What is a confused immune system? Perhaps let us be clear that human immune system will malfunction when it is weak and the consequences of a weak immune system will expose the human body to more serious and dangerous infectious diseases such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), hepatitis, influenza, tuberculosis, pneumonia, to name a few. Worst still, a weak immune system has the risk to the onset of cancer.
Under normal circumstances and when our immune system is healthy, our body immune cells help us to look out for possible danger and ready to kill off any mutated cell that has the potential to develop into cancer; however, when the immune system is weak, it is unable to do so efficiently to destroy as well as to prevent the spreading of cancer cells in the human body.
What is a confused immune system then?
It means that our body instead of producing the antibodies in normal circumstances to defend us from the invasion of diseases, the immune system has wrongly interpreted harmless substances and deal with them as if they were harmful by producing antibodies. As a result, allergies set in and these once-harmless substances turn into allergens.
Because of this confusion between “non-self” and “self” cells, this has caused the immune system to wrongly kill the body’s own cells which can lead to autoimmune diseases.
We should not take allergies lightly as it can lead to severe complications and even death. For example, the respiratory tract allergies can cause asthma—asthma is a condition of chronic inflammation of the lungs. According to Asthma UK, a leading asthma charity in the UK, over 1,100 people in the UK die from asthma each year. Other symptoms of respiratory include sinusitis, a condition of inflammation of the sinuses. Based on the report, not less than 30 million people in the U.S. suffered from sinusitis.
Autoimmune diseases are a cause for concern too. As of to date, more than 80 types of autoimmune diseases have been identified. Among them included, i) multiple sclerosis, which affects the nervous system, ii) type 1 diabetes, a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin, iii) rheumatoid arthritis, which causes inflammation of the joints, and iv) others such as psoriasis, systemic lupus erythematosus and so on.
Again, to ensure our body immune system to function as it supposed to, we must pay attention to proper nutrition, which in turn will help boost our body’s defense against diseases.
Tan Kok Hui
Nutrition Made Simple, Life Made Rich