immune disorders are those diseases or ailments caused by your own immune
system. Your immune system has subset of cells called T cells, that
indicate the rest of your immune system, how foreign invaders should be
In auto immune disorders, your immune
system is out of order and is attacking your own tissues, creating
a powerful disease or ailment that your body just can't seem to get rid of.
By definition, your body is attacking itself, hence auto immune disorders
are very hard to treat.
Many auto immune disorders are caused by an
imbalance in the ratio and activity of T-helper lymphocytes (Th1 and
Th2). These two subsets of cells are in a constant state of balance (like a
see-saw): when one is increased, the other is decreased and vice versa. The
more common manifestation is a Th2 excess, potentially resulting in an
increased incidence of allergies, asthma and a susceptibility to infections
(through the corresponding decreased Th1 activity and loss of protection).
The alternative, an excess of Th1 activity ("too much" immune
protection), may result in tissue-specific inflammatory damage - such is the
case of psoriasis, dermatitis, arthritis, lupus and vitiligo. Other diseases
such as MS, although usually showing a Th1 prominence imbalance, may
alternate from one imbalance to another.
most common treatments for auto immune disorders are symptom specific
treatments. For example, it is very common that your doctor prescribe pain
relievers for arthritis pain, anti itching creams for psoriasis, make up for
vitiligo, anti spasmodics for tremor control in MS, or anti inflammatory
medications for lupus patients. Doctors can go on for as long as they can
prescribing symptomatic drugs for auto immune disorders without treating the
A more direct approach to the problem, is using potent immune suppressive
and anti inflammatory drugs for the more severe cases of auto immune
disorders. For example, if you have severe psoriasis, you may be prescribed
methotrexate, if you have lupus, you may be prescribed a steroidal product,
or if you suffer from MS, you can be prescribed a potent immune suppressive
drug such as interferons.
problem is that while some of these medications can keep the immune system
at bay, by suppressing its activity, the side effects that result from this
can be as devastating as the disease itself. Very few patients can
withstand more than three consecutive treatments with methotrexate due to
the damage to the liver that this drug may cause. Lupus patients usually
suffer from steroid induced cushing syndrome which disfigures the body, and
MS patients can go on for life using immune suppressive drugs only to watch
their symptoms reappear on the long run, while suffering from illnesses
related to a diminished immune system.