Immune Diseases in a Nutshell
Here is a post that I just made on one of my favorite Internet forums. I was discussing the interesting observation that the majority of the immune-mediated diseases of the eye and peripheral neuropathies I have seen have occurred on the left side. I would estimate that over 90% of the immune-mediated ocular (eye) disorders that I have seen (uveitis, glaucoma, cataracts, dry eye) have occurred first in the left eye. Last week, a oncology nurse who had brought in her dog for its left-eyed problem had just been diagnosed with lupus and was experiencing a manifestation in her left eye. When I leaned out of the room to tell Gena (my main tech) that we had another left eye (which I have been doing for a couple of years now), the owner inquired as to why I was doing this. She found it very interesting because in her oncology practice, they were doing the exact same thing about breast cancer, which they saw much more often in the left breast. Hmm…
So, having the inquiring mind that I do, I started doing some research, the results of which are turning up some phenomenally interesting things. I started a few threads and this was the product of one of them. I thought that it might be of some interest to you.
I hope you get something from it.
John B. Symes, D.V.M. (“Dogtor J”)
Immune-mediated Diseases in a Nutshell
John, does it seem from your research that autoimmune diseases tend to favor the left side at the beginning, or throughout the course of the disease?
In my veterinary experience, immune-mediated conditions, such as those of the eye, and peripheral neuropathies (e.g. Bell’s palsy, Trigeminal neuropathy)usually strike one side and then the other IF it does strike the other side, just as they are typically described in the human literature. I have this thread going on the MS forum to try to sort a few things out if possible. To me, understanding MS holds the key to our understanding many other things since it appears to have many of the elements described below.
Until recently, I too had a very limited view of immune-mediated disorders. We have all been faced at some point with the misconception that the “autoimmune diseases” are a the result of an immune system gone haywire- that the immune system doesn’t know what it’s doing as it attacks the body for no good reason. That is an incorrect and downright abominable idea. It knows exactly what it is doing. We just have not completely grasped what it is going after in all cases of immune-mediated disease.
But, we are getting much closer to understanding this. However, the first thing to do is to put away that deception that the body makes mistakes. It doesn’t…ever. Only we make the mistakes that injure our body. Then we can see what is really going, as we bombard our cells with all sorts of garbage while handcuffing our immune system with cover-up drugs while all the while providing the body with inadequate and even harmful fuel on which to perform. Yeah, it’s our body’s fault alright. :(
The fact is that there is a war going on in our body, a desperate struggle of “good versus evil” that parallels what we see going on around us. The key players are viruses, lectins, nutrients, pollution, chemicals/carcinogens, opportunistic organisms like bacteria/mycoplasma/fungi, lack of sleep and crazy lifestyles.
In the study of immune-mediated diseases, what you find is that the cells become abnormal and the immune system is called in to either kill them or to simply clean up the debris. Many of the cells are dead before the immune system even arrives. The fact is that certain food lectins (http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html ) can kill cells or force them to change into something that the body doesn’t like without the immune system ever becoming involved. The immune response is secondary. We’re blaming the wrong guy when we point the finger at the immune system as the culprit. It’s just doing it’s job, which is “housecleaning” in many cases.
And the viruses are not really the culprits either. That is the cool thing to see. They are just doing what they were designed to do- adapt to the garbage that we are throwing at them. They have been doing it since Creation. But, we are throwing more and more at them and many of these things are the worst things they have even faced (e.g. carcinogens) and in the highest abundance. What do we expect from these guys???
But why do these diseases states get put off as long as they do? (They’re not waiting as long as they used to, are they? Surprised after that last paragraph?). They “wait” because our bodies/cells start out healthier as do our immune systems. They “wait” because we have lots of reserves to start out with, as we can live on 1/2 of one kidney and 1/4th of our liver. The death of theses cells is actually an ongoing process. We just don’t feel the results until we get to “critical mass”. Perhaps the immune system is signaled in to do the major housecleaning because it knows that we are getting desperately low in healthy tissue. Could that be why some don’t survive the first attack while others never see another assault?
And, there are good things in our bodies and diets that block the attachment of the bad things. There are good lectins and other binding agents that keep the bad ones from attaching. Some of these are produced by our own body and others come from our foods (e.g. fruits and veggies). Why does “an apple a day keep the doctor away”? Apples contain pectins that bind lectins. How does glucosamine work? It binds the lectins of wheat, et al and keep them from attaching to the cells that line the joint thereby preventing the inflammation they can cause. We know this.
Next, there are viruses inside the cells that react to the challenges that we throw at them. The glaring example is the group of retroviruses that are embedded in our very DNA that cause cancer when challenged by carcinogens. Is that the only virus in the cell? Not by a long shot. Viruses are critical in the normal function of nature, being responsible for variation and adaptation, with the latter being the key here. So some viruses are essential to our very existence. They are not the demons we have made them out to be.
And that is why some our cells literally invite them in. Our cells can produce lectins that attract viruses and facilitate their entry into the cell. Why would they do that? Because the cell wants or needs the virus??? I believe that is true in many of not all cases. But, if we don’t see that viruses play an essential role in our function, we can’t possibly understand why a cell would roll out the red carpet for a virus, can we? (How do “genetics” work, anyway? How does a non-living sequence of amino acids in our DNA do anything? The fact is that estimates of 45% of our DNA is made up of viral sequences. Now that makes sense.) All we have been seeing is the most superficial aspect of all of this- the diseases being “caused” by these viruses when, in fact, they are just reacting to our insults.
So, do you see the war going on? Good lectins versus bad lectins, good viruses versus “bad” (over-adapting) viruses? All the while, we are pouring toxins into the mix and feeding the body garbage for “nutrition” and expecting it to perform optimally. Thank God (literally) that we start out with so many reserves, which are meant to give us a fighting chance to wake up before we do irreversible harm. And we blame our body…or God? Whoa!
I used to think the whole left versus right thing would have no medical explanation and that it was going to be purely a “level two” (spiritual) thing. I’m seeing things a bit differently now. But, why these diseases strike one side and then the other rather than both sides at the same time will never have a good medical explanation. That is pure Grace. :)
I hope this helps in some way,