Immune to Tragedy or Tragedy of the Immune (system)?
Most of the symptoms we experience when we are sick, are the steps that our Immune system has taken to protect us. Little do we know that by pointing a finger at these symptoms and suppressing them, we are doing more harm than good.
Our logic is simple: If there is a discomfort, get rid of it. BUT, what if that discomfort is actually meant for an intruder and by suppressing it you are threatening your very existence?
Think about it. Isn't it so that every action taken by the immune system is seen as negative?
Consider this scenario where your immune system decides to take complete rest and not disturb you either...
You stub your foot on a stone. It doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t get inflamed even though it did bleed and there is an open wound. Could that be a good sign?
If there is no pain, you wouldn't pay attention. If there is no inflammation and immune response the wound could get gangrenous as opportunistic microbes would invade and take over your body. A simple injury and your days would be numbered !
The pain is there to warn you and show you the coordinates of the area where the damage has occurred.
The inflammation, the redness, the throbbing, the swelling is there since your body is paying attention to that area, looking out for opportunist infectious organism that might have slipped inside, asking the damaged cells to commit suicide (Apoptosis), repairing tissues by providing nutrition and doing many more activities, some of which we haven’t even found out as yet !
To sumarize, let's explore the good, the bad and the ugly side of inflammation.
The Good :
The inflammatory response alerts you. Your body stays yours and you get to stay in it. With a healthy inflammatory response, you will be able to fight an infection or a security breach and be able to hold on to your territory.
A temporary discomfort as security measures are enforced.
To ensure that the repair goes on well, we are given constant updates- we experience these as pain. The immune system's remediation action could also cause redness, sensitivity, swelling, Fever, Loose Motions, Vomitting etc.
The Ugly: (And the most Disasterous)
We override the Security measures.
If the inflammatory response is turned off, you will never know when you have been infected or whenever there is a security breach. You could end up being more vulnerable and falling a victim to the next opportunist infectious organism for which there might be no antidote!
More to come.......