Immune system = broken..?

So, the concern that keeps popping into my head as I lament the fact that I am sick, again, is to do with the workings of my immune system…
I have an auto-immune disease. That’s a disease which, according to and lifted from wikipedia, “…arise[s] from an overactive immune response of the body against substances and tissues normally present in the body.” So, my body attacks its own cells; namely, the myelin sheath around the nerves, or neurons, in my brain, causing scars or lesions on the nerves called ‘sclerosis’. More than one of those (six actually, I think, to get a clear diagnosis) and you’ve got the plural being scleroses, aka multiple sclerosis (couldn’t they be more creative with the collective noun, like when you have a pod of whales, a school of fish, a business of ferrets or a crash of hippopotami…?)
(I have also just learned that, in addition to being commonly abbreviated to MS, Multiple Sclerosis is also known as disseminated sclerosis or encephalomyelitis disseminata. So, I could be really cryptic and say that I have DS or ED when I get bored with MS…)
So, the question to be pondered and researched this fortnight, in advance of my next visit to my neurologist on the 10th of August, is whether my immune system is *bleep* because:
a) my immune system is so busy attacking my myelin, it forgets to fight actual foreign cells like colds and gastro bugs.
b) it is a side-effect of my ongoing medication, the one that sounds like a frog sneezing (“Rebif!”), in addition to possible adverse effects on my liver function and that my white blood cell levels are also effected.
c) I don’t eat Lean Cuisine and, “No, Dad, I’m not looking after myself”. 
or,
d) rotten luck.

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~ by pincushiondiary on July 27, 2007.

2 Responses to “Immune system = broken..?”

  1. I seem to be fairly good about fighting off my random bugs, but when I do succumb, I have a really rough time getting rid of it. You may not have gotten well, but this is just resurfacing to wreak havoc on your life. Of course, that is just the curmudgeonly pessimist in me talking …

  2. I’m probably misremembering what little biology I ever learned, but I think the reason you feel rotten when you have a cold or the flu is because your body is fighting the infection. In other words, the “side effects” of the cold are due to your immune system rather than the cold itself. [shrug] That’s my understanding, at least… My guess is your body is just more susceptible to colds for some reason?

    I was on Avonex for a year and didn’t have a single solitary cold or flu or anything else during that time… (Of course, I got suicidally depessed… but you know, details.) I understand that’s fairly normal, though, because the interferons are what protect your body from attack and that’s what was coursing through my system…

    Anyway, just some thoughts to ponder…

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