Autoimmune Disorders -
Your Body Under Attack
It's disturbing to note how many autoimmune
disorders there are and how common some of these
immune disorders are becoming.
We all generally know that it is important to have
a good immune system to fight viruses and bacteria, but
in autoimmune disorders, you have an
overactive immune system that attacks your own
Here is how the immune system attacks your own body systems
in most common autoimmune disorders...
- in rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system attacks
- in lupus, body organs
- in Graves’ or Hashimoto’s disease, the thyroid
- in multiple sclerosis, the nervous system, and
- in celiac disease, the intestinal tract.
There are more autoimmune disorders... many more. A full
list can be found at the American Autoimmune Related Diseases
When the Immune System
When a foreign body (antigen) such as bacteria
or a virus enters your body, your immune system goes to
work creating a protein (antibody) to attack it. In autoimmune
disorders, the immune system slips off course attacking body
tissues (or organs) as if they were antigens.
In my case, I have rheumatoid
arthritis, a genetic disorder that has shown up time
and time again in my family tree.
Although I was born with the disorder, it did
not become "active" in my body until I was in my early
twenties. In my case, here is what happened.
First, my thyroid starting kicking into overdrive.
I had energy bursting inside, throwing me into
hyperactivity like never before. (It actually felt
good -- for the first two weeks, that is.)
Second, by about the second day I was hungry
all the time. It was like I couldn't get enough to
eat. I'd have a huge breakfast before leaving for
work and still stop off at a drive-through for a
quick take-out breakfast too. I began eating on
average 6 full meals a day... between 5,000 and
8,000 calories per DAY!
Third, by about the fourth day, even though I was
consuming enough food for a small family, I began
losing weight... lots of weight. In fact, I dropped
from a comfortable and healthy 122 pounds down to
89 pounds within the first 30 days!
On the diagnostic side of things, I went through tons of
tests. More than 12 large vials of blood and around 7 or 8
small vials of blood were drawn.
Everything from thyroid, to glands, to... well, you can
Only one thing kept coming back, and it wasn't anything my
doctor was actively looking for since he did not know my
family's medical history.
The "thing" was rheumatoid arthritis.
What Triggers An
To this day, neither I nor my doctors know what triggered
the autoimmune disorder in my body. Thankfully it was detected
early enough in my life that it hasn't caused as much damage as
it would have had I not known it was there.
There are many theories out there regarding what triggers an
autoimmune disorder. Not a single theory, thus far, is a match
You see, at the time mine was "triggered", I was perfectly
healthy, not smoking, had an excellent job, no stress, was
single -- and enjoying it -- without a care in the world and
had plenty of friends. In fact, for perhaps the first time
in my life, I was actually at what could be considered a
healthy weight for my age and height.
I've never been able to regain the weight. I've been
underweight ever since the disorder was triggered inside my
There is something autoimmune disorders share in common with
allergies. Where autoimmune disorders, when active, make the
immune system attack healthy tissues in the body, in allergies,
the immune system reacts to an external substance that would
normally be harmless.
So it might be interesting to note that about the time my
autoimmune disorder became active, I began experiencing a
strong aversion to fermented beverages (such as grape juice and
wines) and alcoholic beverages.
Just a few short years after my diagnosis I found I could no
longer consume even a single drop of alcohol without getting
I've lived an alcohol free life for the past twenty years as