Auto-immune disorders have taken center stage in medical research these days. Some interesting data is surfacing that sheds some light on the mechanisms behind the body seemingly attacking itself.
Dr. Mark Anderson, a medical researcher, says that all body parts can be affected by auto-immune diseases. “It’s not that there are so many auto-immune diseases – it’s that so many diseases reach the auto-immune phase. Any chronic, festering disease – be it a lesion or chronic organ dysfunction – can eventually turn into an auto-immune disease.”
According to the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences in an article entitled “Apoptosis and Autoimmune Diseases” it says “Every day billions of cells die in our bodies to eliminate those that are harmful, useless or senescent. The process can be divided into two steps: cell dying and cell clearance. In the first step, death machinery is activated in the cells and quickly kills them. During the second step, dead cells are engulfed by phagocytes, and their components are degraded in the lysosomes of the phagocytes.” “Data from mutant mice and human patients indicate that defects in cell death or dead-cell clearance leads to autoimmunity.” “As soon as cells undergo apoptosis, macrophages approach the dead cells, recognize them as dead and engulf them, but they do not engulf healthy living cells.” If this cell clearance is hampered, these dead cells release some of their cellular components (in particular, their DNA, nuclei and phospholipids). Because these components don’t belong in the blood, and are supposed to stay with the tissue where it belongs or get cleared, antibodies are produced against these components.
In other words, if lung tissue is damaged, or cells die faster than the body can clear it, and they overwhelm the reticuloendothelial system that is supposed to clear it, the body now sees these lung components as a threat. This is because lung tissue isn’t supposed to be anywhere else than the lungs. Endometriosis is a good example of the wrong tissue merging with other surrounding organs. It’s not supposed to be anywhere but the endometrium of the uterus!
The American Heart Association’s official journal Circulation, clear back in 1971 had an article on “Autoimmune Heart Disease”. “Autoimmune heart disease may be defined as a variety of myocardial, pericardial, or endocardial disease in which antibodies are produced against the host’s cardiac tissues which serve as antigens.” In other words, injury to the heart can cause the body to see its own heart as an enemy because heart tissue which leaked into the blood after the injury, doesn’t belong there!
In August 2004 in Medical Hypothesis “Add Alzheimer’s disease to the list of autoimmune diseases” states “…it is possible that the mere presence of anti-neuronal autoantibodies in the serum…suggest autoimmunity-induced cell death in AD”.
Every tissue can eventually develop into an auto-immune disorder, there are hundreds of studies that verify that. What if we could improve clearance of these components before the body reacted so negatively to them? What if we could heal the tissue before it got to this progressive state? What if we had more tools to do this than we realized? Perhaps, we do.
© 2014 Holly A. Carling, O.M.D., L.Ac., Ph.D.