Immune system: A caring friend that could betray you

Monday March 12 2018

Dr. Christopher Peterson

Dr. Christopher Peterson 

By Dr Chris Peterson

I love watching movies. In fact, it’s one of my hobbies. I am highly interested in the fiction that are based on true stories which reflect a real life.

A few days ago, I was watching a movie that involved two good friends who cared for one another quite a lot. They were always depending on each other, something that made their friendship very solid.

That was until one day, when the story of their friendship took an urgly turn - a fatal one to say the least. One friend turned against the other and unreasonably started fighting.

He severely beat his friend. And the actual cause of their fight remains unknown.

It was so sad that I couldn’t endure watching it any longer and sadly decided to switch off the TV. I felt pity for the beaten friend.

I found myself irritated, by this whole scenario. The fight was unexpected. You may ask yourself so many unanswered questions about it right? So did I. Back to the point. The story of these two friends reminds me of that one friend we have in our bodies.

He is always very kind and caring. But this good friend has a naughty side too, sometimes unexpectedly, this friend betrays us, and when he does, he lands us into very serious trouble. Yes! This friend is the immune system.

Biologically, the immune system is a network that is made up by various cells, tissues and organs to defend our bodies against various infections and diseases. Through a series of steps called the immune response, the immune system attacks organisms and substances that invade body systems and cause disease. You can imagine how kind this good friend of our bodies is. He is always there to protect our bodies against various invaders and to ensure we are in good health.

But sometimes, the immune system unexpectedly, turns against us, instead of giving us protection, he fights us by attacking our own body tissues.

And when this happens, we often find ourselves in a serious medical conditions. The exact reason why the immune system turns against our health can be hard to tellat times just like what happened to the other friends I saw in the movie.

My dear readers, there is one medical condition I am sure you have rarely heard about, it is called lupus.

This is a medical conditions that happens when the immune system attacks the body and in the process affecting various organs, mainly joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain and lungs.

But something more interesting that I want to share with you today is that, in most cases, lupus is connected to various forms of cancer and mainly is lymphoma, breast cancer and endometrial cancer and skin cancer.

According to American Cancer Society(ACS), people with lupus are at higher risk of developing these types cancer if it goes unnoticed for a quite some time since the condition itself tends to stimulate the extreme growth of abnormal cells in the body.

No one expects how and when the immune system attacks our bodies to cause lupus. I therefore urge you to keep a close eye and seek for immediate medical attention when they notice some few symptoms in their bodies that are scientifically proved to be linked with lupus.

Normally, these symptoms can be, chronic fatigue, fever, joint pain stiffness and swelling, rashes on the face that covers the cheek and the bridge of the nose or rashes elsewhere in the body, skin lesions that appear or worsen with sun exposure (photosensitivity),shortness of breath, chest pain, dry eyes and memory loss. If you find these symptoms please see your doctor.

However, although we can’t tell why the immune system attacks the body and cause lupus, at least we can abstain from its risk factors avoid lupus. These may be; avoid exposure to sun light for a long time, avoid any form of infection be it sexual, oral, environmental or body contact as much as you can.

Having an infection can initiate lupus or cause relapse in some people. Avoid certain medications especially antibiotics if not advised by doctor.

Antibiotic resistance may lead to some of complications in the immune system.