How to Slow Down An Overactive Immune System
Every country needs a defense system so that it can defend its territory.Like wise,Human body needs a defense system to protect it from various bacteria,Viruses,Fungi,Microbes etc.The natural defense system which a human body has is called Immune System.In this article, we will see about the immune system particularly Overactive immune system and the methods to slow it.
Immune system constantly looks for bacteria,viruses and fights it, if it detects any external pathogens.Blood is a fluid in the human body which is responsible for carrying Oxygen and nutrients. to the cells and carries the waste materials away from the cells. There are three type of blood cells namely:
Red blood Cells(RBC) or Erythrocytes
White Blood Cells(WBC) or Leukocytes
Platelets or Thrombocytes
Blood accounts for 7 percent of the whole human body weight. An average adult has a blood volume of 5 litres.Erythrocytes consists of 45 percent volume,Platelets consists of 54.3 percent volume and leukocytes consists of only 0.7 percent volume.Out of these,WBC or White Blood Cells is responsible for the immune system.One microliter of blood contains 4000-11000 leukocytes. It is the leukocytes which attacks foreign organisms and protects the human body. If leukocytes are produced more,then that results in a type of Cancer Called Leukemia which usually starts from the bone marrow.
WBC’s are stored in Lymphoid organs. Thymus and Bone Marrow are the primary Lymphoid organs. They generate lymphocytes from immature progenitor cells.Lymph nodes and Spleen are secondary Lymphoid organs. Thymus is a gland situated below the neck and inbetween the lungs. Spleen is situated on the upper side of left abdomen.The spleen contains specialized compartments where immune cells gather and work, and serves as a meeting point where immune defenses confront antigens.Clumps of lymphoid tissue are found in many parts of the body, especially in the linings of the digestive tract and the airways and lungs—territories that serve as gateways to the body.
Bone Marrow is responsible for the creation of T Cells and the production of B Cells.B cells joins the Circulatory system and search for pathogens whereas T cells first go to Thymus,produce more T Cells,then join the Circulatory system and then search for Pathogens.Spleen produces antibodies in its white pulp and removes the bacteria through blood circulation and lymph node circulation.
All leukocytes have a nuclei in their cells. RBC’s and platelets do not have nuclei.
Leukocytes are classified by their structure into two categories namely:
It is also classified according to the Cell division into two categories namely:
The above two categories can be further divided into five main types namely:
Lympocytes are further classified into:
The number of leukocytes present in the blood is often an indicator of the disease.If the count of WBC is increased above the upper limit,then that condition is called leukocytosis. If the count of WBC is decreased below the lower limit,then that condition is called leukopenia. This indicates a weakened immune system. Increase in WBC is normal when it fights the pathogens. Decreased count is dangerous to the body.
Neutrophil is 10-12 micrometer and it is responsible for fighting bacteria and fungi. It has multilobed nucleus. Granules are pink and its lifetime is 6 hours to few days.
Eosinophil is 10-12 micrometer and it is responsible for fighting larger parasites. The nucleus is bilobed. Granules are pink to orange and its lifetime is 8-12 days.
Basophil is 12-15 micrometer and it releases for histamine responses. Its nucleus is bilobed or trilobed, large blue granules and its life span is from few hours to few days.
Small lymphocytes are 7-8 micrometer and large lymphocytes are 12-15 micrometer.It has a eccentric nucleus which is deeply staining, granules are NK-cells and cytotoxic (CD8+) T-cells.It’s lifetime is years for memory cells whereas weeks for else.It mainly deals with virus infected and tumour cells.
Monocyte is 15-30 micrometer. It s main target is the tissues.Its nucleus is kidney shaped and granules are none. Its life span is from hours to days.
In leukopenia, usually the white blood cell reduced is the neutrophil.In this case,it is called neutropenia or granulocytopenia. If the WBC that is reduced is lymphocytes then that condition is called lymphocytopenia or lymphopenia.
Human body naturally has immune system. When a baby is born, the immune system naturally goes to the child through breast milk. As the baby grows into an adult,it’s immune system is developed well and hence it is less prone to diseases. When a pathogen enters, the first layer,the skin fights against it. If it crosses it ,then the second layer of immune system which is the Acquired immune system takes control and fights the pathogen. The antibodies are produced against the pathogen and it is kept in memory. If the same type of pathogen comes again,it fights efficiently as it has a copy already. For example,chicken pox comes only once. When it first comes the necessary antibodies are produced. So it halts effectively when it comes second time.This is called immunity. The body has already acquired immunity to that disease.
Immunodeficiency occurs due to the collapse of immune system. Immune system naturally starts to collapse when we reach 50 years of age. Others reasons include Obesity,alcohol,drugs,malnutrition. AIDS is an example of Immunodeficiency. Its full form is Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome. In this case, the AIDS virus completely destroys the WBC of blood and the immune system of the body is broken and the virus takes control of the immune system and hence result in death.
Immune System disorders are classified into four types namely:
Cancer of Immune System
Immunodeficiency disorder may be Innate or acquired. In autoimmune disorder, the human body’s immune system attacks its own defence mechanism and tissues as if it were foreign organisms.In allergic disorder, the immune system overreacts to the antigen.Cancer results in the replication of cells. Immunodeficiencies can affect B lymphocytes, T lymphocytes, or phagocytes.
IgA deficiency is a most common primary immunodeficiency disorder.
IgA is a immunoglobulin that is found in the body fluids particularly Saliva.People with this deficiency tend to attract more cold as the antibodies are not produced effectively.
Antibodies belong to a family of large molecules known as immunoglobulins.
Different types play different roles in the immune defense strategy.
• Immunoglobulin G, or IgG, works efficiently to coat microbes, speeding their uptake by other cells in the immune system.
• IgM is very effective at killing bacteria.
• IgE, whose natural job is to protect against parasitic infections, is the villain responsible for the symptoms of allergy.
• IgD remains attached to B cells and plays a key role in initiating early B-cell response.
Immunodeficiencies are caused by medication also. For Example, Chemotherapy treatment not only kills cancer cells but also kills naturally,fast growing healthy cells which results in the breakdown of Immune system.
Lupus is an example for autoimmune disorder. Patient feels muscle and joint pain and also inflammation. Scleroderma is a disease which results in the inflammation,damage of skin,joints is an autoimmune disorder.
Asthma is a breathing ,respiratory disorder caused by allergic disorder. Due to this disorder, the breathing tubes are narrowed and swollen so that the person cannot breathe properly.Drug allergies are also of the category of allergic disorder. For example,Pencillin is a drug not suitable for everyone.
Leukemia is a cancer of the immune system
In Vaccination, the virus is injected into the body in mild quantity and the body starts producing its antibodies and naturally develops resistance for that virus. If we want a vaccine to be produced for Snake bite, Then that snake is made available to bite a horse and checks the antibodies produced by the horse immune system.Then that antibodies are taken with which the new vaccine for human body is prepared. First they check the vaccine by putting it on to rats and check the reaction.If scientists are satisfied that there is no negative reaction,then it is slowly tried with human beings.
Viruses enter human body and attach it to the surface of the cell.Then it insert their genetic material in the form of RNA or DNA into the host cell,replicate within the host cell,take over the functions of the host cell
HIV, Avian Flu, the Flu, Colds,Herpes, HPV, Chicken Pox, Small Pox,
Measles, Mumps, West Nile, Malaria, Rabies
They work by entering the human body,breaks the tissues for food and releases toxin which are harmful to the body. Examples: Streptococcus, diphtheria,botulism, anthrax, gonorrhea, syphilis,Chlamydia.
Layers of Defence
1. First line of defense
Dead skin cells provide first level barrier
They contain enzymes to break down bacterial cell walls. They wash away pathogens.
• In nose and throat
• Keep pathogens from getting into lungs
• Low pH destroys many pathogens.
2.Second line of defense
Reaction to injury, infection
• Redness, swelling, heat
–white blood cells “eat” invading agent
• Destroys toxic agents
• Kills some pathogens
• Increases metabolic rate
–Produce more white blood cells
•Increased heart rate
• Pumps white cells to infection site faster
• Proteins that destroy viruses
• In blood stream and lymphatic system(body fluids), B cells grow, divide rapidly and produce:
– Plasma cells
– Memory cells
• It makes and release antibodies,recognize and bind to antigen.The antigen and the antibody gets engulfed and destroyed by phagocytes.
Memory B cells can remember antigen,can produce more antibodies
quickly if exposed again and Plasma B cells make more
• Help B-cells make antibodies by passing along information about pathogen
• Divides to become other types of T-Cells
– stored in tonsils, lymph nodes
– travel to infected site
– kill cells that have been infected by pathogen
When invader is totally destroyed, suppresses further immune activity.
Antigens are on the surface of macrophage.T Cell binds to the activated macrophage.T cell,activated by macrophage,becomes a helper T Cell . Then Helper T cell activates killer T cells and B cells.Killer T cells bind to infected cells,disrupting their cell membrane and destroys them.
Inadequate defense against pathogens can result from genetic causes, acquired causes
(foremost acquired immunodeficiency syndrome –AIDS— by HIV) or from escape strategies developed by pathogens during their co-evolution with humans.
Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases
The majority of primary immunodeficiencies are rare diseases, that are instructive for the contribution of individual parts of the human immune system to overall defense.
Depending on the genes concerned, the following functions may be impaired:
• T- and B cell function: severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID)
• global or partial B cell response
• complement functions
In addition, the immune system is affected in a number of more complex syndromes.
Autoimmune diseases are frequently categorized as either organ specific or systemic.
Organ specific diseases include:
• diabetes mellitus type 1
• Graves’ disease
• Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
• multiple sclerosis
Diabetes mellitus type 1
It is a autoimmune disease produced due to the lack of production of Insulin.
Type 1 diabetes signs and symptoms include:
Bed-wetting in children who previously didn’t wet the bed during the night
Unintended weight loss
Irritability and other mood changes
Fatigue and weakness
Graves Disease is an autoimmune disease that occurs due to the overproduction of Thyroid hormone.
Common signs and symptoms of Graves’ disease include:
Anxiety and irritability
A fine tremor of your hands or fingers
Heat sensitivity and an increase in perspiration or warm, moist skin
Weight loss, despite normal eating habits
Enlargement of your thyroid gland (goiter)
Change in menstrual cycles
Erectile dysfunction or reduced libido
Frequent bowel movements
Bulging eyes (Graves’ ophthalmopathy)
Thick, red skin usually on the shins or tops of the feet (Graves’ dermopathy)
Rapid or irregular heartbeat (palpitations)
Examples for systemic autoimmune diseases are:
• rheumatoid arthritis
• systemic lupus erythematodes
• systemic sclerosis (scleroderma)
• polymyositis and dermatomyositis
Genetic engineering allows scientists to pluck genes—segments of the hereditary material, DNA—from one type of organism and combine them with genes of a second organism. In this way relatively simple organisms such as bacteria or yeast can be induced to make quantities of human proteins, including hormones such as insulin as well as lymphokines and monokines. They can also manufacture proteins from infectious agents, such as the hepatitis virus or HIV, for use in vaccines.
A cytotoxic T cell (also known as TC, cytotoxic T lymphocyte, CTL, T-killer cell, cytolytic T cell, CD8+ T-cell or killer T cell) is a T lymphocyte .It is a type of White Blood Cell.It kills cells that are cancerous,affected by viruses or other natural ways. T-Cell Receptors also known as TCR, can recognize antigen. Antigens are capable of stimulating immune response. It is produced by cancer cells or the cells affected by viruses.Inside a cell,antigens are bound to class I MHC molecule. If the TCR is specific to that antigen,then it binds with the class I MHC molecule and the T-cell destroys the cell. For the TCR to bind with class I MHC molecule , it must be accompanied by a glycoprotein called CD8. Hence they are called CD8+ T cells.
Phagocytes are large white cells that can swallow and digest microbes and other foreign particles. Monocytes are phagocytes that circulate in the blood.When monocytes migrate into tissues,they develop into macrophages.Specialized types of macrophages can be found in many organs, including lungs,kidneys, brain, and liver. Macrophages act as Scavengers. They remove the worn out cells. They also produce monokines which are vital to produce immune response.Granulocytes are another kind of immune cell. They contain granules filled with chemicals which destroy pathogens.Some of these chemicals, such as histamine, also contribute to inflammation and allergy.
We can boost the immune system by:
Eating healthy food
Not putting weight
Doing Exercise regularly
OverActive Immune System
It is a process by which our own immune system attacks our own tissues and cells resulting in the self destruction of our human body.Causes for OverActive Immune system are :
Dis-proportion of WBC
Problems of OverActive Immune System include:
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Arthritis is a disorder that affects joints. Patients with arthritis feels joint pain and stiffness. Other symptoms may include redness,swelling. One form of Arthritis is Rheumatoid Arthritis. It is a autoimmune disorder. It often affects the hand and feet.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease is the inflammation of Colon and small intestine.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease characterized by abnormal skin which is usually red and itchy in nature.
Fibromyalgia is a medical condition often characterized by widespread pain of the body.Symptoms include frequent tiredness,memory problems and sleep disorder.It is frequently associated with depression,anxiety and Posttraumatic stress disorder.
Myasthenia gravis is a condition where antibodies bind to nerves and make them unable to stimulate muscles properly.
Vasculitis is a condition where the immune system attacks and damages blood vessels It is a autoimmune diseases.
In this disease, the antibodies attacks nerve cells. It is a autoimmune Psychiatric disorder.
In this disease, the antibodies attacks pancreatic cells.T lymphocytes cells that destroy insulin-producing cells in the pancreas cause Type 1 diabetes
Some of the most common type of treatments for overactive immune systems are immunosuppressants, chemotherapy and corticosteroids. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen can be used.
Immunosuppressive drugs can be classified into two groups:
Glucocorticoids, such as prednisone, dexamethasone, and hydrocortisone are used to suppress various allergic, inflammatory, and autoimmune disorders.
Cytostatics inhibit cell division. Purine analogs such as azathioprine, fluorouracil, methotrexate and mercaptopurine are most frequently administered because it destroys T-Cells.
Natural treatment can also be done. Before going with natural treatment,always do what Doctors advice to do. Use natural boosters such as Aloe Vera,Grapefruit seed Extract,Olive Oil,Garlic. Make a balance with work and life. Sleep healthy for 8 hours.Drink plenty of water.Eat raw vegetables.Exercise regularly.
People of all genders, races, and ages can be affected by autoimmune diseases, but some people are at larger risk of developing an autoimmune disease. An individual’s chance of developing an autoimmune disease is elevated if the following factors are present:
Women are more likely to be affected by autoimmune disease than male. Researches found that women have 75% more chance than Men to get this disease. The facts are not clear but the female hormones make it for them to be more vulnerable.
Most autoimmune diseases affect young and middle aged individuals. Each autoimmune disease is different,and disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis are found more commonly in elderly people.
People who are African American, American Indian, or Latino ethnic groups are more likely than Caucasians to develop autoimmune diseases.
Family history of autoimmune disorders:
Numerous studies have shown that the tendency to develop autoimmune disorders can be genetic. If a family member has an autoimmune disorder, others within that family have increased chances of getting the same disorder.
Exposure to environmental agents:
There is some evidence that exposure to certain things in an individual’s immediate environment may increase their risk of developing an autoimmune disease. For example, research shows that exposure to some medications (for example,procainamide or hydrolyzine) and certain metals (mercury,gold, or silver) may be associated with the development of specific autoimmune disorders. Even though the scientific evidence relating environmental exposure to the onset of autoimmune disorders is not entirely conclusive, researchers are still working to find out how environmental exposures may play a role.
antibodies—molecules (also called immunoglobulins) produced by a B cell in response to an antigen. When an antibody attaches to an antigen, it helps the body destroy or inactivate the antigen.
B cells—small white blood cells crucial to the immune defenses. Also know as B lymphocytes, they come from bone marrow and develop into blood cells called plasma cells, which are the source of antibodies.
bacteria—microscopic organisms composed of a single cell. Some cause disease.
bone marrow—soft tissue located in the cavities of the bones. Bone marrow is the source of all blood cells.
enzyme—a protein produced by living cells that promotes the chemical processes of life without itself being altered.
fungi—members of a class of relatively primitive vegetable organisms. They include mushrooms, yeasts, rusts,molds, and smuts.
granules—membrane-bound organelles within cells where proteins are stored before secretion.
granulocytes—phagocytic white blood cells filled with granules organisms.Neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils, and mast cells are examples of granulocytes.
helper T cells (Th cells)—a subset of T cells that carry the CD4 surface marker and are essential for turning on antibody production,activating cytotoxic T cells, and initiating many other immune functions.
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus)—the virus that causes AIDS.
immune response—reaction of the immune system to foreign substances.
immunoglobulins—a family of large protein molecules, also known as antibodies, produced by B cells.
immunosuppressive—capable of reducing immune responses.
Inflammatory-response— redness, warmth,and swelling produced in response to infection, as the result of increased blood flow and an influx of immune cells and secretions.
leukocytes—all white blood cells.
lymph—a transparent, slightly yellow fluid that carries lymphocytes, bathes the body tissues, and drains into the lymphatic vessels.
lymph nodes—small bean-shaped organs of the immune system, distributed widely throughout the body and linked by lymphatic vessels. Lymph nodes are garrisons of B, T, and other immune cells.
lymphatic vessels—a bodywide network of channels, similar to the blood vessels,which transport lymph to the immune organs and into the bloodstream.
lymphocytes—small white blood cells produced in the lymphoid organs and paramount in the immune defenses.B cells and T cells are lymphocytes.
lymphoid organs—the organs of the immune system, where lymphocytes develop and congregate. They include the bone marrow, thymus, lymph nodes,spleen, and various other clusters of lymphoid tissue. Blood vessels and lymphatic vessels are also lymphoid organs.
lymphokines—powerful chemical substances secreted by lymphocytes.These molecules help direct and regulate the immune responses.
memory cells—a subset of T cells and B cells that have been exposed to antigens and can then respond more readily when the immune system encounters those same antigens again.
microbes—microscopic living organisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa.
microorganisms—microscopic organisms, including bacteria, virus, fungi, plants, and parasites.
molecule—the smallest amount of a specific chemical substance. Large molecules such as proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids are the building blocks of a cell, and a gene determines how each molecule is produced.
monocytes—large phagocytic white blood cells which, when entering tissue, develop into macrophages.
neutrophil—white blood cell that is an abundant and important phagocyte. organisms—individual living things.
parasites—plants or animals that live, grow, and feed on or within another living organism.
passive immunity—immunity resulting from the transfer of antibodies or antiserum produced by another individual.
pathogen—a disease-causing organism.
phagocytes—large white blood cells that contribute to the immune defenses by ingesting microbes or other cells and foreign particles.
phagocytosis—process by which one cell engulfs another cell or large particle.
plasma cells—large antibody-producing cells that develop from B cells.
platelet—cellular fragment critical for blood clotting and sealing off wounds.
T cells—small white blood cells (also known as T lymphocytes) that recognize antigen fragments bound to cell surfaces by specialized antibody-like receptors. “T” stands for thymus, where T cells acquire their receptors.
thymus—a primary lymphoid organ, high in the chest, where T lymphocytes proliferate and mature.
tissues—groups of similar cells joined to perform the same function.
vaccines—preparations that stimulate an immune response that can prevent an infection or create resistance to an infection. They do not cause disease.
viruses—microorganisms composed of a piece of genetic material—RNA or DNA— surrounded by a protein coat. Viruses can reproduce only in living cells.
natural killer (NK) cells—large granule containing lymphocytes that recognize and kill cells lacking self antigens. Their target recognition molecules are different from T cells.
A compound or substance that kills or slows down the growth of bacteria. Antibiotics are not effective against viral infections.
A medical condition characterized by an overactive immune system which attacks the body, mistaking normal tissues in the body for harmful substances.
A class of disease in which a group of cells display uncontrolled growth and invasion that intrudes upon and destroys adjacent tissues. Cancers sometimes spread to other locations in the body. This term is normally used to describe malignant tumours.
Complete Blood Count
A complete blood count (CBC), also known as full blood count (FBC) or blood panel, is a test that gives information about the cells in a patient’s blood. It is used to evaluate overall health and detect a wide range of disorders, including anaemia and infection.
The system that protects the body from foreign substances, cells, and infections.
A local response to injury that is characterised by redness, heat, pain, swelling, and often loss of function.
Are small glands composed of white blood cells called lymphocytes. Lymphocytes play a critical role in the immune system by destroying infectious agents (such as viruses and bacteria) and producing antibodies.
A condition that results from taking an unbalanced diet in which certain nutrients are lacking, in excess, or in the wrong proportions.
A condition in which the animal’s immune system has been primed and is able to protect the body from a disease-causing agent such as a virus or bacteria.