and cancer. Using the knowledge of the increased risk of developing these conditions and the role smoking plays in progressing them; might be a good enough reason not to start smoking. If you are a smoker, the statistics might be enough inspiration to convince you to give it up.
It is important that we educate ourselves, our families and our children! If we do not, they may face the same conditions, the same long diagnostic periods, the same extensive testing and all of the triggers which lead to progression of these diseases, conditions and cancers, as well as increasing the risk of premature mortality. Since some of these Autoimmune Conditions are associated with specific types of Cancer, we can assume that there may be benefits to preventing these Autoimmune Conditions; possibly including the prevention or slowed progression of these Cancers.
There is no known cause and no known cure! This statement cannot be repeated enough.
The treatments available for many of these Autoimmune Conditions simply aim to slow the progression of the disease, reduce inflammation, suppress the immune system and/or to manage the pain or suffering of the symptoms. Where is the cure? If we cannot figure out the cause, finding a cure is even more difficult!
Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs or NSAIDs are a first line defense for many Autoimmune Diseases. They are more than just a simple pain reliever because they reduce inflammation and lower fevers, as well as preventing blood from clotting.
Disease Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs or DMARDs are a group of medications that are otherwise unrelated but are grouped together in this category for their use in slowing the progression of a set of rheumatoid arthritis-like autoimmune conditions and their associated diseases.
Immunosuppressant Medications are a group of drugs that suppress or slow down the immune systems response. They are also called anti-rejection drugs, as they are used to prevent the body from rejecting a newly transplanted organ. So...it is a medicine used to help the human body not reject the organ it received from another person's body. A donor organ that it recognizes as an invader or foreign body and will make antibodies to attack! Again it seems, we are back to the same effects caused by an Rh-Factor Incompatible pregnancy.
Transplant or removal is a last resort used to treat individual organs, blood cells and marrow or tissue affected by the progressive and relentless conditions of an autoimmune disease.
Some people may not be able to use these available treatments due to other disease and/or condition interaction. This means that we still need to find more treatments, get to the bottom of the cause and work towards a true cure. Maybe it is balancing the body, maybe it is correcting or balancing properly the vitamin and mineral levels, or it could even be genetic therapy. Hopefully, this site will inspire new thinking and expanded options! While I am not a doctor, I think we can all agree there is more research and education that needs to be done across the board.
My goal here is to look at our similarities and our differences and see how we can de-compartmentalize the current method of health care and medicine. Chances are that if you suffer one Autoimmune Condition, that you already or may one day in the future face others. The symptoms and affects on the body tend to overlap and progress which could make diagnosis much more complicated.
The old fashion idea of a "Family Doctor" has apparently faded from existence. It seems as though, everything now in the medical/insurance field is now about Compartmentalized Care, Prescriptions, Specialists and Referrals. When you have a Systemic Autoimmune Condition you may need more than a Rheumatologist or at least a Rheumatologist who is also educated on the specific relationship to other symptoms, conditions and the affect on the organs and other body parts. They should know the blood, tissue and urine signals to look for that implicate progression of the disease, complication of the treatment or other related issues, like pregnancy.
We need to become more proactive in our own health care and the education of ourselves and our families. We need to address our conditions to our health care providers with more confidence, knowing that we have done our homework. We should all be thinking about outside of the box ideas that can lead to a cure, symptom improvement and better treatments. We should all be teaching prevention to our younger generations and I hope I have created a great place for everyone to get started!
In closing, thank you for becoming a Member! You are always contact me directly in regard to the site by email, if you have any questions, information you feel should be added, if you see a broken link or think something should be corrected. This site is nowhere near complete! There will be new additions, new research, and each tab on the Research Overview page will eventually expand into its own set of pages just for that conditions. Join the mailing list if you are interested in getting the upcoming newsletter and to be alerted of upcoming events!
While this is my website...it was created for everyone to get involved!